you might recall, although you more likely don't, that i billed this the best book in the history of the world a while back. this will jog your memory. nothing's changed. it still rocks my world. i talk about it often. i don't see that changing any time soon. **
i like to mix things up.i've displayed that here with the cunning use of the 'upload-a-different-cover-to-last-time' method.
easy. no contest. the book thief by markus zusak. and i've read some pretty damn memorable books so far this year. in fact, the book i read immediately before the book thief, a thousand splendid suns, had replaced the lovely bones as my favourite only to topple weeks later.
and, realising favourite is not necessarily a synonym for memorable, night by elie wiesel - an utterly harrowing memoir of the holocaust - must also be among the unforgettable.
but the book thief...i just fell in love with those words.
i read only today, while looking for that picture up there, that the book thief was marketed towards the young adult demographic. i scoffed. unacceptable. you cannot pigeon hole this book. it is, without doubt, for anyone.
the book thief is narrated by a cheerful, affable, amiable character who the reader meets very early. that narrator is death. and there it is, page 4, the reason i love this book. zusak starts, progresses and concludes outside the square. his risks, and there are many, pay off making for not just an amazing read, but an inspiring one.
set in germany before and during world war II, you'd be forgiven for assuming the book thief would be graphic or heavy, especially considering the grim reaper is telling the tale. and while death and dying are major themes, zusak's words work in such a way that there is little to feel uneasy about. you will, in fact, likely empathise with death as a down-trodden employee working for the man.
literature itself is celebrated in the novel and forms the foundation of a number of key relationships. the friendship formed between protagonist liesel meminger (a young girl, endearing but feisty) and max vandenburg (a jew who liesel's foster parents are hiding in their basement), for mine, one of the most touching.
shall i go on? i could. i really could. i could talk about the book thief all day. but it's no good reading what i thought. just get your hands on a copy. sink your teeth in. and if you don't love it, don't tell me or i'll have to disown you too.
**enter. enter. enter enter ENTER. it won't work. i don't know why, but it's not doing my OCD any good at all.