The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

April 28, 2013 § 5 Comments

The Book Thief

The Book Thief

“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.

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§ 5 Responses to The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

  • Anonymous says:

    …because you are not ready and it’s not your time.

  • Anonymous says:

    Everytime I am cought by surprise when realise how different people see and feel, maybe understant is the right word here, different things reading the same words. I was overhelmed by love she experienced in her foster parents house. And even if the words saved her life quite litarally, I believe, that unpretented love and strong morals of her foster father taught her how to simply live and love, which is equaly important. Because to be saved means to be able to love. And Liesel did, after all tragedies that happened to her, she did learn to love.

    • biblepanic says:

      Oh yes, love in this book is something other, Liesel and Ilsa, Liesel and Papa, Liesel and Mama, Liesel and Rudy and Liesel and Max, Liesel and Death even – each and every story is wrapped in layers and layers of kindness, love, humility. This is why I do not think my soul would sit up when the time comes – this is the real power people hold, this ability to know and do the right thing in a moment of crisis, to love in such a way that it saves a nation.

  • jocelynr says:

    Why DID it take you so long to read this book?! Havent i been saying it for months already?! haha. Glad you finally did. Your review is superbly written. Words do have life of their own: ‘words who’ (could it be, perhaps, because in the beginning the Word became flesh? and, ultimately, the Word embodies love? Ach, as a writer i adore that thought!)

    • biblepanic says:

      Life (or death) took over 🙂 I could not force it to leave sooner. But I did and I am recommending it to anyone who would listen, a wonderful wonderful book. Hehe and yes, it is your recommendation that made me buy it 🙂 One thing is certain with Zusak’s writing – it’s much more multilayered than it looks at a first glance.

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