Here’s a small fact:
You are going to die…
The Books Thief’s story catches your attention from the first page. Those first words just hit you without giving you the right to reply. You enter the world seen by Death (yes, Death is the narrator!), through the eyes of a child. When one piece of candy divided between two people ‘means a good life’ you start to look at things differently. Maybe you’ll look up at the sky and thank heaven for living today and not yesterday, not then.
I read this book breathlessly. I read it and I embraced fondly my bookcase. Through the book thief’s eyes, I felt the power of words and the love for books. Our main character’s passion came from a tragic accident. She was standing at her brother’s tomb when she found The Grave Digger’s Handbook. It was the first book Liesl Meminger put her hands on. In that moment her life changed. She couldn’t read, but then and there her love for books was ignited. The Grave Digger’s Handbook was the first book she had stolen, and, later, she read it with her stepfather. After learning how to read from him, she would continue to steal books. She would, in fact, steal words.
When somebody throws themselves into fire for a book, when they steel a book instead of food, when they read from those stolen books in order to appease a soul or give hope, then surely it’s about passion. It’s all about the power of words to create new worlds, it’s about the treasure that the reader is embracing.
Our main character, Liesl, is being watched by Death. Although Death seems to be admiring Liesl, she is not absolved of suffering. Markus Zusak manages to make Death a character that you cannot blame. At some point, it seems to be the savior. And maybe that’s the reason why when people you get to care for during the reading, suddenly disappear, you are somewhat reconciled.
It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country holds its’ breath. Death has never had more work, and will became even busier.
Just imagine the war, a lot of suffering, people dying. Hundreds, thousands, hundreds of thousands. Death bears them on her tireless arms. But this is not the idea of this book. We’ve heard about World War II, we’ve learned about it, we’ve read about Hitler and all the atrocities he committed. That period is in fact the structure of our story. This book is about the power of reading, about books being saviors. After reading this book, you’ll look differently at the ones you have, you’ll appreciate and love them more.
The Book Thief is about love, about friendship, about life and the will to survive. This book shows us what it means to be human, how to be strong. It teaches us about moving forward whatever happens.
I recommend you The Book Thief. It will haunt you as the narrator, Death, is haunted by us. ‘I am haunted by humans’, she says at the end.
in RO on Serial Readers
in EN on BookDepository (Free delivery worldwide)
PS. Have you seen the movie? I’m curious to know what do you think about it. Of course, the book is better, but I also loved the movie. Here is the trailer:
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