Monday, June 25, 2007

The Book Thief

I am about two thirds done with the book, The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. I'm enthralled. The book jacket reads:

It's just a small story, really, about, among other things: a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist fighter, and quite a lot of thievery.

Narrated by death, Markus Zusak's groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a young foster girl living outside of Munich in Nazi Germany. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she discovers something she can't resist--books. Soon she is stealing books from Nazi book burnings, the mayor's wife's library, wherever they are to be found.

With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, Liesel learns to read and share her stolen books with her neighbors during the bombing raids, as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement.


I can't recommend this book highly enough. The fact that Death is the narrator is so intriguing and as a character, he (it?) has such a wry wit. And he's so sneaky about inserting irresistible bits of information about what's coming up in the story. It's maddening, but gripping at the same time. Several times have I been struck by the beauty of his simple sentences. I just spent fifteen minutes looking for this one that stuck out in my mind, but I couldn't find it. He was describing a Hitler Youth and said something like the pimples gathered in peer groups on his face. Isn't that fantastic?

I am so afraid I'm going to bawl like a baby when I get to the end. I have no idea whether things will end happily or not. Unfortunately, Death told me about the impending demise of one of my favorite characters, so I'm preparing for that scene. It's going to be heartwrenching. I just don't know who else is going to die.

Anyway, Read This Book.

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3 Comments:

Blogger Tempest Knight said...

Sounds interesting! I'll have to check it out.

7:03 AM  
Blogger Kate Willoughby said...

DO!!! It's supposed to be a YA book, but I think that's only because the heroine is a young girl. You might even be able to find it at the library.

10:11 AM  
Blogger Kate Willoughby said...

Lucky for me I was in the tub when I finished the book, so I was already all wet. Fantastic book, worth the tears.

10:19 PM  

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