Some parts were beautiful. A few examples:
"Pfiffikus!" she echoed, quickly adopting the appropriate cruelty that childhood seems to require.
...humans like to watch a little destruction. Sand castles, house of cards...
Others were just weird. Look at this one:
I carried them in my fingers, like suitcases (he is talking about souls)
It was narrated by Death. That was not an attraction when the book began and it simply became a bore as I read ahead.
There was no subtlety at all. Look at the following examples:
It sounds like the beginning of a joke: There's a Jew and German standing in a basement, right?
This was fine until he added
This, however, was no joke.
Then there was:
...everything went smoothly
Where the author just had to add:
Qualities of Smoothness... Trudy came and went without suspicion
We get what you meant when you said smoothly. The book was full of examples like the ones given above!
Lastly, there were parts that looked as if included to gain the reader's sympathy. One of them was the excerpt from Death's Diary where he talks about the events that took place in Cologne.
The book did have me shed a tear or two as I finished it, which means that I connected with it on some level. Papa and Mama were my favorite characters. The rest were all right. Death, the narrator, I hated.