Last night I finished reading an incredible book. It took me a couple weeks to finish as I was distracted many many times by new Judith McNaught acquisitions (hehe *blush*). Maybe because it was one of those books you fall in love with the more you read and would like to draw out the inevitable end, maybe by the realisation early on that the ending was going to be shattering.
I must admit that the first couple pages of Markus Zusak’s ‘The Book Thief‘ wasn’t that great. I found it a bit confusing at first. Who was the bloody narrator? What were all those paragraphs in bold? Little by little though the characters were drawn out and you wished you knew someone like Liesel and Hans and that Rudy reminded you of your first boyfriend. I think this is the first book I’ve read about the Holocaust that shows what happened to ordinary Germans. Yes, ‘The Boy in the Striped Pajamas‘ was also about Germans in WWII but it was about a privileged little boy whose parents were in the upper echelons of Nazi society and where Hitler himself came to dinner. ‘The Book Thief’ is so much different: you feel Mr. Steiner’s anger and disbelief when government officials come to take Rudy away to be part of an elite school for Aryan children, you sense the town’s sorrow when Mr. Hubermann and Mr. Steiner get drafted as punishment for being ‘Jew lovers’.
Here’s a great review by John Green of the NYT.
I cried buckets at the ending. I cried so hard that Atti woke up and came to nuzzle my neck and lick my tears. It started slow but ‘The Book Thief’ has already clawed it’s way up to the top of my 2008 booklist.