My review of The Book Thief by Markus Zusak is consistently the most popular page on Booklover Book Reviews.
The Book Thief was first published in 2005 and due to its resonance with readers in Australia and critical acclaim across the world, it has been re-published and repackaged many times since.
I appreciate cover art almost as much as the content within, so join me in considering the artistic merits of the range of cover art created for this iconic novel.
(A) (B) (C)
Out of all these covers I would consider (D) my least favourite. I like the image of the girl reading in secret but the heavy drapes with tassels exude a decadence which does not fit the story.
(C) takes a more direct approach and probably conveys most plainly the story contained within, a girl reading close to a flame with the spectre of death forever looming over her.
(B) captures well the sense of foreboding and evil menace faced by the characters in the story, but fails to acknowledge the uplifting elements of the story.
It is hard for me to choose between my two favourite covers, (A) and (E) because they are distinctly different.
I really like how (A) conveys a sense of caring and even humour between Death and our main character. In this way it hones in on what makes The Book Thief truly special. Meanwhile (E) evokes a feeling for me that aligns with the underlying message of the novel – the beauty that life promises even within most stark and harsh environments, with red splotches representing the sporadic evil in human nature that all too often spoil that picture.