Monday, June 25, 2007

The Book Thief...

One of the best novel I have read after long time, it will challenge the most sophisticated reader...

The Book Thief is positioned as juvenile fiction, a story for teenage readers, Some will argue that a book so difficult and sad may not be appropriate for teenage readers…Adults will probably like it (this one did), but it’s a great young-adult novel…It’s the kind of book that can be life-changing, because without ever denying the essential amorality and randomness of the natural order, The Book Thief offers us a believable hard-won hope…The hope we see in Liesel is unassailable, the kind you can hang on to in the midst of poverty and war and violence. Young readers need such alternatives to ideological rigidity, and such explorations of how stories matter. And so, come to think of it, do adults.”

Usually i always read the preface and check the last episode of the novel to validate whether it has stupid 3 words "To Be Continued" mentioned at the end. And maytimes I buy the novel and read it without having the last episode ( It will be very embarrasing to read a novel without the last epdisode after you come to know by reading till the penultimate episode). And as usual checked this book.
The last lines in The Book Thief, where death says "I'm Haunted by Human's" will attract the readers,without keeping it in almirah to read it later.

It’s just a small story really, about among other things:
a girl,
some words,
an accordionist,
some fanatical Germans,
a Jewish fist-fighter,
and quite a lot of thievery. . . .

While the telling of the story is done simply,there is nothing simple about the novel. It is complex and many-layered.

Consider first the cover with a snaking row of dominoes and a finger about to push the first one over. Think of the layers of symbolism you, in your adult experience, can put to that image without reading the book. Read the book and relate it, in just one instance, to the events which led to the rise of Nazi Germany.

Set during World War II in Germany, this is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement before he is marched to Dachau.
This is an unforgettable story about the ability of books to feed the soul.

EXCERPT from the Book:

I saw the book thief three times.


First up is something white. Of the blinding kind.Some of you are most likely thinking that white is not really a color and all of that tired sort of nonsense. Well, I'm here to tell you that it is. White is without question a color, and personally, I don't think you want to argue with me.
***A REASSURING ANNOUNCEMENT ***Please, be calm, despite that previous threat.I am all bluster--I am not violent. I am not malicious.I am a result.Yes, it was white.

It felt as though the whole globe was dressed in snow. Like it had pulled it on, the way you pull on a sweater. Next to the train line, footprints were sunken to their shins. Trees wore blankets of ice.As you might expect, someone had died.

They couldn't just leave him on the ground. For now, it wasn't such a problem, but very soon, the track ahead would be cleared and the train would need to move on.There were two guards.There was one mother and her daughter.One corpse.The mother, the girl, and the corpse remained stubborn and silent."Well, what else do you want me to do?"The guards were tall and short. The tall one always spoke first, though he was not in charge. He looked at the smaller, rounder one. The one with the juicy red face."Well," was the response, "we can't just leave them like this, can we?"The tall one was losing patience. "Why not?"And the smaller one damn near exploded. He looked up at the tall one's chin and cried, "Spinnst du! Are you stupid?!" The abhorrence on his cheeks was growing thicker by the moment. His skin widened. "Come on," he said, traipsing over the snow. "We'll carry all three of them back on if we have to. We'll notify the next stop."As for me, I had already made the most elementary of mistakes. I can't explain to you the severity of my self-disappointment.

Originally, I'd done everything right:I studied the blinding, white-snow sky who stood at the window of the moving train. I practically inhaled it, but still, I wavered. I buckled--I became interested. In the girl. Curiosity got the better of me, and I resigned myself to stay as long as my schedule allowed, and I watched.Twenty-three minutes later, when the train was stopped, I climbed out with them.A small soul was in my arms.I stood a little to the right.The dynamic train guard duo made their way back to the mother, the girl, and the small male corpse. I clearly remember that my breath was loud that day. I'm surprised the guards didn't notice me as they walked by. The world was sagging now, under the weight of all that snow.Perhaps ten meters to my left, the pale, empty-stomached girl was standing, frost-stricken.Her mouth jittered.Her cold arms were folded.Tears were frozen to the book thief's face.

About Markus Zusak
He is the author of I Am the Messenger, winner of the Children's Book Council Book of the Year in Australia, Fighting Ruben Wolfe, an ALA Best Book for Young Adults, and Getting the Girl. The author lives in Sydney, Australia.

PS: Book is available in LandMark and Odyssey... and the next in my wishlist is " The Reluctant Fundamentalist "by Mohsin Hamid and Saddam - " The Rise and Fall ".

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