If I had a bookshelf, The Book Thief would surely go to the top shelf where I would keep the best books I have read. I have been bored of reading books where the dominant mood is somber (or deathly) as the protagonist is going through many problems in his/her life. In this book too, the protagonist – Liesel – has her share of problems too, but the way her and her family’s life is depicted is anything but somber.
This book tells the story of an orphaned girl who goes to live with foster parents. She steals her first book en-route to their home, even though she does not know how to read. She learns reading, and steals many more books to satiate her hunger for the words. And all this happens is in the backdrop of World War-II, Liesel and her family are living in the Nazi Germany. Her family is one of the few who are compassionate to Jews, and they hide Max – a Jew – in their basement to do their bit for saving the Jews.
The writer has a strong hold over the reader very soon. I, for one, was completely lost in the book. Markus Zusak was making me laugh and cry at his will. Humour is hidden everywhere in this book, I was thoroughly captivated. The book is over 500 pages and never once was it a tedious read. And you always knew what is going to happen, the narrator – ‘Death’ – always started a new part with telling what happens in the end, and still I could read it without being bored or getting restless. If you have not read this book, I would strongly recommend it.