The Bookthief comes to cinema

As usual when something that I care about deeply is about to happen, I’m equal parts excited and afraid.

When Black Swan’s first paperback of “the Book Thief” came out, I was drawn towards it because of its cover.

BT

While reading it I cried and cried and cried. But I didn’t enjoy it for this cathartic effect, I loved it, though it sounds ridiculous, because I knew it was able to restore some faith in humanity – as corny as that sounds.

Now it’s being released as a major picture and I’m excited and looking forward to seeing it.

BT1

But I’m scared, too. As they say:

“The book is always better!”

 

“My sister’s keeper”

Let’s be honest about this: I’ve never read a lot of girly novels. Why should I buy a book when I know beforehand that it’s going to be heartwrenching? And probably not that well written? And cheesy?

Well, browsing through the boxes of books of poor quality at the university’s bookstore I found this. How much can you loose if the book really sucks, if you only spend 2,95 EUR? I took a chance.

I didn’t expect a great book, by then I’d already seen the trailer of the oncoming movie and I wasn’t impressed. The storyline sounded right out of the boulevard press: A thirteen year old girl sues her parents for the right to decide what happens to her body. She doesn’t want to endure treatments any more for her older sisters who has leukemia.

The things I really liked about the book were the different perspectives it’s written in, my special sympathies went out to the three male leads: the father, the brother and the lawyer.

The problem is: though the book touches strong topics as designer babies, critical diseases and relationship-problems between people, it didn’t carry them out all the way. There aren’t enough answers. Some might say “just as in real life”, but I think that’s too simple. If I go into reading a novel thinking: “Is it right to have another baby only for the sole reason to use her as a spare parts storage for her sick sister?” I really expect to get an answer to it by the end of the novel. I didn’t.

I think what I didn’t like above the other things is the end, so if you don’t wanna know, stop reading further.

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Why has the younger sister to die in the end? Why do we learn all the way through the novel that there’s just no way that the older sister survives? And then the healthy child dies in a car crash and the deadly-sick one, who wasn’t supposed to live through her childhood, is suddenly able to live to, at least, 24? I simply don’t get it. I guess the only reason is: It makes for a more interesting ending, so that the reader doesn’t think:

“Why have I been reading the whole book when I knew all along how it’s going to end?”

“The Boy in the Striped Pajamas”

I have avoided WW2 related books in the last few years. Even though I find the subject very interesting and am convinced that it is crucial to remember our history, lest it will repeat itself. It was just a subject that was well discussed during my time in school and that we read a lot of books about. I only made two exceptions to my selfmade rule to avoid the topic in the foreseeable future:

The first exception was “The Bookthief”, which I bought in my university´s bookstore due to its great cover artwork and titel. I know, you shouldn´t judge a book by it´s cover, but this one time it was a great idea. I`ll blog about this novel, which truly moved me, by the time I´ve re-read it.

The second was this:

Had I known prior to the purchase what this book would be about, I probably wouldn´t have bought it. Lucky me!

I quickly got sucked into the story, which is about Bruno, a nine year old German boy who has to move to a remote house with his family and isn´t even told why. He thinks of it as a great injustice being done to him and he feels quite alone. Until he finds a boy, that strangely is wearing striped pajamas all day long, who´s being forced to live at this place, as well. Against his will, as well. The important difference is, that there´s a big fence dividing Bruno and his new friend. On Bruno´s side there are waiters looking after him, his family, and as much food as he likes. On his friend´s side there none of the above, only hundreds of other men, all dressed in striped pajamas as well, little food and the ever-present soldiers.

Bruno´s naive view on the events happening around him open a great new little window in the kaleidoscope of WW2 stories and are surely a view on the subject being worthy of having seen.