Couple of weeks back, when i was randomly browsing a book store, a book caught my attention. To be precise two lines in the cover made me lift the book from the rack.
- The title: The Book Thief
- The tag line: When death tells a story, you really want to listen.
Once in hand, I also liked the cover image. I have never read a story as told by Mr.Death and this very story underline was fascinating enough for me to immediately decide, this is going to be my next reading diet.
The Book thief takes you to a little fictional town called Molching near Munich, Germany. The story happens before and during the second world war. As I mentioned earlier narrative is as told by Death itself who finds a little book called “The book thief” written by a little girl Liesel Meminger. When Hitler has unleashed his vision for Germany , Liesel’s mother, a communist, decides to leave her two kids with a foster parent. During the long grueling train journey, the younger son dies before the eyes of little Liesel. The image of his dying brother is to haunt her for the rest of her life. Liesel’s mother hands over her 10 year old child to the foster parents Rosa & Rosa Hubermann. Liesel’s life in Molching with her foster parents, her neighborhood, friends, the scent of deaths during war, danger of hiding a Jew in the basement and how an illiterate girl becomes a book thief and finds the power of words to become a word shaker makes the full story.
The story is splattered with few German words. Of course, the author has laced the meanings too to make you enjoy the words. The book scores high in a different, compelling, interesting story telling that makes it a wonderful read. The characterization and the description are well etched that you get into the fictional small town of Molching and start to love papa Hubermann, frown at Rosa initially, sympathize with Max the Jew, smile at the innocence of Rudy Steiner, listen to the accordion, feel the pain of war and deaths and feel the power of words through Liesel. If death has its own mind and thoughts and how it feels when collecting souls is an interesting, imaginative thinking by the author.
First few pages of the book may tend to confuse you or intimidate you but once you get used to the Death’s story telling style, you will start enjoying the book thoroughly. A good book to read, go ahead, enjoy the power of words.
Author: Markus Zusak
Publication date: 2005
Pages: 552 pp