The Book Thief (Hardback)
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DescriptionThe extraordinary #1 "New York Times" bestseller that is now a major motion picture, Markus Zusak's unforgettable story is about the ability of books to feed the soul. It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still. Liesel Meminger is a foster girl living outside of Munich, who 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. In superbly crafted writing that burns with intensity, award-winning author Markus Zusak, author of "I Am the Messenger, " has given us one of the most enduring stories of our time.
- Published: 14 March 2006
- Format: Hardback 552 pages
- ISBN 13: 9780375831003 ISBN 10: 0375831002
- Sales rank: 2,738
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Reviews for The Book Thief
It will make you cry, think, wonder...and once again believe in Mankind
Well, this is a story about a young girl named Liesel and about her life in Nazi Germany. The story is narrated by Death, which I loved, because the narration sounded like a fairytale. But don't go thinking now this is going to be just another sad story about a Jewish girl in a German Concentration Camp..because Liesel is German, yet her mother and father are communists and she and her brother have to leave home. They are supposed to be adopted by another German family, living in Molchin, in the poorest Himmel street. Everywhere Liesel goes...Death follows her. She loses her 3 years younger brother Werner on their way to their new home (at Hubermann family) and that's when it happens...The pain..the loss..the first crime little Liesel commits. She steals a book while she and her mother are burying the body of her brother, sweet little Werner. Steeling books becomes her passion...her way of remembering things, of her brother which she recently lost, her mother whom she will never see again. Each word contained in every stolen book will give her the strength to survive those days of pain, sufferings, poverty.
Behind this lovely story stands a big message, but I wouldn't go that far in spoiling the surprise for you. I will just tell you it's a perfect book, with lovely characters, each adorable in it's own way. Liesel, her new mother and father (Rosa and Hans Hubermann), her best friend Rudy Steiner...and a mysterious man that will change the course of her life. Even if you don't like historical fiction, you will definitely like this one.
I wish I could give it 10 stars. 5 stars seems a bit underestimating, but I can't change the rules around here. This is a story that will make you cry, think, wonder...and once again believe in Mankind. by This Chick Reads
- Top review
The Book Thief is the fifth novel by Australian author, Markus Zusak. The setting is Nazi Germany just before the start of World War Two, through to 1943, and the story is narrated by Death. Death was decidedly overworked during the war, but he informs the reader that he saw young Liesel Meminger three times in those years before he finally took her much later. Liesel comes to 33 Himmel Strasse in Molchen to foster parents Rosa and Hans Hubermann, having just lost her younger brother, Werner to Death's grasp. Cranky Rosa keeps the family fed with her washing and ironing service while kind Hans paints when it is needed, plays the accordion and teaches Liesel to read, all on the background of deprivation, anxiety and fear that is wartime Germany. The anxiety level rises when Max Vandenburg, a Jew, comes to hide in the basement. But the presence of this unassuming man also helps to expand Liesel's experience of reading and of life. With her best friend, Rudy Steiner, Liesel embarks on a career of thievery, starting with apples but graduating, eventually, to books from the Mayor's library, although her first books are acquired in quite a different manner. This much-awarded, best-selling novel looks at war from a different perspective: the effects it has on ordinary people trying to lead ordinary lives in an ordinary town. While the Fuhrer and Mein Kampf play integral parts, illustrating the use of words for evil, the emphasis is on the struggle of the common man (and woman) to do the right thing in a dangerous environment. Zusak's characters have depth and appeal (even cranky Rosa): the banter between them often lifts the tension from serious moments with some quite black humour. Zusak is skilful with his imagery and wordplay: "He was teenage tall and had a long neck. Pimples gathered in peer groups on his face." and "She imagined the sound of a police siren throwing itself forward and reeling itself in. Collecting itself." are just two examples. The illustrations by Trudy White are a charming enhancement to the text. This novel has brutality, but it also has beauty. The narration style may take a little getting used to, but the reader who perseveres is rewarded with a wonderful experience. Very moving. by Marianne Vincent