AUTHOR- MARKUS ZUSAK
PUBLISHED IN- 2005
I gifted this book to myself on my birthday and I couldn’t have been more happier with the selection of the book. I had been meaning to read this book for the past several years so when I was finally holding it in my hands, I was a nervous wreck. There it was, something that I was looking forward to since so many years, in my hands. I was afraid. What if I am just disappointed by it? What if it wasn’t something worth my wait? What if I just spoiled my birthday book? (As it is my tradition to gift myself one book on every birthday). Armored with so many what-ifs, I opened the first page and fell in love with the book instantly. Thanks to the books, I have had the honor to fall in love so many times that each time it still feels like a fresh affair. To quote F. Scott Fitzgerald, “There are all kinds of love in this world but never the same love twice.” I have known several readers falling in for the characters, some fall in for the authors but not once have I ever found myself in their position. I have always loved the words. Words. Sentences. Quotes. I am forever in love with them. The reason why I am mentioning it right now is because this book actually made me realize this simple fact. I have been in love with words, just without knowing about it.
Set in the WWII era, it is story revolving around a young girl and the people around her as she discovers the power of words and books for her. Narrated by death, it brings out that certain unpolished kind of feeling as the story is delivered in it’s innocent raw form. There was the concept of colors that I really enjoyed. Death described the color of the skies when he came to take the souls of the dead people. And the way the words were put just brought out the entire thing so beautifully.
The book gave out such wonderful show of words to ponder about!
The question is, what color will everything be at the moment when I come for you? What will the sky be saying?
It kills me sometimes how people die.
The consequence of this is that I’m always finding humans at their best and worst. I see their ugly and their beauty, and I wonder how the same thing can be both.
There were such remarkably constructed characters too. Whether I talk about the relationship between Liesel and Max or Liesel and her foster parents or even Liesel and Rudy, each one of the relationship carried a certain weight of innocence and raw humanity that broke my heart. Strangely, when words make her heart rush, it is the characters which break it.
I also caught the movie last night. It was good, obviously no where near the book but it was what it is possible when you compress a book with 500 pages of pure heartbreak into a two hour entertainment. There were some major flaws in the movie that I detested at once. Like for instance, Liesel would never tell Rudy about Max when she knew it would endanger Max’s life. Or that the producers changed the part where Hans slaps Liesel when she mentions that she hates Hitler in the middle of the street. Also, they cut out the entire scene where Max makes the book for Liesel and makes funny sketches along with a beautiful story. It was important! I was especially mad when Rosa doubts about hiding Max with them. In the book, not even once does Rosa ever feel that way. She is one of the most honest character in the book and movie didn’t do her good. I could go on about what I didn’t like in the movie but there’s one scene that they added and I loved it to bits- it was when both Max and Liesel joke among themselves about what kind of letters would have Hitler’s mother sent him. That was a delight to watch as Max and Liesel deeper their friendship with a common hatred for Hitler and a common hope for betterment with laughter.
Read the book! It’s worth your lifetime. Skip the movie. It doesn’t do it’s best.
Finally, here’s something Liesel writes that couldn’t be more true for anyone who owes her life to words .
I have hated words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right.