The Book Thief
ISBN: 0375842209 Global Overview for this book
2 journalers for this copy...
The book opens with a cheery introduction by its narrator, who happens to be Death. (Since I've read a number of very positive literary interpretations of the Grim Reaper, from the marvelous Discworld version to Neil Gaiman's goth-girl version to Mr Death and the Redheaded Woman, I was neither surprised nor put off by this!)
By starting this way, with a (very short) list of survivors, we know going in that there will be many deaths, but the way the story unfolds is rather charming - while also providing a growing tension as to how bad the crash will be when it comes. There are shifts in viewpoint, references to different books that have some impact on the plot (whether by drawing the "book thief" of the title to try and rescue them or by inspiring the entire Holocaust), flashbacks to earlier times, and even a hand-drawn book from one character that's presented in the middle of the text...
[There's a TV Tropes page on the book and film, with some entertaining tidbits.]
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