Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Book Thief

By Markus Zusak

I made the mistake of finishing this book at bedtime. Sleep was not forthcoming. My mind kept mulling over the people in this book, what happened to them, their courage, their spirit. I ended up having to get out of bed and go get a cup of tea. I was up most of the night. Consequently I feel like a dead duck in a thunder storm.

It's all your fault Markus. It's all your fault for crafting such a remarkable novel. It's all your fault for making me care so much about these people, about Liesel, and Rudy, and Max, and Mama and Papa. It's all your fault for making me think about the plight of the ordinary German trying to survive in war-time Germany. It's all your fault for making me care about Death.

Damn you.


Tania Roxborogh said...

Great isn't it. I was a bit taken aback by the narrative at first because it seemed a little disjointed but then death, like God, sees events out of time (or differently to we mortals). I am absolutely convinced she ends up with the jew as her husband - I think there's enough evidence. Mackenna isn't so sure. And, death is such an interesting character.

BookieMonster said...

Isn't it a wonderful book? I really liked the perspective being from ordinary German people - there is so much available to us from the Allied perspective (the old "history is written by the victors" truism) that I think people forget that the German people weren't all "evil Nazi monsters" of popular film, etc, but also ordinary people living and dying in exceptional circumstances, just like so many during that time. We all like to think we'd be the one who would stand up to the majority, who would swim against the tide - but would we?
Death reminded me a lot of Death in Terry Pratchett's Discworld books - likeable, even in death/Death.
I have I Am the Messenger on my Mt ToBeRead, and I'm really looking forward to it.

Vanda Symon said...

It's a fabulous book. we don't seem to see many books portraying the experiences of the ordinary German during wartime. The only other one I can think of off-hand is Philip Temple's I am Always With You.

I haven't read any of the Discworld books. I always meant to, but somehow there are so many books, so little time.

I'm with you, Tania, on the husband stakes...

BookieMonster said...

Ooooh if there was one author I would urge everyone to make time for it's Terry Pratchett. Discworld series is wonderful - clever and funny and satirical and lots of plain fun! and I would highly recommend Nation, which was his new book last year, but is a stand-alone.

Vanda Symon said...

I'll start with Nation, then. I've written it in my book notebook (the one I always forget to take to the book shop with me)