Sunday, July 3, 2011
the book thief by Markus Zusak
This may be one of the best books I have ever read.
First published in 2005 its subject was just not my thing and so I never ever picked it up, it was recently a Book Club Pick so I nabbed a copy and never put it down.
Set in Germany during WWII, it tells the story of Liesel, her family, neighbours and her wonderful love affair with books. Narrated by Death it is lyrical, captivating, horrifying and redeeming, the words dance, they skip, they rush, they drag, they pull you along into a time and a place that is so hard to describe, na time when the normalcy of humanity is turned on its head, infected with hatred and yet such grace. Such dignity and such compassion run right alongside all the Nazi atrocities with beautifully drawn characters no matter their views and actions and it shows us that fear of the magnitude of that which Hitler inflicted on all Germans can result in behaviour that only the strongest can survive. It also shows us that Hitler failed to wipe out the power of love and compassion and even in the hardest of times a kind of life was lived and that joy could still be found.
The books power lies in its ability to entrust the reader to challenge their own perceptions, to absorb life experiences that are not their own and to realise the magnificent power of the written word.
If you haven't read this book, please do.