Sunday, March 22, 2009

Markus Zusak's "The Book Thief" : a mini review

It's the kind of book that stuns you with its gravity. The full power of The Book Thief is not felt until its conclusion. which, like the story's narrator, Death, silently slips into your consciousness as the end nears.

Though the story itself is beautifully told, punctuated by sadness, poetic phrasing, and sketches, that shows only a hint of Zusak's craft. His WWII Nazi Germany is masterful in its scope. The dual narrators of Death and a book-hungry teen girl coexist within the world the Fuhrer believes is of his own making, and the result is an exquisitely crafted plane of words, souls and priceless gifts.

This book will stay with me. It might be the best thing you'll read this year.


The New York Times calls it "Brilliant and hugely ambitious...the kind of book that can be life changing."

And the Age deems it "A triumph of control... one of the most unusual and compelling of recent Australian novels."

Amazon link to The Book Thief

In case you want more info, click the link above... I have an Australian copy, with a stunning cover. I wish I had a scanner. A hooded figure is walking across a crisp, snow-covered grove in a rather bleak photograph, and bright red splotches of blood are dashed across the photo and title bar. I like it much more than the American cover shown on Amazon and Facebook's Visual Bookshelf app.

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