I have just this moment finished reading The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, late into the night. What can I say about this book? It wasn’t quite what I expected and I’m so glad. This story set in Nazi Germany was narrated by Death. It doesn’t seem befitting to sketch out the plot for you. Just to say it’s about a German girl, and the story takes place in Germany in the five years up to 1943. This story was told so sensitively, in the voice of Death - surprisingly compassionate. Achingly beautiful. Some parts left me breathless. Absolutely highly recommended.
“After three weeks he held her. Trust was accumulated quickly, due primarily to the brute strength of the man’s gentleness, his thereness. The girl knew from the outset that he’d always appear mid-scream, and he would not leave.” …(p 36)
“Liesel stood up and also raised her arm. With absolute misery, she repeated it. ‘Heil Hitler’. It was quite a sight – an eleven year old girl, trying not to cry on the church steps, saluting the Führer as the voices over Papa’s shoulder chopped and beat at the dark shape in the background.” …(p 126)
“He was the crazy one who had painted himself black and defeated the world.
She was the book thief without the words.
Trust me, though, the words were on their way, and when they arrived, Liesel would hold them in her hands like the clouds, and she would wring them out, like the rain.” …(p 85)
This story, these characters will stay with me for a very long time.