The Book Thief

Helloo beautiful people! How’s it going? In case you still don’t know, I’m finally home and I’m having a blast. Truly. Fulfilling food fantasies and what not. But more on that some other time. I read this amazing book and I simply had to post a review.

Guys! This book was epic.

It is the story of a girl named Liesel Meminger. She lives with foster parents during the period of the Jewish holocaust/Hitler’s regime in Germany. Her foster family hides a Jewish man. She steals books even before she learns to read. It is deeply haunting and moving and made even more so by the fact that the story is narrated by Death. Death tells its story of taking lives across the globe and how many times it ran into Liesel as people in her life lost theirs. Powerful, gripping and ever so masterfully told. It is a must read.

I love the almost conversational manner in which the story is narrated. I love Liesel’s bravado, her friendship with Rudy Steiner, her kinship with her foster father Hans Hubermann, her bond with refugee Max Vandergrand and Rosa’s tough love. The story tells of humanity in times calling for desperate measures. It shows the power of empathy and explores the true meanings of courage and cowardice. Love, friendship and family are in the heart of the book in addition of course to the theme of war and Adolf Hitler.

The most important theme of this book though is the power of words. It is Liesel story of growth from a simple lover of words to being a ‘word shaker’ herself even as Adolf Hitler the man was. Her love of books is practically unparalleled; choosing to steal books at times when her own stomach needed food. The book highlights how unifying literature can be and how equally divisive war can be. The book thief teaches us that words can save lives, literally.

Quotes;

She was the book thief without the words. Trust me, though, the words were on their way, and when they arrived, Liesel would hold them in her hands like the clouds, and she would wring them out like the rain

The notes were born on her breath, and they died at her lips

Liesel was alarmed, to put it mildly. ‘What do you want to kiss me for? I’m filthy.

It was a cool day in Molching when the war began and my workload increased

Is there cowardice in the acknowledgement of fear? Is there cowardice in being glad you lived?

I guess humans like to watch a little destruction; Sandcastles, houses of cards, that’s where they begin. Their great skill is the capacity to escalate.

‘Clearly’ said Arthur, ‘you’re an idiot-but you’re our kind of idiot- come on’

She was good at being furious. In fact, you could say that Rosa Hubermann had a face decorated with constant fury.

He’s the boy who refuses to fear the opposite sex, purely because everyone else chooses to embrace that particular fear, and he’s the type who’s unafraid to make a decision.

Somehow, though, I’m sure you’ve met people like this, he had the ability to appear in the background, even if he was standing in front of a queue. He was always just there.

The human child- so much cannier than the stupefyingly ponderous adult.

Those kinds of souls always do—the best ones. The ones who rise up and say, “I know who you are and I am ready. Not that I want to go, of course, but I will come.” Those souls are always light because more of them have been put out. More of them have already found their way to other places.

I’d give this book five stars out of five. It’s simply lovely.

PS IT’S GETTING MADE INTO A MOVIE!