Monday, May 25, 2009
THE BOOK THIEF
TITLE: THE BOOK THIEF
AUTHOR: MARKUS ZUSAK
Details: Re-read for library Book Club
This is still one of the most beautiful and thought-provoking books I have ever read. It didn't lose any of its power during this second reading. In fact, I was sorry I had to rush a bit in order to finish it in time for the book club meeting tomorrow. I would have liked to take more time, to treasure the story and certain segments and sentences in it.
This is a book that deserves to be lingered over, a story that requires contemplation and thought. If a country goes to war and commits horrendous acts, does that mean that all the people living there are bad? Do small acts of unlawfulness (book stealing) cancel out a good heart? Why does heartbreak seem to follow some people around and why is there no reward for goodness?
This is the story of Liesel who is 10 years old when in 1939 she is brought to live with a foster family because her parents are (deemed to be) communists. On the way to her new home in Himmel street her brother dies and she steals her first book.
On Himmel street she finds love, friendship and more opportunities to steal books. She also encounters how evil and cruel people can be, how doing the right thing can leave you scared and in danger and discovers the pain connected with loosing everything.
A few quotes (from a possible multitude):
"The Germans in basements were pitiable, surely, but at least they had a chance. That basement was not a washroom. They were not sent there for a shower. For those people, life was still achievable."
"There were people everywhere on the city street, but the stranger could not have been more alone if it had been empty."
"I wanted to explain that I am constantly overestimating and underestimating the human race - rarely do I ever simply estimate it. I wanted to ask her how the same thing could be so ugly and so glorious, and its words so damning and brilliant."