The book thief

If Death speaks, you have to listen


The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, a book told by Death himself, that was a first for me to read.  I did want to know what he'd tell me about a foster child in nazi Germany.  Yet another holocaust story but with a fresh point of view.


Liesel Memminger is a 9-year old which is brought with her little brother to a suburb of Munich in 1939 to foster parents because her mother can't provide anymore for her.  During the train journey her little brother dies. She steals a fallen book from the undertakers that come to take her brother's body and her little treasure from her past is the start for a love of words & reading &...stealing books.

Although Death is extremely busy in the early 40ies, his path crosses Liesel's a few more times and so we learn more about her friendships with local street kids, the Jewish fugitive in the basement, the neurotic mayor's wife, life through the bombings, the soft heart hiding in her foster's mother hard shell, Mein Kampf getting a new start, hungry street gangs, a snowball fight in the basement, jews marching to nearby Dachau, ...

And together with Death, Liesel gains a place in our heart and with her also the other people living in Himmelstreet. Unfortunately , as can be expected by a holocaust story narrated by Death...it has no happy end.

But I found it original for its point of view and also the fact that it dealt with the live of Germans in Germany during the war and it managed to touch my heart & emotions deeply.

Comments

Brian Miller said…
hello...happy saturday...always looking for a good read and this sounds intriguing...
Lilacspecs said…
Ooh, ooh, I read this one a year or two ago and I thought it was incredible. Not only was I sobbing by the end, but as someone who has done a lot of reading about the holocaust, I found the perspective the author used to be very refreshing and unique.

If you like Zusak, try "I Am the Messenger". I liked that one too.