death speaks

I’m reading The Book Thief.  It’s been sitting on my bookshelf since March when a friend of mine gave it to me for my birthday.  Finally, I started reading it a couple of weeks ago.  And you know what?  It’s a strange experience… reading a story narrated by Death.  And the story is set in Germany during WW II and the Holocaust.  The writer’s style is… quirky.  But maybe that’s not the writer that’s quirky.  Rather, it’s Death who is quirky.  The characters are compelling and because the backdrop of the story is such a huge historical moment, it hooks the reader.  Almost all stories or novels that I’ve read set on this historical era have been from the Jewish perspective and about the Jewish experience.  But this time it’s not only Death’s perspective but also it’s the perspective of a little German girl, the book thief.  So far the book has me hooked.  I mean, how can you not listen when Death is telling you a story?

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One thought on “death speaks

  1. I read The Book Thief a couple of years ago after much urging from friends, and it went straight to the top of my all time favourites list! Admittedly that list expands often and the top spot is occupied by three figures worth of novels. What struck me was Zuzac’s use of Death as the voice of compassion throughout the book. The scene in the showers where Death is heartbroken by the cruelty human beings inflict upon one another, and sees himself as providing solace and escape is beautiful and moved me to tears. As did the ending, particularly Liesel’s words to her mother and father.
    I tracked down Zuzac’s other books after reading this one, also very enjoyable, but to my mind The Book Thief stands alone as his best.
    Happy reading!

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