These days, I, amazingly, see myself as a voracious reader, though I haven’t yet read so many books but, in the last few days, I have read so many now. And, to my truest surprise, I just landed on this book – The Book Thief (by Markus Zusak), which has proved to be a prize for me now, afterall.
This is a really elegant book which, according to me, would prove to be something more than just a good read for any literary reader. For any reader. It would be something more than just enjoyable. Something eye-opening. A handsome book with some sort of fonts which encourage you to hover through the pages, turn them over and often, and just drawn yourself into the obvious sweetness which has perfected itself in almost every page of the book. Even the abuses – the little ones – turn out to be sweet after a close while. Saumensch. Saukerl. Everything, sometime or the other seems to be good enough, better than what can really be possible within a country into the World War. Germany. And Heil Hitler.
And the little kid! Liesel Meminger. The Book Thief. She’s good all the way, quite lively (if I touch the point better). And then it’s the beginning of her classes as a giant. She begins, though, in a school, it’s her father who has, all the way, taught her more – he, himself, not being read much in his age though. It’s a delightful story. Of her knowledge. Of her readings. Of her friendship – with Papa, and Rudy too! Of thievery. Of hobbies. Of secrets. Of arts. But always, of books – those were fourteen, afterall!
I’ll say that the Author – Herr Markus – had, for sure, seen some more than good dream some night, which resulted into all these amusingly great characters, colours, cigarettes, books, accordion, friendship, washing and ironing, neighbours, and above all, the narration of the story by Death. WOW! It’s something catchy. Something binding. And, there’s something more! A whole lot of personifications, making every page filled with the spirit called life – even with Death.
From a 554-page novel, there’s a lot to see yet. A heaven of colours. A carving bend, and yet more shades of emotions. It’s yet everything.
It is, afterall, an amazing read.
I am, sort of, happy to have this book added to my list of books I’ve yet read; thanks to a good friend!
Above all, now, following the trend I wish to follow, I do prefer to quote (twenty of) my favourite lines, from the book, down here:
1.) (Liesel says Papa’s accordion would be brought to life)
“How do you tell if something’s alive?
You check for breathing.”
>> page #045/554
2.) (Liesel’s thieving spree)
“…one opportunity leads directly to another, just as risk leads to more risk, life to more life, and death to more death.”
>> page #089/554
“…is there cowardice in the acknowledgement of fear? Is there cowardice in being glad that you lived?”
>> page #112/554
4.) (for the next book now)
“…a good thief requires many things.
Stealth. Nerve. Speed.
More important than any of those things, however, was one final requirement.
>> page #123/554
“Obviously, every Jew is not the same.”
>> page #195/554
“You don’t always get what you wish for.”
>> page #203/554
7.) (something insanely ridiculous)
“No-one’s urine smells as good as your own.”
>> page #218/554
[NOTE: The one above doesn’t, at all, hurt the book’s image by any way. Rather, if I say, it helps with the flow actually, helps more in illustrations. Maintains the fun.]
“…a young man is still a boy, and a boy sometimes has the right to be stubborn.”
>> page #224/554
9.) (one of the best statements from the book)
“Even death has a heart.”
>> page #252/554
“…you’re a human – you should understand self-obsession.”
>> page #317/554
“A few bombs usually do the trick.”
>> page #318/554
12.) (another handsome line)
“They say war is death’s best friend…”
>> page #319/554
“…for what she heard was horrific. It was reality.”
>> page #338/554
“God never says anything. You think you’re the only one he never answers?”
>> page #358/554
“…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.”
>> page #358/554
“Silence was not quiet or calm, and it was not peace.”
>> page #405/554
“…and it feels good to be good for something…”
>> page #477/554
18.) (Death says)
“It’s probably fair to say that in all the years of Hitler’s reign, no person was able to serve the Führer as loyally as me.”
>> page #495/554
“Say something enough times and you never forget it.”
>> page #533/554
“…the world is a factory. The sun stirs it, the humans rule it. And I (Death) remain. I carry them away.”
>> page #547/554
The book cover. Really a favourite!
- AN APOLOGY:
While reading the book since November 01, 2016 (upto November 09, 2016; 08:50 IST), I scratched up many a line in my rough copy, and many of those have I stuck here above – many of which won’t be looking like making any shit of a sense, I know! But, while you pardon me, please do try to believe me that these lines make this book more than just a book. I know there are more of such lines, 554 pages filled almost wholly, but writing all of those wouldn’t be possible, you know!
So, some have been lucky enough, yet, I believe that the others won’t be abusing me from inside the closet. Not at all, I guess!Afterall, it’s a “must read“…
- PS: The last few pages of the book took maximum time of mine, for I had had something more in my eyes then, than just sight. Those were emotions. Those were tears. They never escaped. They are still there, hiding somewhere beneath the lids and lashes.
- image source: internet