It's the first discussion post for The Book Thief readalong. The awesome Suey is hosting today, over at It's All About Books. Come play along here.
1. What's your first impression of Death as a character/narrator?
I think this sums up my original opinion nicely:
But I have come around to Death, a bit. I think I like him as a narrator, quite a lot. As a character, I'm not sure. I prefer him less directly involved in the plot. Remember how I was afraid this book would be 550 pages of sad?
2. What's your first impression of the unique writing style?
I love it! It's very conversational. It reads just like how people talk.
And then switches to being very poetic and almost flowery.
It's like Death is trying to make you comfortable and then win you over with his way with words or something.
3. Which character stands out to you the most so far and why?
Liesel, because she's the main one, I guess. Also Hans because he's mostly incredibly nice. Except for that one part where he smacks her!
4. What do you think the author is trying to say about the power of words?
First, that words are powerful. Liesel seems to become more and more confident in her life and surroundings the more she learns to read. Words also seem to help bond her and Hans together.
5. How do you feel about all the foreshadowing that's going on?
Foreshadowing? Or anvil sized hints? Or "beat you over the head" spoilers?
No, I don't mind them, honestly. I think it's fitting with the way the book started (the whole "you are going to die.") I think Death/Zusak doesn't want anyone to be caught off guard by what will happen. Which adds suspense and dramatic irony and also makes everything feel more complex. So it's interesting. It's not very often that books go around spoiling themselves.
6. Also, how do you feel about all that German swearing?!?
I spent some time on Google Translate until I decided not to anymore! I don't know any German, so I just kind of go with it and imagine they're saying whatever I think should go there.
7. What do you think about the relationship between Hans and Rosa?
It's interesting. I think it's one of those they banter but actually love each other deals. Occasionally it gets a little old (to me) but I think that's just personal preference.
8. What do you think about the relationship between Rudy and Liesel?
In a lot of ways it's similar to Hans and Rosa's - only I think it's easier to see how much Rudy and Liesel enjoy each other. You can tell they're on each other's side. It's cute.
9. What are your feelings on the politics of the time that we've seen so far?
I like that it's there, but not in a heavy-handed kind of way. I liked when Rudy's dad went over his thinking about the Jews, and how he thought what was going on was wrong, but also helped him in a way, but was probably wrong, but was kind of helpful. I like how complicated the book makes things.
10. What images and/or symbols stand out for you in this story so far?
Oh man, this is the question that has held this post up. I was supposed to be looking for symbols?!?! :)
The colors? Those are symbols, right? Truth be told, I guess none. Because I've thought about this question for nearly a day and have nothing. Oh well.
What did you think of the first three parts? Link up at Suey's blog or comment here or link to your own post in the comments!
There will also be a twitter chat tomorrow (Weds) at 12 Mountain Time. Use #bookthief to chat. I'll be in and out, as that is school pick up/feed my hungry children time around my house.