A LAST NOTE FROM YOUR NARRATOR"I am haunted by humans."
Unusually,these words were delivered from the mouth of 'Death'..Yes death..Death pities mankind for destructing themselves on the name of culture and racism..He was also terrified by seeing the suffering of innocent lives under the rule of dictatorship..'The Book Thief' was written by Markus Zusak,in which the death himself is the narrator..This book falls under the category of adult/Historical fiction in which the plot was set in the period of world war-2,when Hitler was the chancellor of Nazi Germany..
|Image from Google|
Coming to the characters,
If there was one thing about Liesel Meminger,her thieving was not gratuitous. She
only stole books on what she felt was a need to have basis..She steals The 'Gravedigger's Handbook' in memory of her late brother..But she doesn't know how to read..Then her 'Papa' Hans teaches her in the basement when she wake up at midnight with nightmares..The reading helps to forget her past torment..Gradually stealing and reading books calms her soul..Later,she reads to the people of Himmel street in the basement,when they get together to protect themselves from bombings..The words distract them from the fear of death..
The once Jewish fist fighter,Max who was given shelter by Hans (to keep his word to his late friend),strives to breath under the open sky for he had not seen the outside world for twenty two months..
In the basement of 33 Himmel Street, Max Vandenburg could feel the fists of an entire nation. One by one they climbed into the ring and beat him down. They made him bleed. They let him suffer. Millions of them—until one last time, when he gathered himself to his feet . . .He watched the next person climb through the ropes. It was a girl, and as she slowly crossed the canvas, he noticed a tear torn down her left cheek. In her right hand was a newspaper. “The crossword,” she gently said, “is empty,” and she held it out to him.Dark.Nothing but dark just basement..just jew.
Hans Hubermann in Liesel's words,
Who else would do some painting for the price of half a cigarette? That was Papa,that was typical, and I loved him.
Rosa Hubermann - the good woman for a crisis..In the beginning she appears to be so rude and ordinary,but Max's arrival,unfolds her kind heart veiled by rudeness.
Do you ever heard the existence of 'Possessive Books'? Yeah,this is certainly one of a kind..Because it never allowed me to exist in the reality while reading it..The illustrations kept me spellbound with the blinding white of the snow,red rain clouds and chocolate death and constantly made me feel the floating clouds of Himmel street..The best part of the book is the poetic expressions and sarcastic narrations of Death.It depicts the strange distinctions between the cruelty of mankind and kindness of death..
Death describes the air of a situation with the help of colours...Emotions,war atmosphere,suffering and melancholy were depicted in terms of colours,so that we could experience the gloominess of situation.
People observe the colors of a day only at its beginnings and ends, but to me it’s quite clear that a day merges through a multitude of shades and intonations, with each passing moment. A single hour can consist of thousands of different colors. Waxy yellows, cloud-spat blues. Murky darknesses.In my line of work, I make it a point to notice them.As I’ve been alluding to, my one saving grace is distraction. It keeps me sane. It helps me cope.
|Image from Google|
'Thank you'.For Max Vandenburg, those were the two most pitiful words he could possibly say, rivaled only by I’m sorry.There was a constant urge to speak both expressions, spurred on by the affliction of guilt.How many times in those first few hours of awakeness did he feel like walking out of that basement and leaving the house altogether? It must have been hundreds.Each time, though, it was only a twinge.
When Max fell ill with severe cold,Liesel prays for his life and reads to him,She brings him 13 gifts.
He was the second snowman to be melting away before her eyes, only this one was different. It was a paradox.The colder he became, the more he melted.
Death's job troubles in his own words,
They say that war is death’s best friend, but I must offer you a different point of view on that one. To me, war is like the new boss who expects the impossible. He stands over your shoulder repeating one thing, incessantly: “Get it done, get it done.” So you work harder. You get the job done. The boss, however, does not thank you.He asks for more.
Few more lines from book,I loved every bit of it..What to do !!
It amazes me what humans can do, even when streams are flowing down their faces and they stagger on,coughing and searching, and finding.
In the tree shadows, Liesel watched the boy. How things had changed, from fruit stealer to bread giver. His blond hair, although darkening, was like a candle. She heard his stomach growl—and he was giving people bread.
Silence was not quiet or calm, and it was not peace.
I’m compelled to continue on, because although it’s not true for every person on earth, it’s true for the vast majority—that death waits for no man—and if he does, he doesn’t usually wait very long.
“Maybe if we say ‘heil Hitler’ and then steal something, we’ll be all right.”
In your situation, a dead Jew is just as dangerous as a live one, if not worse.
Life had altered in the wildest possible way, but it was imperative that they act as if nothing at all had happened..Imagine smiling after a slap in the face.Then think of doing it twenty-four hours a day.That was the business of hiding a Jew.
For now, Rudy and Liesel made their way onto Himmel Street in the rain.He was the crazy one who had painted himself black and defeated the world.She was the book thief without the words.
It’s much easier, she realized, to be on the verge of something than to actually be it. This would still take time.
It's a wonderful story full of emotions..In particular,this book is for book lovers..Who ever feel the touch of a paper and love the smell of books and beautiful words would definitely fall in love with this book...And here is the proof,
Steadily, the room shrank, till the book thief could touch the shelves within a few small steps. She ran the back of her hand along the first shelf, listening to the shuffle of her fingernails gliding across the spinal cord of each book. It sounded like an instrument, or the notes of running feet. She used both hands. She raced them. One shelf against the other. And she laughed. Her voice was sprawled out, high in her throat, and when she eventually stopped and stood in the middle of the room, she spent many minutes looking from the shelves to her fingers and back again.How many books had she touched? How many had she felt?
This book was also made in to a movie in 2013.
My heartfelt thanks to my dear friend Latha Jee for recommending such a wonderful book..:)
Price :Rs.374 /-
Publisher : RHUK