Title: The Book Thief
Author: Markus Zusak
Genre: YA Literature, Holocaust
Yearly Count: 10
A Happy Chicken Award Winner!
I knew this was going to be good before I started reading it. Sometimes that makes me jaded and I don't enjoy a book as much as I could have, it is almost as if it has been ruined by expectations of how it was going to be good and if it isn't good in those ways I am let down and disappointed. The Book Thief was good enough, in all areas that that wasn't a problem, it was well rounded and real, honest and humble and yet Zusak took those leaps that jumped it into greatness. It could have been just good, it covered a strong subject matter and that could have been just good enough, but I felt he pushed beyond all that and catapulted The Book Thief to go down in history.
I don't want to spoil it for anyone, so cover your ears and hum if you want to read this and you haven't read it yet. No, I won't spoil it. But one thing that I can tell you is that the omniscient narrator is death, or an angel of death. I thought that sounded too spooky before reading it but it really isn't. It is real, it is life- that death comes to us all.
I couldn't and still cannot get over the ending, or the last phrase in the book, "I am haunted by humans" (p. 550) I loved what this conveyed to me, what it made me understand. Several times throughout the book the narrator speaks of thinks that should be beautiful as ugly, and he uses the word 'ugly' in strange ways throughout The Book Thief. I came to understand thoguh, that this last phrase of the book is both good and bad, he is haunted by our beauty and attracted to the good that we can do, and also by the harm we cause each other, the pain.
Death is what we tend to fear, death is scary and cold but for me the point of the book was that what are fellow humans can do to us is worse than death, worse than uncertainty. I thought it was also interesting because death is attracted to humans, he has a job in life and has a need to perform when death comes to people, he is programmed and just does that. The beautiful side of humans is that we do have a free choice, a will and we get to make the call between walking in beauty and walking in brutality. It makes both extremes so much more severe because we do not HAVE to do either, we choose good, or bad and our choices affect those around us even if we don't want them to.
The perfect ending to me is that which Zusak leaves unsaid- to have an ending where you just close the book sit in silence and think of all the immensity of it all. That is what a
What about you do you automatically try to dislike things that EVERYONE else likes? Or do you just not read them or watch them? I still haven't seen the Titanic (yep the one with Leo DiCaprio) I am stubborn, and the only reason I haven't see it is that, well I didn't want to jump on that bandwagon!! (I was much more hardcore in high school!) Do you do that or is it just me?
I give it my biggest two thumbs up, the happy chicken award.
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