09 February 2010

The Book Thief

Rarely, very rarely, i read something and it makes me want to stop reading. I read something so wonderful and good that i don't want to spoil it by reading anything bad after it.

I read The Book Thief by Markus Zusak today. The narrator is Death and the book is set in Germany between 1939-1944 so i wasn't expecting a happy tale! Leisel is our book thief. She is nine when she steals a book she finds in a graveyard where her little brother is being buried. They were on the way to their foster home when the little boy died. Leisel finishes the trip and ends up at the home of Rosa and Hans Hubermann, an older couple with two grown children and no other foster kids. Rosa is loud and an expert in profanity while Hans is quiet and calm. They live in a suburb of Munich and are relatively poor.

As she begins to settle in she makes friends with her neighbor Rudy Stiener. Leisel learns to read from her new papa Hans and learns to steal with Rudy and the other kids in the neighborhood. At first the war doesn't affect her life much: she has to join the Hitler Youth and go to weekly meetings and food and goods are rationed. One day a man named Max appears at the Hubermann's home and changes everything for Liesel. He's Jewish and the son of the man who saved Hans' life in World War 1 so the Hubermann's take him in and hide him in their basement.

I finished it maybe an hour ago and i still kinda can't stop crying. I'm stopping and starting again when i think of a particular moment from the novel. You should really read this one. it started out a little choppy for me as i had to get used to Death's way of narration. There are lots of asides, interruptions, and forward and backtracking. You learn early on that certain characters will die and that doesn't detract from the book. My response at least was to savor them all the more. i can't recommend this one more highly. a 7.

Others: Maw Books, So Many Books, At Home with Books, MT TBR, Bookish Kitty, Bites, Tea Cozy, The Book Lady, Book a Week.


2 comments:

  1. Death was one of my favorite parts of this book...I loved his snarkiness.

    And I sobbed and sniffled my way to the end, too.

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  2. Wow, that is REALLY high praise! Sounds like a great book.

    ReplyDelete