This was an odd book, so odd that I probably wouldn’t have managed to get very far into it if it hadn’t been recommended so highly by so many people. I’m a straightforward, A-Z, kind of gal. Give me a story that starts out “Once upon a time” and ends with “happily ever after.” Or not happily. Tragedy is OK, too. But I like it straight and plain-spoken, or maybe poetic, but not a strange, episodic story narrated by the Grim Reaper himself.
It ends with Death Himself beng confused and “haunted by humans.”
So, make what you will of that, and decide whether or not you want to read an odd book about Death and the Holocaust and World War II and bombs and Germany with lots of cursing, mostly in German, and lots of the aforementioned death, mostly of everybody in the book. It sounds depressing, but it’s not really. It is gritty and the tiniest bit hopeful, but not too. I can’t decide if kids will like it or not. I don’t think my kids would care for it. But some might. Or this might be the sort of book that will win lots of awards because it’s written in a different, literary sort of way and it’s about a Serious Subject, but it’s mostly loved by librarians and teachers. I can see high school teachers assigning this book in literature classes or history classes.
If I sound ambivalent, it’s because I am. Help? Someone else tell me now that I’ve read it why it was that you liked it so much.