Good Reads Summary
It’s just a small story really, about among other things: a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery. . . .
Narrated by Death, Markus Zusak's groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a young foster girl living outside of Munich in Nazi Germany. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she discovers something she can't resist- books. Soon she is stealing books from Nazi book-burnings, the mayor's wife's library, wherever they are to be found.
With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, Liesel learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids, as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement.
Let me be honest. It bored me brainless the first two hundred pages in… the only reason I read on was because it is basically a story told by Death. So in way I guess THE BOOK THIEF is but an addition to my recent reads on death and grief. But I oversimplify, it simply isn’t just about those things. There’s lots and lots more to it.
What did I Love? DEATH. Specifically? It was how he beat everyone to the punch, by simply starting at the end (instead of working his way toward it.) I enjoyed knowing what was coming and still feeling sad because it was inevitable. And in a twisted (dumb) way hoping things would turn out differently from what was said. Let me change that “enjoyed” sounds so simple. Was I impressed? Heart broken? Hooked? Enthralled? There is no one word to describe what I felt with each “ending.” At times saddened, often raw… I suppose one just has to read it to get it.
So many things in this book BROKE MY HEART. Mainly, it was Rudy. Not all books need a “great love” to keep me interested. But Rudy, with his constant request, with his loyalty just made an impression… It’s almost as if he did not deserve what happened to him. And knowing that it was going to happen, had me hoping otherwise. Then there were here parents. Rosa with her strict/demeanor; her Papa and his accordion… knowing what happens to them, still had me hoping otherwise.
So in the end, for me at least the book is more than just a bout a German girl during the war. It’s more than a father- daughter or mother-daughter story. It’s more than a Jewish fist fighter hiding in her family’s basement. It’s more than best friends who constantly find themselves in trouble. It’s all of those things I suppose but more: It’s knowing the inevitable, and hoping the good turns out. It’s about hope.