To be honest, I picked The Book Thief by Markus Zusak because as a book addict I found the title intriguing.
Not the light read I had hoped for that day, with the exception of a few oddly funny moments provided by the Narrator, Death. I can see why it’s been on The New York Times Best Seller list for close to 300 weeks.
I’m guardedly optimistic that the film adaptation, with the talents of Brian Perceival (Downton Abbey, North and South, The Ruby in the Smoke, The Old Curiosity Shop, Shakespeare Retold), Michael Petroni (Till Human Voices Wake Us), Geoffrey Rush (The King’s Speech, Pirates of the Caribbean, Shine, Munich, Shakespeare in Love), Emily Watson (War Horse, Gosford Park), will do this book credit.
Germany, World War II.Liesel, a young Jewish girl whose blonde hair helps her ‘pass’ calls herself, The Book Thief. Splayed among the everyday life with her foster parents are tormenting nightmares of her mother and dead brother, unexpected kindness by some, evil of others, and the looming authority of an excessively engaged Narrator.
Finishing the book, I sat for several minutes, waiting. I didn’t know for what. Only that I felt I shouldn’t just move on, not to another book or chore or activity. I needed to be in that place.
Then the pure horror and joy assailed me. It has all happened many times before and it will happen again. Humans going after humans, various reasons in various ways. People helping and standing up for others, even when it’s dangerous to do so. We are a drumming paradox stroking and punching through time, an echo of who we should be and are.
I have to agree with Death, “I am haunted by humans”.