The Book Thief is a treasure of a book with exquisite writing, now in the cinemas with an exceptional screening directed by Brian Percival.
”The human heart is a line, whereas my own is a circle, and I have the endless ability to be in the right place at the right time. The consequence of this is that I’m always finding humans at their best and worst. I see their ugly and their beauty, and I wonder how the same thing can be both. Still, they have one thing I envy. Humans, if nothing else, have the good sense to die.”
Description of the book
Written by Markus Zusak, The Book Thief is a literary masterpiece about death, thievery and, well…books. The plot takes place in Nazi Germany, between the years of 1939 and 1943, following the story of Liesel Meminger, who is about to be adopted, together with her little brother, by a family outside Munchen.
Unfortunately, the boy dies on the train and is buried beside the railway line in a nameless town. Beside her brother’s grave, there lies a little thing which is about to change Liesel’s life forever once she steals it.
She starts having a passion for books and words and steals them from wherever she can.
A charming friendship
Rudy Steiner, Liesel’s neighbour, becomes her best friend after she joins the football team from Himmel Strasse. Besides the sarcastic banter these two kids have daily, they enjoy each other’s company. What could have been a teen romance is instead portrayed as an incredible friendship, and I’m not mad about it.
“Hair the colour of lemons, Rudy read. His fingers touched the words. You told him about me?”
At first, Liesel could not talk. Perhaps it was the sudden bumpiness of love she felt for him. Or had she always loved him? (…)
“Of course I told him about you”, Liesel said.
The book is beautifully written and structured. It has twelve parts, including the prologue and the epilogue; each part represents a book that Liesel stole and how she ended up getting it.
The narrator is death itself, presented as friendly and human despite our theories of death.
Even though each of us has his/her beliefs, there is one thing we all agree upon: that we will die one day; and this book deals with this concept in such a way that it can make you less scared.
Besides themes such as historical fiction and life during the war, the book also has philosophical and psychological impressions.
“I have hated the words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right.”
I would totally recommend this book to anyone who loves literature, history and even philosophy. For me, this book was an entire experience. I laughed and I cried, I was enchanted and I loved it, but, most importantly, it inspired me and opened my eyes in many ways.
I read it in quarantine, and it helped me escape my reality for a while. And if you are looking for more books to read and your TBR list isn’t already long enough, we have other recommendations.