My Rating - 4 out of 5 starsPublisher - Penguin Random House
Genre - Fiction
Publishing year - 2005
Language - English
ISBN - 978-1-909-53161-1
Pages - 584
Book Review -
When Death tells a Story, You Really Have to Listen.
Australian author Markus Zusak wrote The Book Thief in 2005. This edition is published to celebrate the book's tenth anniversary, including the author's interview and some unknown facts about his writing process and take on the character's life.
During World War II, the plot is set, where a little girl named Liesel Meminger reached Himmel Street, Molching, to live with his foster parents, Rosa and Hans Hubermann. The story is narrated by Death which makes it a unique read. At first, Liesel having trouble living with her new family, but soon she realized that this is her home and no one is coming to take her.
She starts acquainting with the people of Himmel Street and becomes a best friend with Rudy Steiner. He protected Liesel on more than one occasion and proved to be a loyal friend. They both play together and steal together. When the mayor's wife terminates Rosa's services, Liesel got angry and started stealing books from Ilsa Hermann's home library. But this was not the first time when she steals a book. It all started way before she came to Molching. That's why Death refers to Liesel as The Book Thief.
Hubermann's belonged to a poor part of Germany, so there were always some issues they were facing, but one night they faced an imminent threat when a stranger entered their house, Max Vandenburg. He was the son of Han's friend and a Jew. It was the time when Nazi parties following the order of Hitler; brutally killing Jews and helping one is a serious crime. But the Hubermann family gave shelter to Max, and Liesel got a new friend. A friend who hides in the basement for more than two years.
Markus Zusak wrote a story that destroys the readers. I don't think anyone wanted to live in Nazi Germany, but the characters exist there and go through all up and down. Some characters are selfless, and some are confused and egotistical, but they all want to survive. Will they? Death will come after everyone, and you knew your beloved character would be going to die from the start.
I never read a book based on world war, and The Book Thief was sitting on my shelf for a long time. I felt a lot of different emotions while reading this book. The narration was splendid, and seldom I felt the whole story is playing in front of me. When I read Max's tales and illustrations, I only think about how hard it was for the Jews during Hitler's regime.
The language is lucid and heart-touching. I wanted to read more battle sections and aftermath destructions, but the story lacks it. The book is lengthy, but it could have been more satisfying if the author didn't introduce irrelevant characters and concentrated on Max more. Liesel was the main character, but I think what will happen if Max was the protagonist? How will the story turn out?
The story portrays the Nazis' brutalities and the life of the German people who left to grieve their loved ones. The lost innocence, grief, selfless love, violence, cruelty is some of the key themes of The Book Thief. Overall, I enjoy reading this book and recommend it because it held a special place in my heart.
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