Wednesday, 20 May 2015
Author: Markus Zusak
Publisher: Black Swan; Film Tie-in edition edition or Random House AudioBooks
Release Date: 29 Dec. 2006 or 30 Jan. 2014 (paperback)
HERE IS A SMALL FACT - YOU ARE GOING TO DIE
1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier.
Liesel, a nine-year-old girl, is living with a foster family on Himmel Street. Her parents have been taken away to a concentration camp. Liesel steals books. This is her story and the story of the inhabitants of her street when the bombs begin to fall.
SOME IMPORTANT INFORMATION - THIS NOVEL IS NARRATED BY DEATH
It's a small story, about:
some fanatical Germans
a Jewish fist fighter
and quite a lot of thievery.
ANOTHER THING YOU SHOULD KNOW - DEATH WILL VISIT THE BOOK THIEF THREE TIMES
I have been intrigued by this book for years and always said I would try it, even more so when I saw there was a film coming out (I refuse to watch the movies until I have read the book). It is by no means my usual kind of read, but it has a lot of good reviews and everyone I know who has read it has said it was good, meaningful and emotional. However it stayed on my list a long, long time, so when I saw it in the library on spoken word CD I decided to borrow it. I always have a book to listen to in my car and this filled a gap perfectly. The narrator was brilliant, he had the accent presented perfectly and I found it really easy to listen to.
Liesel is sent to stay with a foster family as war breaks out across Germany. She goes to live on Himmel Street with Hans and Rosa Hubermann. The book is narrated by death which is very different but also a very interesting angle and he tells Liesel's story of how she got there and how she makes it her home. How she grows up and all that she experiences, from seeing Jews being marched through town and persecuted, making friends, going to school and dealing with the effects of war on her family and friends. As it is narrated by death it also means that we get a wider view of events going on elsewhere in the country during the war and presents a bigger picture. But the main focus is always Liesel and she is such a loveable, excitable and somewhat mischievous character that you can't help but like her. My favourite character was Rudy, he is so cheeky, funny and tries so hard that your heart goes out to him, even when he's naughty.
I found this book to be very enlightening and interesting and emotional. I laughed in a few places and cried in others. I found myself hoping with all my might that the characters would survive, through the many trials and tribulations, and I'm not going to give away the ending, but I have to say that it moved me to tears.
This book is beautifully written and full of imagery. The characters are so realisitc you can really picture the little streets, shops and houses and all of them moving around and going about their lives. Like long lost friends.
I would strongly recommend this book to everyone and even the spoken word version as it will sweep you away in the narrative and you won't want to turn it off.
I just hope the film is just as good.
Posted by barmybex at 22:19