Saturday, March 15, 2014

Review: The Book Thief

The Book ThiefThe Book Thief by Markus Zusak
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is one of those books that I'd heard a lot about and about which many people had strong feelings, so I was forced to read it so that I could have an opinion.

Now that I've read it I have an opinion, and that opinion is that Hans Hubermann is now on my list of the greatest characters in literature, especially since I used to know someone like him -- the kind, silver-eyed old man, with the mischievous wink and smile and the sparkling eyes. I don't care that Death likes Rudy the best. Hans Hubermann is my favorite.

I wrote a more professional, balanced review over on the Exodus website where I discuss all of this much further. Here are my thoughts at the beginning of that review and you can read the rest by clicking the link...
The Book Thief is not an average novel. Perhaps that's putting it lightly. The Book Thief is unconventional and different in a way that will either shove you out of the story or pull you head first into it. It has been both praised for being emotionally resonant and despised for being emotionally manipulative. Call it creative, call it pretentious, the truth is that Book Thief doesn't really care what you think. It freely uses or discards the rules of novel writing in order to achieve its own unique tone and style. Whether you love or hate that style is up to you. 
Our narrator is Death. The year is 1939. (Continue reading at Exodus Books.)
Basically, Book Thief fully merits the four stars I gave it. It was refreshing (and painful!) to read about WWII from the German side, especially to read about the Germans who were just caught up in the war, like everyone else.

I also saw the Book Thief movie and it was excellent (although there were a few parts I wished they had included, like Liesel's seeing Max in the parade). Geoffrey Rush was amazing as Hans Hubermann. The part where he sat at the kitchen table sobbing with Rosa was gut-wrenching.

So, yeah. I guess you could say I liked The Book Thief.

the girl who does not acquire books by thievery

Thursday, March 6, 2014

I Shot a (Steampunk?) Movie

Nicholas Fitzgerald and Princess Harriet rehearsing

This past week I have been busy. Among other things, my schedule has included frantic script rewrites, getting up at 5:30 in the morning, shooting with dying cameras, hiking through way too much mud, a terrible head cold, orange juice, top hats, dealing with editing programs, reading The Book Thief, taking Hogwarts sorting hat quizzes, and many other insignificant tasks that have no bearing on this post.

The significant part to pick up on is that I'm making a steampunk movie. Or at least a movie that is set in a vaguely steampunk world, but is not overtly steampunk due to the budget constraint of having no budget.

Right now I'm in the process of editing (painful) and trying to come up with a title for the thing (dreadful.) I'll write up a proper long post about the whole miserable process soon. Until then this is me sending up feeble smoke signals from the land of post-production.

In other news, the sorting hat quizzes keep splitting me between Ravenclaw and Gryffindor so I don't know for sure what I am. Or where I belong. What is truth?

—the irritable film editor with the head cold
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