Upon reading Dennis Lythgoe's review of "The Book Thief," I was left wondering if he and I had read the same book. Mr. Lythgoe missed the beauty, tragedy and the message in this fascinating read.
The one statement in the review that Liesel "is forced to live with unsympathetic, authoritarian foster parents" was my first clue that this review was superficial at best. Liesel's foster mother is a grouch and can swear with the best of us, but underneath it all she is a strict but caring person. "Papa" is, from the beginning, a warm and understanding man.
Every author establishes his or her own style, and Zusak has emphasized some extremely important events with short and deliberate sentences. Don't let one "arschloch" stop you from reading this wonderful book.