The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (2005)
Introduced by Ellie Wait
I repeat myself so often in these book introductions. I seem to recycle the same statements and thoughts over and over but there’s a reason for this. I adore books that are immersive and atmospheric. If I’m reading fiction (my non fiction preferences are very different and a whole other blog post) then I want to be completely and utterly lost in its setting – no matter how heart warming or horrible it may be.
The Book Thief is brimming with sumptuous detailed descriptions encompassing all five senses and coupled with authentic details of life in World War Two Germany. The beautiful writing creates a reading experience which captivated me entirely. The care and craft which has gone into the novel by Markus Zusak is clear and highly appreciated by me.
One of the most haunting and poignant aspects of The Book Thief is the narrator. The story is narrated by Death who in many ways grows and develops throughout the book and almost becomes a character himself. His narration and presence in the book offers a constant reminder to the reader of the Second World War which claimed so many lives.
Obviously, this isn’t a happy story. But it is powerful in the most beautifully heartbreaking way. There is no one I wouldn’t recommend The Book Thief to.
Ellie Wait leads the Blind Bookworms project for The Story of Books. She was also the vocalist for the Blind Bookworms Jazz Band, a project supported by the Royal National College for the Blind in Hereford, and Ronnie Scott’s Charitable Foundation in London. The band played before special performances of The Story of Books’ production of Unicorns, Almost – a play by Owen Sheers about life and work of World War Two poet, Keith Douglas.