Author: Markus Zusak
Publisher: Knopf Books
Published on: March 14, 2006
Genre: Historical Fiction, Fantasy
Synopsis (via Goodreads):
It’s just a small story really, about among other things:
some fanatical Germans,
a Jewish fist-fighter,
and quite a lot of thievery. . . .
Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak’s groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement before he is marched to Dachau.
Historical fiction is one of the genres that made me fall deeply in love with reading. The Book Thief is probably now my favorite book of the said genre. Honestly, it’s the first book that I’ve finished this year due to my self-diagnosed reading slump.
And I must say, what a way to start my reading for 2016. So here’s my thoughts:
First with the writing. You know when you read or hear someone speak about something and you just see it? Like the words literally painted a picture for you to see? We all get that a lot when reading right? Now, that is exactly what I felt the whole time about the writing. It was totally engaging. The words alone stole my heart.
Now with the characters. To have death as the narrator is interestingly captivating! In my opinion it gave the story an additional depth. It’s actually one of the reasons why I love this book. Then we have our protagonist, Liesel Meminger. I get why death is particularly drawn to this girl. For me Liesel is somewhat the child in all of us. The way words captivated her soul and heart. The way books offered her solace and joy.
She was an interesting character to read. Her relationship with the other characters showed how strong-willed she is. I just have to mention how deeply moved I am with the bond she has for her Papa and Rudy. It was both happy and sad.
And of course the plot. Probably the most emotional I’ve ever been in my lifetime of reading.
This book is poignant, brutally honest yet tragically beautiful. I know that I don’t have much to say about Nazi Germany but I live in the Philippines and once in our history we were also ruled by a dictator. I’m fortunate to have not experienced the brutality, the loss of freedom and the oppression that happened during the reign of these dictators. However, the truth survives in the words of the people who were there. And words are passed on through pen and paper. And just like this book, it may not show us exactly what happened but it somehow manages to show us a glimpse of what it was like during those times. I have to say that this book maybe fiction but there is truth behind every story. This book allows the reader not to be blind about certain things. Also it reminds us how powerful words can be and just like what this book says, words will always be an integral part of one’s soul.
I gave it a 5 out of 5 stars in Goodreads