Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Book Thief

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

I could say that this book made me cry. That wouldn't be quite accurate. The last 30 minutes of reading, I was sobbing. The words were literally swimming through my tears. Maybe I just don't cry enough in life and then I am inundated by the un-felled tears in the few times that something strikes me simultaneously so beautiful and so sad at the same time.

This book is the story of a young girl living in Germany. It takes place during the years just before World War II and the early years of the war itself. It is the tale of a young girl who is just living a young girl's life during that time. The story is of her life with her foster parents. It begins with her mother and brother and they are traveling on a train toward her new foster home. This young girl becomes the book thief.

The narrator of the story is death. The story without this narrator would be a good one. With the perspective offered by the narrator, it becomes a great story. Death often offers tidbits of information regarding his role in a certain city at a certain time. Death offers commentary on the Fuhrer and his minions. Death's perspective of the fate and ultimate death of humans is one of detachment and offers beauty and brutality together.

The visuals in the book are wonderful. People and the weather are described in ways that are easy to imagine in my mind. The author is not verbose using excessive adjectives. Rather, he describes people and the weather just as a young girl, the book thief, would describe them. It is childlike but effective and lovely.

After this book, I think I need to take a book break for a bit. This is one of those books that needs to simmer for a day or so before I can start something new. I highly recommend this book.

P.S. I just had an awful thought. I was thinking that someone out there will think that this would make a great movie. It won't. The movie industry will not be able to pull it off. Please don't make a movie of this book, you will not be able to do it justice and the movie will suck.

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