Sunday, March 10, 2013

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak re-read

I read this book for the first time February 2011. Here is my review at that time:
  • Very interesting premise. Death narrates the story of a small town in Germany during WWII. The characters are well-developed and the story is compelling. I'm not sure what I would change in order to make this a favorite, but I found it easy to put down at the end of the day. I doubt I will think of the book in the coming days, as it makes it way through me, as I do with those listed as my favorites. Nevertheless, I would most definitely recommend it.
What a short and concise, very non-emotional response to this book.

After reading it this time, I am struck. Or perhaps I should say ... stricken ... Posted on my Shelfari group:
I just finished The Book Thief and my heart is so heavy that I am simply going to have to go to bed and dream of feather hair, Jesse Owens, accordion players and the humanity of death.

My review this time: 5 looks and a heart

First of all, the narrator. Death is omnipresent and the most reliable of storytellers. I would call Death a "he" in that I read his words with a masculine voice, for some reason. He is deeply affected by human, by humanity and by The Book Thief, in particular. His statements are true, profound, amusing and utterly heart-gripping. He moves through WWII with a heavy heart, if that is possible. He is delicate and gentle with the souls he takes. He correlates the color of the sky as he takes soul after soul. He doesn't look at the people left behind, but busies himself with other sights, because those left behind haunt him. This is Death.

Next is Liesel, The Book Thief.  A young girl who is intimate with death, loss, love, fear ... far too many emotions for an eleven-year-old. Suffice it to say that she has lost everything she has ever loved.

The supporting characters are few, and very richly drawn. The first 400 pages of the book draws you into their lives and gives the reader the feeling of spending two years with them as Germany finally starts its fall. Some may find this slow-moving, but I felt that the superb writing and emotions elicited in the last third of the book make the detail well worth it. The reader truly becomes a character, as well.

Please, read this book. Buy it so you can read it again and again. Highlight passages and make notes. Buy it for a friend and invite them to do the same. It is deeply affecting and highly recommended.

No comments:

Post a Comment