NB: As this book takes 50 years to read, I have not yet finished it, however I feel I know enough about to start a report about it.
The thing that stands out to me in most prominent anti hero texts is death. From what I have found there is usually some death and/or destruction.The book thief is narrated by death. Bit of a no-brainer really.
Has death ever not been a villain? In all circumstances, death is an unwelcome geezer. Even when somebody begs for death, and feels it necessary to speed up his encounter with said death, death is always blamed, like he stole something. No matter if a humans soul is handed to him, he stole it. End of.
The book thief changes the way people think about death, as him narrating demonstrates he is doing the most important job on earth, that he isn’t happy about it but he has to do it. Death saves people, people long for death, imagine no death? The world would be a much gloomier place, and would be full of useless 800 year olds…
This mixed view about him automatically slots him in the pretty much endless list of anti heroes. Some argue he does good and find comfort in his hands, many argue he does pure evil.
Death, like many other anti heroes, feels that he has a different, or sometimes higher viewpoint of all things. Death sees things everyone else can’t see. This is common of an anti hero. Some see ghosts, some see visions in dreams, or have people communicating with them inside their head. Death just sees everything, with unbiased eyes, he describes his unbiased eyes as being able to see rainbows in the colour grey. He looks at everything like they are colours, this is another difference that the character has to humans.