Saturday, July 20, 2013

The Book Thief

TWO IMPORTANT FACTS:                                                                                               

1. This is a story narrated by Death.
2. It is set during World War 2.

By this, you can guess the intensity and impending tragedy of such plot. But it's not only that.

Although doing his best not to, Death gets distracted at times. One of such comes during his busiest, in the form of a German girl named Liesel Meminger aka The Book Thief. The two cross paths only three times but by saving a black book, Death is able to piece together the moments in between. The byproduct of which is this disturbing yet beautiful story. 

 "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..."

Markus Zusak spun a contemporary classic novel, worthy of all the awards it was bestowed. Its literary prowess is able to touch many human souls - The biggest award, I imagine, a writer can get in his lifetime. I can sense that Zusak wrote it in a way that he tried to balance the light and the dark, the sweet and the bitterness, the Himmel (Translation: Heaven) and hell.


Of course, he was just being realistic. Living in those days with Hitler could not be anything but difficult. The innocence of childhood play aside bombings in the streets, an instinct of altruism and promise-keeping versus punishment and danger.

Once again, I fell in love with the characters. Liesel, Papa, Mama, The Jewish fist fighter, and The boy with the lemon-colored hair. Even Death I couldn't resist being fond of. I get a rare glimpse of his surprisingly almost humane persona as he struggles with the demands of his duty.


The book thief has left a permanent imprint on my soul.


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