Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Book Thief

No, I haven't taken up shoplifting. The Book Thief is an amazing novel by Markus Zusak. I listened to it on CD, and I was laughing and crying in the car. It's been marketed as a young adult novel, but I highly recommend it to grown ups, too.

Death narrates (okay, an actor is reading in the audio version, but the character Death is the narrator, all right?) this story of a young girl sent to live with foster parents in Nazi Germany. Along the way, she steals her first book--The Grave Digger's Handbook--when one of the grave diggers accidentally drops it in the snow near the burial site of the girl's brother, who dies en route to their foster home.

It's a story of growing up, of mass hysteria and willful ignorance, of pain and survival, and young love.

Oh, and it's about books and the power of language and narrative and art and music.

(God, I'm a lousy reviewer. Just read it!)

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