The Book Thief – Markus Zusak

Feb 09

The Book Thief – Markus Zusak

Fair warning: Markus Zusak’s tale will break your heart.

You simply must read this book if you love words, if you are compassionate, if you insist on great literature for your bookshelf, and if you wish to keep history alive. The Book Thief is the story of Liesel, a young girl living in Molching in Nazi-Era Germany. Liesel learns to read through sheer will and the utter dedication of her stepfather, in the most unimaginable circumstances. She meets her best friend Rudy, who becomes a perfect partner in crime.

One of the most interesting aspects of the book is the narrator: Death. Death has a subdued, weary attitude about the human race; he is far too busy and he becomes fascinated by the fortitude of young Liesel and the quality people she is surrounded by. He keeps a diary. His interjections throughout the book are thought provoking and expertly written.  When describing a sort-of perfect summer before everything goes the way of war, Death observes Leisel’s wonderings  in the following way:

“***AND THE NOMINEES ARE…***

1. Advancing through The Shoulder Shrug every night.

2. Reading on the floor of the mayor’s library.

3. Playing soccer on Himmel Street.

4. The seizure of a different stealing opportunity.”

Genius.

You know this story involves Hitler and Nazis, so you know there is no happy ending here. I was crying so hard I could not breathe at one point. Mr. Zusak takes an old (Important!) topic and pairs it with with a love of literature in a completely fresh way. Read it now, arm yourself with copious amounts of tissue.

3 comments

  1. Tracie Crites /

    Your analysis couldn’t be more spot on! I adored this book and will consider it a classic for eternity. The story itself was painfully sad, and Liesel’s relationship with Max brought me to a pathetic sob of pure heartbreak. Beautiful colors and vivid words by Mr. Zusak. Lovely. Thank you for the recommendation!

  2. Sandwich Gal /

    Thanks, Sis. They did a pretty decent job with the movie.

  3. I enjoyed reading this book, because of the fresh perspective that the author brought. It was thought provoking and interesting the way he described things, especially the color of the sky among many other things. He developed the characters very strongly, but I was a little disappointed with the ending. All in all an excellent book and I would highly recommend reading..

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  1. 2014- My Favorite Reads and Eats - SandBookWich - […] The Book Thief-Markus Zusak paints a heartbreaking tale of a young girl in Hitler-Era Germany. I decide to maybe…
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