The Book Thief by Markus Zusak





War. It is 1939, Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still. By her brother’s graveside, Liesel Meminger’s life is changed when she picks up a single object, partially hidden in the snow. It is “The Gravedigger’s Handbook”, left there by accident, and it is her first act of book thievery. So begins a love affair with books and words, as Liesel, with the help of her foster father, learns to read. Soon, she is stealing books from Nazi book-burnings, the mayor’s wife’s library, wherever there are books to be found. But these are dangerous times. When Liesel’s foster family hides a Jew in their basement, Liesel’s world is both opened up, and closed down. “The Book Thief” is a story about the power of words and the ability of books to feed the soul. In superbly crafted writing that burns with intensity, award-winning author, Markus Zusak has given us one of the most enduring stories of our time.


Group Comments

Written by Death, one reader liked his character- compassionate, witty and not utterly bleak.

Very impressive – so well written that I couldn’t put it down – very rich in texture. Continue reading

The book thief – a review

Title: The Book Thief

 Author:  Markus Zusak

Publisher: Pan McMillan, Australia, 2005

Staff Pick: Thanh

Read from the blurb of the book: “It is 1939.  Nazi Germany.  The country is holding its breath.  Death has never been busier, and will become busier still.”

Ah well, I said to myself, another Jewish story, in the line of The Schindler’s List, The Pianist etc…  Which reminds me of my good German friend Manfred.  He’s a gentleman, in the usual sense we understand, and in the literal meaning of a gentle, soft speaking, and decent soul.  Once, he said to me:  “Yes, during that time, Germany under Hitler did unspeakable evil, but the country never lacks of decent people, and ever since we try our damnedest that nothing of the sort ever happens again.  Why even now, a book, a movie crop up to point a finger at us again and again?” Continue reading

Book Club Discussion Notes: The book thief by Marcus Zusak

This month the First Wednesday Book Group discussed Marks Zusak’s book The Book Thief. This book was praised highly by the group for the characters and style and rated as one of the best books they have read. It has won awards in Australia and overseas. Continue reading