Review: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Saturday, 15 February 2014 23:59
Title: The Book Thief
Author: Markus Zusak
Publication Date: September 1st, 2005 
Genres: Historical fiction, Young adult
Rating: 5 of 5 stars

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.

“I have hated words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right." 

Oh, what can I say?

That The Book Thief stole my breath away?

That it crushed my heart into pieces?

That it made me wonder so much about the world we live in?

The Book Thief did more than that. You know, there are some books that you would always like to say that you've got no words to express it. But you always find the words. You just like to think that you don't. And I want to say that I have no words to express this beauty but I do. Deep down, I do have words to describe this wonderful book that made me wonder about the world we live in.

The Book Thief is a stroke of brilliance by Death 

Death, here is our very lovely narrator. So, the aforementioned statement, according to me, means that we always consider Death as a bad thing, of course it is only natural. But the Book Thief changed some of my perspectives about Death (Not that I'd welcome him with open arms). Death is truly an amazing narrator and his stroke of brilliance, probably the only one on Earth is his narration.

“Even death has a heart.” 

Oh, Death stole me away in his very first words. 

First the colours
Then the humans
That's usually how I see things.
Or at least, how I try. 

The book itself has this warm glow about it that reminds me of biscuits and milk. If I were an aura reader and this book was a living being, then I could precisely describe it's glow and warmth. Unfortunately, I'm not.

While reading this book, somewhere in the middle, I paused to think about freedom.

What does freedom taste like?

Freedom tastes like fresh air.

That was my immediate thought. You know, I wish I could feel and taste freedom. I wish it for all of us. We're not exactly free, you know. We are bound in one way or the other. And I guess, sweet Liesel felt the same though she never mentioned anything about it but I'd like to think she did feel something about being free. Being free from war and loss.

I really do love books that evoke the strangest thoughts from me. One minute I'm serene and deep inside the philosophical parts of my mind and the next I'm back to my goofy self again. Strange, I know. All these things happened while reading this masterpiece.

Never leave the books you're reading!:

So, I went jet skiing in an island and they let me drive for some time. I pushed the accelerator to maximum and that was when I tasted freedom. I felt like freedom was within my reach. Now, don't ask me why I'm so into freedom. It's not like we're trapped, I know. Ask this book why it elicited these thoughts from me. After finishing my drive, I remembered the book thief and smiled. That's when I realized what a bloody brilliant book this is and what a bloody idiot I was to leave it behind.

Okay books, I learnt my lesson!

Sometimes, you need to feel and see things to understand the words you read.

So, my first reaction when I came back home was to cradle this book and draw circles on the cover with my finger. Admire the cover and its softness and procrastinate about what is going to happen. Then delve into its mysteries and in the end, force myself not to shed tears.

Let's conclude this ruminative review of mine with a small letter addressed to our beloved Book Thief.

A small letter to the Book Thief 

Dear Book Thief,

You have written the most amazing book which was narrated by Death, our dear - old - friend - in - the - end. Here's a small secret: I have tons of books at home and I'll leave the windows open for you. You're always welcome to my humble abode of books. 

P.S I'm leaving extra biscuits for Rudy :)

Yours lovingly,