Friday, February 12, 2010

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Liesel Meminger is around ten years old when she's placed into a foster home in Nazi-Germany after the sudden death of her brother and the disappearance of her mother. At first, she hates being at this dull and uninspiring place where her foster mother is horrible, curses and swears a lot at her husband and treat Liesel terribly. However, there's Papa. The man who is cursed and sworn at by her foster mother. Papa's gentle and kind. He knows how to read - well, a little and very slowly. And this is the very thing that Liesel wishes to do when one night, after a horrible nightmare, Papa discovers that she had been hiding a book between the mattresses of her bed. So, in the late hours of the night, her lessons on reading begin; and so does the passion to read more. However, seeing how hard it is to find a good book to read, Liesel begins to steal them; her first one being from a Nazi book-burning one night. Then, she begins taking them from the mayor's wife's library and anywhere else she can find them.

I was curious about this book when it first came out. However, I didn't rush out to purchase it because of when it was set; I didn't wish to own a book about a book thief set in this particular time in case I didn't feel comfortable about. And when I received this one in the mail as a bookring from Bookcrossing I gave it a try; keeping an open mind to it. However, I could barely get halfway through this one. The story is brilliantly executed and I love the imagery, however, it's the time that it's set that I just can't get my head around.

Australian author Markus Zusak grew up hearing stories about Nazi Germany, about the bombing of Munich and about Jews being marched through his mother’s small, German town. He always knew it was a story he wanted to tell.
At the age of 30, Zusak has already asserted himself as one of today’s most innovative and poetic novelists. With the publication of The Book Thief, he is now being dubbed a ‘literary phenomenon’ by Australian and U.S. critics. Zusak is the award-winning author of four previous books for young adults: The Underdog, Fighting Ruben Wolfe, Getting the Girl, and I Am the Messenger, recipient of a 2006 Printz Honor for excellence in young adult literature. He lives in Sydney.

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