The Book Thief – my thoughts

book thief Author – Markus Zusak

Blurb –

HERE IS A SMALL FACT – YOU ARE GOING TO DIE…

1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier. Liesel, a nine-year-old girl, is living with a foster family on Himmel Street. Her parents have been taken away to a concentration camp. Liesel steals books. This is her story and the story of the inhabitants of her street when the bombs begin to fall.

SOME IMPORTANT INFORMATION – THIS NOVEL IS NARRATED BY DEATH

It’s a small story, about: a girl an accordionist some fanatical Germans a Jewish fist fighter and quite a lot of thievery.

ANOTHER THING YOU SHOULD KNOW – DEATH WILL VISIT THE BOOK THIEF THREE TIMES

My thoughts –

After some amazing reviews and recommendations by fellow book bloggers, I finally picked up this book and I am glad I did. Many thanks to all of you! 🙂

For me, there exists 2 types of books – one, which you connect with instantly and the other type, where you need to be patient & give it some time. The Book Thief was the second type for me and I took quite some time to finish reading it but I am glad I read slowly. Yes, the book takes its own time to grow into you, but once it does, it becomes a part of you. (So anyone who does not feel too interested in the beginning, do hang on there for a few more chapters and you will not be disappointed!) The characters are people who you start to know and love/hate and the reader starts living their lives along with them.

As Death started narrating the story, I was transported to Himmel Street and observed the life of Liesel, the book thief, from close quarters. The interesting thing about the book for me is that since it is being narrated by Death (thus lending a unique outlook to the happenings all around) and he (?) announced well in advance who is going to die – there was no element of shock in this matter but it was how and when it would happen, the dread, which made me read on. And I must mention it here that inspite of the lack of the surprise element, it was very effective nonetheless. This is a book which among many other things talks about human beings and their two sides – one of a ruthless and cruel and the other of hope & kindness & goodness.Though written in the times of Nazi Germany, it seldom talks directly about the atrocities of the Nazi or the poor state of affairs for the Jews but yes, both can be felt quite strongly in the book.

Another highlight of the book for me was the way the author shaped the different relationships throughout the story – how Papa & Liesel developed a special bond from the very 1st day which strengthened everyday, till the end and how Max and Liesel felt connected to each other after having a similar kind of background and nightmares and the like. Also, Liesel’s journey of discovering the world of words & finally graduating to a book thief would delight any book lover like me. 🙂

This is one book which enriched me and made me happy that such a book has been written and that I finally managed to read it! 🙂

Final words: It’s simply incredible! My review or my thoughts on the book I share here, I feel, can never do full justice to the book, so friends go ahead and grab a copy soon and be a part of this wonderful experience. 🙂

Some of the lines from the book that touched a chord somewhere:

# How do you give someone a piece of sky?

Lightly, he tapped her skull with his knuckles.

“Memorise it. Then write it down for him”.

# I want to cry. It is not for any sadness or pride. I just like the way they move and change. Sometimes I think my papa is an accordion. When he looks at me and smiles and breathes, I hear the notes.

#She tore a page from the book and ripped it in half.

Then a chapter.

Soon there was nothing but scraps of words littered between her legs and all around her. The words. Why did they have to exist? Without them, there wouldn’t be any of this. Without words, the Fuhrer was nothing. There would be no limping prisoners, no need for consolation or wordly tricks to make us feel better.

Note:

  1. The book was bought by me & the opinions expressed here are my own and unbiased.
  2. This review is linked to my Indian Quills Challenge, 2015 target & Goodreads Reading Challenge, 2015.
  3. Image & blurb source – Goodreads

 

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12 comments

    1. thanks GB! Reading it was such a nice experience! 🙂 You are one of the many others who motivated me to push it up in my TBR list…thanks again! 🙂
      BTW are you feeling little better now?

  1. What a wonderful review, one of the best I have read so far, of The Book Thief. I may have to pick up a copy and read it for myself. Hugs to you, my sweet friend.

  2. I adored this book. And I’m fairly sure I’ll never tire of reading it.
    A great review as always.
    And maybe you’ll want to see the movie adaptation if you haven’t thus far. It won’t disappoint.
    Cheers!

    1. This book is going to stay with me for long, that is for sure! 🙂
      I am lil’ wary about movie adaptation of books, but if you say so I might give it a try, whenever I get the opportunity.
      Thanks for dropping by Shelley! 🙂

  3. Loved the review! Incidentally, I am reading this book right now and have finished just a fourth of it! And I am loving how after a few pages something new unfolds. Can’t wait to finish 🙂

  4. Ah, this was a different kind of read and one that I will always cherish. It does grow on to you. The beginning was peculiar for me, too; but, by the end, I was touched. I saw the movie a couple years after I read the book. Both are worth experiencing once. 🙂

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