Sunday, November 21, 2010

I Am Haunted By Humans

This is the last line of Markus Zusak's novel, The Book Thief. Telling you the last line doesn't make it any less powerful when you get there, though.

Narrated by Death, who is not who we think he is, the book tells the story of a girl who steals books in Nazi Germany, from book burning piles, from the snow, from the mayor's library. There are other stories woven in, belonging to other people that Liesel comes in contact with, and of course, World War II is the backdrop of the whole thing.

The characters are fantastic- people that you'll care about, and miss when the book is over. And Death is the perfect narrator for something like this. World War II has been done so many times, but this offers such a unique perspective.

What I liked the best, though, is how beautifully it's written. It's easy to read, and not overly dark, especially considering the setting. Maybe it's morgue humor, but Death does a really good job adding just a little bit of light and humor to the thing so it's never depressingly heavy. In addition, there are so many little one line gems through the whole thing. The title is one, but there are a ton. And they're wonderful.

The Book Thief.
Markus Zusak.

Go forth and read.

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