The Book Thief (A Weekend to ReCOVER)

Markus Zusak's The Book Thief is one of the best books I've read in the past decade and has joined the shortlist of my all time favourite novels.  (Don't ask me what else is on that shortlist because it's a very fluid ever-changing answer...)  I blogged a bit about this book in a comparison review a while ago, but I wanted to revisit this work for A Weekend to ReCOVER and compare a few covers that I've seen for it recently.

For those that have read The Book Thief, which cover did your copy have?  Which do you prefer, and what do you think of the others?  If you have not read The Book Thief, which cover most catches your eye?  Would any prompt you to a closer examination in a bookstore, or would any cause you to pass over the book?
I own this novel with the first cover shown (left), and - perhaps because it was my first exposure to the work - it remains my favourite cover.  I think the darker tone corresponds with the serious subject matter, and I like the focus on the domino chain.  It lends an air of anticipation and spotlights a dramatic scene from the story.  That said, I also like the second cover (middle).  For those unfamiliar with The Book Thief, the story is about a little girl, but is narrated by Death.  The image of Death dancing with the girl is a clever one and I think it captures a bit of Zusak's tone in juxtaposing humor with seriousness throughout his writing.  The third cover (right) is the only one with which I'm not too impressed.  I like the image of the lone figure on the snowscape, but I find the blood spots a little disconcerting. For some reason, the cover reminds me more of a horror story than a historical fiction. What do you think?

A Weekend to ReCOVER is a blog meme discussing and analyzing cover art hosted by Her Book Self. I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comment section or feel free to join the fun with your own post!  Help yourself to the AWTR badge image at left and leave a link below so I can be sure to check out what covers you are admiring or criticizing this week!

11 Response to "The Book Thief (A Weekend to ReCOVER)"

  1. Sam (Tiny Library) says:
    February 5, 2011 at 2:17 PM

    I own the middle cover (UK version). As it's the edition I read, I naturally think it's the best. I like how it shows the unreal elements of the book whereas the left cover is more gritty.

  2. Red says:
    February 5, 2011 at 2:48 PM

    I own the same cover as you, the one on the left, but I actually prefer the middle one. Had I not heard about this book before buying it, the left cover wouldn't have drawn me in the middle one does. I agree that the right cover looks more like something for a horror story and it really doesn't stand out for me.

  3. Melissa says:
    February 5, 2011 at 9:27 PM

    Funny how we differ on this one. :) Having never read the book, and judging by the front cover only, the first cover wouldn't pull me in. I wouldn't see the connection between the title and the dominoes. I'm undecided on the second cover. Nothing special so I might pass. The third one I liked the best. I'd pick up the book at least and read the first few paragraphs.

    Still, I went ahead and just ordered the Kindle version and, ironically, the first cover was the one pictured. :) The Amazon reviews are fantastic. Although, I'm a little nervous about reading it. I don't think I could handle a really heartbreaking story right now.

  4. Jamie says:
    February 5, 2011 at 9:44 PM

    I have the first one on the left as well. I think, like you, I really liked it because it was the one I read. If I would have seen the first and the second one next to each other I probably would have picked the second one to be honest. I think I like it a bit better as I was so intrigued by the usage of Death as the narrator.

    This is one of my ALL TIME FAVORITE books too! Haha I hope the usage of caps demonstrates my love for it! :)

  5. Nikki - Notes of Life says:
    February 6, 2011 at 11:47 AM

    The Book Thief is one of my favourite books too. My copy had the cover in the middle and it's the cover that made me pick it up in the bookshop in the first place.

  6. Anonymous Says:
    February 6, 2011 at 6:49 PM

    The Book Thief was one of my top reads in 2010. I like all the covers, but I really love the middle one which perfectly capures the macabre and unusual aspect of the story.

  7. Captain Nick Sparrow says:
    February 6, 2011 at 11:23 PM

    I'm going to read The Book Thief this year, hopefully sooner rather than later!

  8. Attack of the Book! says:
    February 7, 2011 at 8:56 AM

    The cover I got from the library is the one on the left. When I bought a used copy of the book, I was sent the middle cover. I had no idea it was the UK version. I do agree that the cover on the right reminds me of an adult crime novel, rather than the wonderful book that it is. Readers, if you haven't read it, you must!

  9. TheBookGirl says:
    February 10, 2011 at 9:02 AM

    This is one of the few books that has ever made me sob out loud...The book I have has the first cover...I think the second cover is actually the one I would pick...I agree with you about the third one, though -- to me it suggest a gothic novel, not anything like what the book really is.

  10. Casey (The Bookish Type) says:
    February 13, 2011 at 2:45 PM

    I've been wanting to read this book for ages. I think I'd be more intrigued by the cover on the far left. Photographic covers always catch my eye more than ones that are drawn -- I guess they look more mature, maybe? This one definitely looks darker.

  11. Tif Sweeney says:
    March 6, 2011 at 10:09 PM

    I recently bought this book and can't wait to read it! BTW, my copy is the first cover!

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