Friday, August 5, 2011

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

What an intense, beautiful, openhearted and tender book. I got so lost in this young girl's story that it was jarring to be brought back to the present by the narrator's voice reminding me that Death is actually the one telling it. Sounds grim, doesn't it? Well, it is and it isn't. People are the ones with the capacity to love or hate, nurture or destroy. Death only makes an appearance to gently remove the soul from the body once people have finished their work. In the case of eleven-year-old Liesel Meminger and the family that raised her, the young Jewish fellow they saved, and the woman who allowed Liesel to 'steal' books, he has witnessed humans' capacity for kindness and has chosen to tell her story.

With her three books standing upright on the table, as if in conversation, Liesel was silently mouthing the words as she read from one of them. pg113

Books everywhere! Each wall as armed with overcrowded yet immaculate shelving. It was barely possible to see the paintwork. There were all different styles and sizes of lettering on the spines of the black, red, the grey, the every-coloured books. It was one of the most beautiful things Liesel Meminger had ever seen.
With wonder she smiled.
That such a room existed! pg145

Steadily, the room shrank, till the book theif could touch the shelves within a few small steps. She ran the back of her hand along the first shelf, listening to the shuffle of her fingernails gliding across the spinal cord of each book. It sounded like an instrument, or the notes of running feet. She used both hands. She raced them. One shelf against the other. And she laughed. Her voice was sprawled out, high in her throat, and when she eventually stopped and stood in the middle of the room, she spent many minutes looking from the shelves to her fingers and back again. pg146


Alexis @ Reflections of a Bookaholic said...

I've been meaning to read this for so long. It makes me sad that I still haven't. Thanks for reminding me. I feel like I am missing out.

Trish said...

It was on my TBR shelf for a long time too. I've seen this on so many 'favorites' lists and it sounded so intriguing I just knew I had to give it a try (although hype isn't always a guarantee of anything, really) But I liked this book even more than I expected to.

Tracy said...

I read this book for bookclub a few years ago - generally I liked it, except for the ending!

Trish said...

The ending was intense, wasn't it? I had no idea what would happen.

Sam said...

Agreed, this is a special book. I'm glad you enjoyed it as much as I did.