‘The Book Thief’ by Markus Zusak

On my birthday, I couldn’t but choose to talk about the story of ‘The Book Thief’, written by Mark Zusak (and now, obviously, made into a film).

There we go.


You are going to die.”

Quite a cheerful beginning for a story set during the Second World War and centered on a German girl, orphan of her parents and who has seen her little brother die next to her in an overcrowded train wagon to Munich.

And this is only the first bit.

Fear not, though, because even if it’s Death that tells the story, this is not one about death.

The book thief’s story is one about a blonde little girl under bomb filled sky of Munich. Features an accordion; some Germans who might have lost contact with a good part of reality (and sanity); a Jewish guest busy writing books, when not in a continuous fight with the Führer; and, you might have guessed it, quite a lot of thievery.

Words have power and the book thief learned it well. She learned the importance they bestow and the subtlety of their meaning, how it’s easy to play with them and twist them around, as well as wisely use them to soothe wounded spirits.

This was one of those books who gave me the thrill while I was strolling along the shelves in the bookshop – and how couldn’t it, when the cover showed a child dancing with a black hooded Death.

I still wonder why I didn’t get it the first time I met it, but – yeah – I suppose you have to make some choices, when facing a hundred books giving you different and meaningful vibes all at the same time.

I’ll be honest with you, I had tears in my eyes for most of the time I was reading: half for sorrow, half for laughter.

Didn’t you know? Life can be a tragedy, but Death can be ever so cheerful.


If you want to know more about this book: Goodreads

If you want to buy this book: Amazon


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