Author: Markus Zusak
Publisher: Random house India
Price: Rs 350
Genre: Historic fiction
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Buy The book thief from Flipkart.com
Buy The book thief from Amazon.com
Narrated by death, the novel is about Liesel meminger's life from childhood ,losing her brother on the way to her foster family...She discovers a book on the grave of her brother and there begins a vicious circle of her stealing books..The book is set during the Nazi Germany with all its horrible state of affairs by Hitler's regime....
I put of the book at page one as death narrates the story, I didn't want this kind of read on a weekend but somehow picked it up..Trust me its an easy read in spite of dealing with a ghastly subject such as holocaust..
And I read on "Even death has heart"..
I was wondering what more can the author possibly write that would set the author different from what had been written earlier..But author doesn't really describe the holocaust straight but picks up characters weaves story around the protagonist Liesel Meminger, her observations, her thoughts and her experiences that in turn helps the reader paint a perfect snapshot of the Nazi atrocities..Death itself has different shades to offer, every death reflects a different colour and so does Liesel meminger's life..She loses her brother and is haunted by the death ever since, forced to live on a life with foster parents' she develops a warm relation with her foster dad Hans Huberman..He is a spirited man staying awake all night till Liesel is able to get back to sleep after her haunting dreams..He gifts Liesel used books on her birthday in exchange of his stock of cigarettes..He sends across a feeling of a wonderful teddy bear that a kid cuddles on..The important part is protagonist's love for words and the urge to learn ,like she puts it "I have hated words and I love them and I hope that I have made them right"...Her first book was grave digger's guide an accidental possession that she holds on as a memorial of her brother's death..This becomes her defining part of personaity later stealing books in an organised way yet not being a ruthless thief, she does it all for the love of her reading..Uneducated for her age she forces herself into reading with the help of Hans Huberman her foster dad..The book is not only about suffering and dread but also celebration of courage, friendship and trust..Liesel finds a lasting friendhip and love in Rudy Steiner her neighhood boy with whom she grows up..It starts like a whip of cool breeze..He stands by her till the end until death parts them...
"A snowball in the face is surely the perfect beginning to a lasting friendship."
There were many characters apart from the protagonist who leave their mark, for instance Isa Herman wife of the Mayor, she encourages Liesel to read and borrow books from her Library but she chooses to steal instead, Isa surprises Liesel by leaving a note letting her know that she would someday choose the door instead of window...Max Vandenurg is a Jew who hides at the Hubermans, he gifts her two books written by him, with their haunting dream from the past they are able to connect well..Rosa , Liesal's foster mother is rude and tough at the outset yet loves her with all motherly tenderness..Frau Holtxafpel Hubermans neighbour spits at their door every single day finally let go their family feud...The beauty of all these characters are that they are woven around Liesel adding extra layer of depth and persona to Liesal's...Death picks up Liesal's journal that she leaves in despair after finding her street and home is ruins...
This book is a melancholy saga with dashes of joy here and there..
So another new author for the reading challenge, its fifth..