Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The Book Thief - Markus Zusak

Aaaaaaaand we're back to a book that I thought was OK, but felt was WAY too long - about twice as long as it should have been, in my opinion. I think there are two reasons for this trend: 1) a longer book just feels more important and serious to many people and 2) publishing companies can justify higher book prices. In any case, though, it gives me reading fatigue and makes me start questioning the point of the book in general, and the point of the details in particular. It seemed like so much of this book was repetitive, and there were so many details that didn't matter.

It all reminded me of this quote from Chekhov:

"Remove everything that has no relevance to the story. If you say in the first chapter that there is a rifle hanging on the wall, in the second or third chapter it absolutely must go off. If it's not going to be fired, it shouldn't be hanging there."

This book was like an enormous armory filled with minutely described armaments, none of which go off at any point.

Overall assessment: there are a lot of far better books if you're looking for books about World War II.

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