A masterpiece about human triumph by Marcus Zusak.
Every so often, a book comes into your hands that you don't want to let go of even if you've finished reading it. I've had the good fortune to have many such books make an impression on me and hope that many more will. But this post is about the Book Thief.
Set in Nazi Germany, the Book Thief's narrator is Death who in spite of his obviously busy and overworked schedule during that time can't help but examine the ordinary and yet extraordinary life of Liesel Meminger, a young Jew-loving German girl with a compulsion to steal books (among other things). Who has a best friend that emulates Jesse Owens and a foster father who harbors a Jew (Hans Hubermann will make you weep with joy and heartbreak) and a foster mother who can't say a sentence without adding the epithet, Saumensch (pig), to it.
What we have in this book is the view from the inside. What is it like to be German in Nazi Germany? What was this confusion, this guilt, this utter shame you felt inside while on the outside you Heil Hitlered?
This book is all about the power of words. Words that will lift you to the heavens, that may bring you to your knees, that tried to exterminate the human spirit.
For book lovers, the Book Thief is a no brainer. For humans, the Book Thief is your chance at redemption.
“I wanted to explain that I am constantly overestimating and underestimating the human race - that rarely do I even simply estimate it. I wanted to ask her how the same thing could be so ugly and so glorious, and its words and stories so damning and brilliant...I AM HAUNTED BY HUMANS.”
End of quote. End of book.