The Book Thief by Markus Zusac

October 6, 2009
More by this author
The Book Thief
Alfred A. Knopf, New York 550 pgs.

By Markus Zusak
ISBN 978-0-375-84220-7

Have you ever wondered what death thinks about people dying? If you said yes then The Book Thief by Markus Zusak is for you. The Book Thief is an amazing work of historical fiction unlike anything else I have ever read. It tells the story of Liesel Meminger. Our story begins in a boxcar in Germany, in the year of 1939, and the occasion is her brother’s death from then on death will follow her. Making death the perfect narrator for this great story. At her brothers graveside she finds the grave diggers handbook and keeps it making it her first book. After this she is picked up by her foster mother Rosa Huberman, who teaches her a lot of knew vocabulary. Then she learns to read by her foster father, Hans Huberman’s helpful patience, and sweet accordion. This starts her reading career and along the way she befriends Rudy, the boy in her neighborhood. Her next exploit occurs at a Nazi book burning when she steals a forbidden book. Then she pulls a crowd together in a basement during a bombing with her skills of literacy then she steals a few books from the mayor’s wife’s library, whose son died when he was very young. However she risks everything for books when she steals from the mayor’s wife’s library.

Even in a risky time her father could never break a promise and takes a Jewish friends son, Max into his basement. You will be shaken by the disastrous ending that takes your breath away with genius.

In my opinion The Book Thief is an amazing book that everyone over 10 should read. Zusak is an appropriate author to write this story as his mother was raised in Munich and his father grew up in Austria both during World War Two. The main reason that I enjoyed The Book Thief is that the characters were so touching especially, Liesel a smart little German girl, and Hans Huberman a happy accordionist and step father, and Mark a wise Jewish man who lives in her basement. These characters made me laugh and made my heart race. What was the most attractive to me about this book was that it told a very different story from an even more different perspective. The most intelligent thing Zusak does with death is his use of flash backs and statements one example is when Zusak writes:
A train was moving quickly
. It was packed with humans.
A six year old boy died in the third carriage.”
Zusaks writing though dark is a good book to read on vacation although it is extremely dark. The reason I believe this is that I wanted to read as much of it as I could at once. This is why I think everyone should read the Book Thief.

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