Sunday, February 15, 2009
The Book Thief :: Markus Zusak
The Book Thief
First of all, I'm bursting to tell you I loved this book. It takes place in Germany during World War II, and the narrator is Death. Okay, I know, Death? Death is a character in the book in that he retrieves souls (I imagine that I give him the male voice because the author is a man). The timing is significant because, as you know, there were a lot of souls up for grabs during this time period. He tells the story about Leisel. She is an abandoned foster child, who comes to live with a German family who hide a Jew. He gives the readers a glimpse into their relationships and the way they show love for one another without saying the words in a very trying time.
Anyways, Leisel, is a young girl positively starving for words. She is the book theif. The writing style leads you to imagine her actually eating the words, swallowing them up. As though the words alone sustain her. The book really made me feel things entirely, the rawness, the yearning, the constant sadness hanging in the air.
I am a word lover. This book is filled with describing terms that take you there. I dog-eared some pages, I'm typically reluctant to do this, books are kind of a religon to me - but it was that or the high-lighter was coming out.
"the minutes soaked by..."
"the sky is blue today there is a long cloud stretched out like a rope. At the end of it, the sun is like a yellow hole..."
"the cherries of blood had grown into plums."
"a lemon candle stood below the branches."
The words were so satisfying. I felt like a bit of a theif myself, stealing these delicious words for my own.
I stayed up way past bedtime last night because I could not bear to not know how Leisel's adventure would end. I finished her story today. I don't want to say too much, I would love to hear what others think about the peculiar chapter "set-ups" and the dry humor of Death.
I soaked up every palpable detail, and I hope you do too.