It seems extraordinary that ‘The Book Thief’ could have outsold the number 2 book, ‘Shantaram’ by more than 2 to 1. But then ‘The Book Thief’ is a truly extraordinary book. It is poignant, moving, heart-breaking, triumphant and so beautifully written.
I don’t think I could do it justice in a brief review so I’ll settle for giving you an idea of what it is about.
On their way to Munich in 1939 to be given up to foster parents Leisel Meminger’s six-year old brother dies and is buried beside the railway tracks. Watching, Leisel ‘acquires’ her first book -‘The Gravediggers’ Handbook’. Observing Leisel, who he dubs The Book Thief, is the narrator who courteously introduces himself but will not say his name. He is Death.
Leisel’s foster parents are Rosa and Hans. Rosa has “a face decorated with constant fury”. Hans is a gentle house painter and accordionist. A veteran of WW1 he imbued with compassion.
I won’t try to tell you more. If you haven’t read ‘The Book Thief’, do so. If you have , read it again.
P.S. Like to comment? Your comment could win you a Brays Books Voucher! See earlier blog.