Tuesday, March 9, 2010
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak - Review
Review contributed by Brent C.
This book is quite deceptive, it starts slow and centers on characters whom you really don't care about nor have any emotion invested in. You keep expecting the 'whammo' from the Holocaust to hit you over the head just as you're internally wincing over the sure-to-come descriptions of how stark, colorless and horrible those days in Germany were.
Not to say those things aren't present, not at all. But the realization comes without warning or preamble that you DO care about the characters and as the pages come to an end you want to hear more about that stark, colorless, horrible world.
The narration winds it's way around the prose in a beautiful way, the author has a voice that's at once soothing and horrifying. There's a beauty in the author's choice of words here, although it's hard to explain I want more of it.
The story itself is beautiful and simple. It's simply about a small girl and her adopted family and how they come to terms with their lives and how they impact others in Nazi Germany.
We may haunt the narrator, but his story will haunt me for a long time to come.
(From Product Description):
It’s just a small story really, about among other things: a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery. . . .
Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak’s groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement before he is marched to Dachau.
This is an unforgettable story about the ability of books to feed the soul.