Life...The Most Complicated Thought

The unexamined life is not worth living. ~Socrates

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak was one of the most intriguing book I have read in a longest time. The book is dark. First of all, here is the summary and then I will write about why I liked the book.

Set in WWII, Death meets a 9-year-old girl named Liesel Meminger as he is there to pick up her younger brother's soul, and he cannot resist knowing more about her. She steals the first book at her brother's funeral and goes on to steal many more as indicated by the title. Narrated by Death, the book is about her life with her new foster family on the Himmel (Heaven) Street in Munich. He talks about her fascination with the books, Jews' lives in Germany during Hitler's reign, her best friend Rudy Steiner, and her foster-dad who loves to play an accordion and teaches her how to read.

Here are the reasons why I enjoyed the book:
  • The story is told by Death; thus, the reader's get an idea of author's perspective of Death (who doesn't carry a scythe but gets a kick out of the idea ).
  • The story does not leave any loose ends. It closes all chapters and doesn't leave the readers wondering about different characters.
  • Since Death is narrating the story, he is quite clear about the timing of a person's death, such as (I will be meeting him 2 months from now). So throughout the book, the readers get the gist of what is to come. However, it keeps them interested as to how it happened.
Overall, it was an excellent book. The writing style was excellent. The reader Allan Corduner did a wonderful job as Death. I will have to look into his other works.

I was disappointed to learn that all the books mentioned in the novel are fictitious and do not exist. I was really looking forward to reading The Whistler and The Shoulder Shrug. I think the author should actually write these books as supplements to the novel. I would read them.

I will give this book 9.5 out of 10 and will definitely recommend the book.