“First the colours.
Then the humans.
That’s usually how I see things.
Or at least, how I try.
Here is a Small Fact
You are going to die.”
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak left me without words. After reading the final page in this beautiful creation I had to take some time to just sit and review in my mind what I had just experienced. Yes, experienced. This piece of wonder has quickly become my favourite book.
“People observe the colours of a day only at its beginnings and ends, but to me it’s quite clear that a day merges through a multitude of shades and intonations with each passing moment. A single hour can consist of thousands of different colours. Waxy yellows, cloud-spot blues. Murky darkness. In my line of work, I make it a point to notice them.”
The Book Thief is a very different choice for me, as you’ve seen over the past few weeks I’ve been reading a lot from the dystopian genre, usually I read fantasy and occasionally science fiction but this is historic fiction and therefore not something I’m used to. The blurbs and descriptions of the book are vague and simple which actually attracted me to the book, I really had no idea what to expect.
Narrated by Death, The Book Thief tell of the story of Leisel Meminger, a young girl growing up in Nazi Germany. Her parents have been taken to a concentration camp and she goes to live with her foster parents in Himmel Street. Liesel steals books and spends time with Max and really I can’t tell you much more. You need to read The Book Thief for yourself to discover it’s wonderful beauty.
“It’s a small story, about: a girl, an accordionist, some fantatical Germans, a Jewish fist fighter, and quite a lot of thievery. Another thing you should know – Death will visit the Book Thief three times.”
WHAT DID I THINK?
The Book Thief is the most beautifully lyrical novel I have ever had the pleasure of reading. Zusak’s imagery is absolutely wonderful and has left impressions in my mind that I don’t wish to lose. Though it is not a fast read, it is almost impossible to put down when you begin. I picked it up on breaks at work and there were definitely a few times I was late back from my break due to this book.
The concept of using Death to narrate the book is inspired, and gives a third person viewpoint a whole new absorbing twist. I honestly believe that The Book Thief is something that everyone should read, it will have you laughing and leave you crying, it will fill you with beauty and wonder and it will entirely consume you as though nothing else matters until this book is read.
This book will make you pity Death.
WHAT IS MY RATING?
Could I give it any less than five stars? The Book Thief is a beautiful story that compelled me to read even though I’m not usually a fan of historical fiction. It broke my heart and invited me to see the wonder of colours in the sky.
I would recommend this to older teens and adults alike, this book will teach you to see the world in a new way.
If you liked ‘The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas’ by John Boyne or ‘I am the Messenger’ by Markus Zusak you’ll love this.
WHERE CAN YOU GET IT?
You can get The Book Thief in paperback or eBook from Amazon: The Book Thief
The Book Thief film is due to be released in cinemas in the UK on 31st January 2014, find out more here.
You can watch the trailer below: