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April 23, 2008

The Book Thief

I just finished reading "The Book Thief" by Markus Zusak. I know that I said that I would cut down my reading time but that book made it so hard to put it down and do revision instead. I just couldn't stop before I was finished with it. This book definetely made into my all-time favourites. It's a story told by Death himself. He tells the story of a young german girl, Liesel, who is brought up by foster parents from the age of nine onwards because her mother and father were suspected communists which is not a good thing in Nazi Germany (the story takes place between 1939 and 1943). Her foster parents live in the outskirts of Munich in Himmelstraße. Throughout the book all inhabitants of that street are introduced and each and everyone of them play some more or less important part in Liesels life. Her foster parents, the Hubermanns, aren't members of the NSDAP (the Nazi party) and from 1940 onwards they hide a jew in their basement. Liesel befriends the young man and reads to him. The end is sad but not really sudden as the storyteller (Mr. Death) gives short glimpses at the end throughout his telling. This book is extremely sad what with the misery of the Jews at the hands of the fanatic Nazis, war, bombings and the always present Death. Zusaks way of writing is amazing. The chapters are short and interwoven with personal comments by Mr. Death himself. Though it seems and feels strange at the beginning to read these comments in the middle of a paragraph the story wouldn't be as captivating, charming and great without them. I guess it is quite obvious that I love this book. And really I do love it very much and recommend it. You have to read it!!!

My next book is "The Witch of Portobello" another Coelho. As well as "The Book Thief" it is not on the list, but I took the liberty to add "The Book Thief" because I believe that the only reason it's not on the list is that it was published only after the book with the list was published and hence could not make it on the list. However "The Book Thief" absolutely deserves to be on the list as it really is a book you should read before you die!


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