Thursday, 20 June 2013

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Title: The Book Thief
Author: Markus Zusak
Rating: 10 000 000/5
I just finished reading this book for the second time. The first, as I recall, was when I was about 12 years old, and back then, I loved it, but not with the kind of passion I'm feeling now. Where do I start? Ok, ok, I know. I'll start with the thing that's been on my lips for this past week (took so long because of exams) the most.
Markus Zusak. Ugh, Markus Zusak. Now, I myself am quite addicted to writing stories, and have high hopes for the future. After reading The Book Thief, I'm in a tug of war between totally hating Monsieur Zusak, or totally adoring him. Zusak, Zusak, Zusak, you dare write so masterfully? You dare, oh you make me feel pathetic! Now, as much as I totally envy him for his style of writing, I couldn't stop myself from praising him before my family and friends. Praising him and his story. Let me give you guys an excerpt:
Me: His narrator is death, hey, you listening? Death, man, death, how creative can you get?
Brother: Mhm, interesting..
Me: Give me some ideas for my own narrators, I can't just write without a known narrator, god, I just can't write like that!
Brother: Life?
Me: NO, it's not death, man, life is just so... I dunno. Forget that, you know, Markus Zusak wrote the story when he was in his 30s, obviously he writes better than me *crosses arms*
Him: You're just jealous.
Me: His characters, oh, his characters- ALL OF THEM- are so, soo, characterized! They all have a role, all have distinct characteristics.
Him: Mhm
I wish I could write like Zusak, he's just, brilliant. Brilliant.
Now on to the other thing I totally felt myself going *drools* over. The narrator, Death. Rather than having an unknown narrator, Markus Zusak decided to make the narrator death. From the above excerpt, you guys already know I'm head over heels for Death. Death is witty, he is solemn, and he spoils a lot of things. But I like how he spoils events, it gives the whole book a very 'story being told' kind of feel to it. I, I don't know how to explain this, but it gives you this feeling.... gah, I don't know! This is why I envy Zusak, he totally steals the words from my mouth!
Another thing about the Book Thief was that throughout the whole story, there wasn't like a fixed plot. Hmm, what I'm trying to say, is that rather than having one anti force and everything revolving around it, there were many little things here and there. Yes, the major anti-force at the end of the day was the Fuhrer, Hitler. Liesel hated him for what he did to his mother, as Hans Huberman hated him for what he did to the Jews, and because of the Fuhrer everything was happening. But at the same time, the main story was just about a girl named Liesel Meminger, and her everyday life. The things she felt, the things she got into as a child, her friend Rudy Steiner...
RUDY!!!! I Ruddy love you! (Do you guys get it? Ha, ha.). Rudy is your typical boy. Wait, no, he's above typical, but anyway. He's the kid on the block who aspires for much, and gets himself into much mischief. He's bold (A kiss, saumensch?), he's brave (jumps into cold water, and giver of bread). He's everything a character should be balled up into childhood arrogance. I loved him for that, and oh, I totally loved the description Zusak gave him. The boy with lemon coloured hair.
Max. The Jewish fist fighter (god, how does Zusak come up with this brilliance?). Max, I have to say, was my absolutely favourite character...and... hey, is it wrong if I totally ship him and Liesel? PAUSE, don't get me wrong guys, I totally love Rudy, and I totally rooted them, but when the tragic something happens in the end (trying not to spoil), Max and Liesel are like all that are left of Himmel street, and the loneliness that I felt was just too much. At first, the friendship between Max and Liesel in itself was just brilliant, but you know, when she grows up? Besides, Max and Liesel are totally perfect, and you can't tell me otherwise! Max, oh Maxi Taxi *Weeps* And hey, Death even mentions a husband in the end, and I can't picture anyone except for Max in Rudy's place. How could any other man be half as brilliant as the characters that death took away on Himmel street?
Rosa Huberman (so many cherries, just hang on, guys). I liked her swearing. Saumensch, Saukerl, bring it on, Rosa! Rosa is the foster mother of Liesel, and she is constantly calling Liesel names. You may at first think, wha? Rosa is an despicable character! But no, she's a character with beautiful and distinctive characteristics. She's calling people names constantly, but at the same time she's loving. This just makes her more believable, rather than the cheesy mother who always gives you a hug, and a smile and bakes chocolate chip cookies. Puh-leaze.
All the characters introduced in the story are unforgettable. Even if they weren't as important. They all had a role, and as death likes to say: They all had a date with him.
All the relationships were excellently created, and built upon. It's through when they say, slow and steady wins the race.
I could probably go on and mention all the things I loved about this book (the thieving of books, and the thieving of food. The street soccer, Rudy and Jesse Owens. The stories of Max, the Standover man who was never really a man, but a woman. Arthur the teenage thief. Max fainting and hitting his head on the accordion. Rudy jumping into the water and saving the books. The domino playing. Kurt Steiner. The Jews and Hans Huberman giving them bread. Max and Liesel meeting in the end, and hugging and crying...etc)
I just don't know what to say or do. This story has been a whole load on my shoulders, and I absolutely cannot forget it. I just, just can't do it. Ok, this review has to come to an end now, though much of the emotion on my shoulders is still there, being heavy and all.

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