The Book Thief

I have had the fortune of reading some good books and these include famous ones, such as LOTR, Harry Potters, the Millenium Trilogy. Those were great stories told in a captivating manner. But, it was the stories that kept me engaged. I continue to be mesmerized by To Kill a Mockingbird for the strong story and the simplicity of the writing!

A couple of months ago, I decided to send a book as a gift to a young girl in India. This time, however, I decided to take a chance, trust my ability to interpret web reviews, and send a book that I have not read previously. Among the many books reviewed on the web, two caught my attention:

  1. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  2. Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Journey to Change the World…One Child At A Time – Young Reader’s Edition by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin

I sent her “Three Cups of Tea…” and I have not yet read it.

But, recently, I managed to read and listen (audio CD), The Book Thief myself. The fictional story is about a young girl growing in Nazi Germany, meeting many people, and learning a few things about life as she is stealing books to read.

No other book has managed to fascinate me this much in recent memory.

Among many things, this is a thought-provoking book: I think it is about reading; It is about the power of words and the realization of what can be achieved through them.

“”Blood leaked from her nose and licked at her lips. Her eyes had blackened. Cuts had opened up and a series of wounds were rising to the surface of her skin. All from words. From Liesel’s words.”

I was immediately hooked on by the spectacular writing style, an engaging play of words, and the metaphoric poetic language. The formatting is very different – I have never read a book formatted this way. It has one line paragraphs, incorrect (?) sentences –  “The sound of an explosion.”, one page chapters – all designed very carefully and thoughtfully. The cover page with the dominoes is brilliant!

I wished the book never ended.

And it sure makes an enjoyable read if the narrator is Death and he says things such as the following:

  • “It kills me sometimes, how people die.”
  • On War: “A small but noteworthy note. I’ve seen so many young men over the years who think they’re running at other young men. They are not. They are running at me.”