'It's just a small story, really, about among other things: a girl, some words, an accordionist, a Jewish fist fighter, and quite a lot of thievery . ...Show synopsis'It's just a small story, really, about among other things: a girl, some words, an accordionist, a Jewish fist fighter, and quite a lot of thievery ...' This work is narrated in the all-knowing matter-of-fact voice of Death, witnessing the story of the citizens of Himmel Street: When nine-year-old Liesel arrives outside the boxlike house of her new foster parents, she refuses to get out of the car. Liesel has been separated from her parents - 'Kommunists' - for ever, and at the burial of her little brother, she steals a gravedigger's instruction manual which she can't read. It is the beginning of her illustrious career. In the care of the Hubermans, Liesel befriends blond-haired Rudy Steiner, her neighbour obsessed with Jesse Owens. She also befriends the mayor's wife, who hides from despair in her library. Together Liesel and Rudy steal books - from Nazi book burning piles, from the mayor's library, from the richer people of Molching. In time, the family hide a Jewish boxer, Max, who reads with Liesel in the basement.. By 1943, the Allied bombs are falling, and the sirens begin to wail. Liesel shares out her books in the air-raid shelters. But one day in the life of Himmel street, the wail of the sirens comes too late...A life-changing tale of the cruel twists of fate and the coincidences on which all our lives hinge, this is also a joyous look at the power of book to nourish the soul. Its uplifting ending will make all readers weep.Hide synopsis
The Book Thief (Bodley Head Children's Books) – Hardcover (2006)
Hardcover, Bodley Head Children's Books 2006
ISBN: 037032921X ISBN-13: 9780370329215
It is 1939, Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still. By her brother's graveside, Liesel Meminger's life is changed when she picks up a single object, partially hidden in the snow. It is "The Gravedigger's Handbook", left there by accident, and it is her first act of book thievery. So begins a love affair with books and words, as Liesel, with the help of her foster father, learns to read. Soon, she is stealing books from Nazi book-burnings, the mayor's wife's ...Show moreIt is 1939, Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still. By her brother's graveside, Liesel Meminger's life is changed when she picks up a single object, partially hidden in the snow. It is "The Gravedigger's Handbook", left there by accident, and it is her first act of book thievery. So begins a love affair with books and words, as Liesel, with the help of her foster father, learns to read. Soon, she is stealing books from Nazi book-burnings, the mayor's wife's library, wherever there are books to be found. But these are dangerous times. When Liesel's foster family hides a Jew in their basement, Liesel's world is both opened up, and closed down. "The Book Thief" is a story about the power of words and the ability of books to feed the soul. In superbly crafted writing that burns with intensity, award-winning author, Markus Zusak has given us one of the most enduring stories of our time.Hide
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How does a person review a book that is so beautiful, and yet contains such horrible language that I would now shudder to even mention the book to anyone? 1 star it is.
The premise of 'The Book Thief' lures you in. It's a story told from the persona of Death during WWII. Piece by piece, the story of Liesel Meminger comes together, as revealed by Death.
"It's just a small story, really, about, among other things:
- A girl
- Some words
- An accordionist
- Some fanatical Germans
- A Jewish fist fighter
- And quite a lot of thievery"
Yes, it's a book to quote from. The author's writing style is definitely unique. Everyone will find that particular sentence which tingles inside of them. Actually, it's a story hidden within poetic prose. The poignancy and heartfelt emotion hold time still while you read. Sometimes the writer takes a moment away from the storyline to create an announcement to the reader --- just a bonus sentence in the page's middle, set off from the other paragraphs, to describe the scene in a more direct way. It's a fascinating writing style, but, Mr. Zusak, did you have to include such filthy words?
Eye-opening in several areas, the book marches you through WWII right alongside Liesel and her foster family, after she loses her own. I must say that most books concerning WWII are always from the point of view of the Jews, the persecuted, or the other sympathetic allies. However, this story reveals itself from the perspective of the everyday German families who were hurt by their own countrymen. What heartbreak they experienced around them, forced on by their Nazi neighbors.
As reflected in the title of the book, there is something to be gained by the power of words. Liesel finds that power within herself, and she aims to do something with that growing ability.
I wish I could read it all over again, minus about a tenth of the book to remove the worst of the rotten language.
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak has become my FAVORITE book. Having studied WWII Germany and the Holocaust for many years, I was able to relate to the story intimately. For me, it was one of those books I just couldn't put down.
This was one of my favorite books that I read last year. Do you guys know of other books like this? They don't have to be about war or the Holocaust (though of course that's OK), but books that are similarly creative and captivating. Please let me know. Thanks!
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