Monday, January 4, 2010

The Book Thief

Over our semester break, I read this novel and loved it. I read it with a mind to assigning books for the MOD CIV class I'm teaching this semester, but this book will stay with me long after that course concludes.

The writing is loaded with figures of speech and images. I think the writing is superb. The narrator is Death - though not in any mordant or obnoxious way:
" I would introduce myself properly, but it's not really necessary. You will know me well enough and soon enough, depending on a diverse range of variables. It suffices to say that at some point in time, I will be standing over you, as genially as possible. Your soul will be in my arms. A color will be perched on my shoulder. I will carry you gently away. At that moment, you will be lying there ( I rarely find people standing up) You will be caked in your own body. There might be a discovery; a scream will dribble down the air. The only sound I'll hear after that will be my own breathing, and the sound of the smell, of my footsteps. The question is, what color will everything be at that moment when I come for you? What will the sky be saying?" (4)

Death tells the story of a young German girl in a small German town during WWII.
It's the most gripping story I've read in recent memory.

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