The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
April 28, 2013 § 5 Comments
“Like most misery, it started with apparent happiness.” – Markus Zusak, The Book Thief.
What has taken me so long to read this book? Why have I been delaying? Everyone ought to read The Book Thief, if you have not, you go and buy yourself the book right now. An easy read it covers some very serious themes – the WWII, the Nazi Germany, the Gestapo, the Jews, the bombings, and the words, the words that tell the story of life. I shy away from anything to do with war or unjustified dying which is ironic for someone who thinks about death and dying as much as I do. Yet this is a book I would like to forget so that I could come back and re-discover it again. ‘You know that book I am reading about Jews and Germans…’, I started one day, and a friend interrupted and said: ‘You mean the book about the girl, Liesel Meminger?’. Well which one is it then? The girl, the war, the death? Or the power of words?
On page 503 Mark Zusak writes: ‘She was holding desperately on to the words who had saved her life’. The words who…..I am no scholar but I know the language well enough to know you use ‘who’ when you talk about people, living beings, which is what words are in this book and perhaps anything less than that would not carry the story so successfully from page to page to one’s heart and memory. And perhaps it is a book about all of those things I mentioned previously, which is really where the power of it lies – written in such simple language (I read somewhere that most countries class it as young adult fiction – I agree) it had a massive effect on my adult take on life. There really is no need to over complicate reality – it all comes down to that last day on earth and all those shut eyes, and the last journey you take – will your soul sit up in the hands of Death? I am not sure mine would.