Friday, March 5, 2010

The Book Thief

Today I finished The Book Thief by Mark Zuckerman. The most important thing that happened while I read this book, at the end I cried.

I do not cry easily, in my life I have cried only a handful of times. I like to think I am tough, and I want to save my tears for important things. The Book Thief was very important.

The Book Thief is about WWII Germany, this is no heroic story of me plotting to overthrow Hitler, or a Jew's struggle in a concentration camp, this is something we tend to forget about. The regular Germans. The one who hid while miles above their heads the Allies planes dropped their deaths. The one who cried when their brothers, their fathers died in places too far away from home. This is about a girl named Liesel. It is narrated, appropriately in the circumstances by Death.

This book is beautiful and terrible. Through the novel Death tells you the end. His reason is because the mystery bores him, it is much more interesting seeing the events leading to it. He is right. And even though you now the ending it still culminates in the realisation of the undercurrent of pain and sorrow you feel throughout the novel. And happiness and hope. Even while I read The Book Thief through my tears and saw in my head Liesel going through the streets of the now destroyed Himmel,Heaven in German, seeing the bodies of those she loved I knew that this was the best way it had to end. The books thief saved by a book and Death receiving her story.

There is much more to this story than I can say but I can say that after I finished reading The Book Thief I saw how small it really was. 54s paged did not seem adequate to tell a story like this.

And in remembrance of Death and his distractions today I looked at the colours of the sky. It was a pale blue, fading to almost white in some parts, or a transparency but with nothing on the other side. There was a long cloud, wispy but much thicker than the ones around it. It reminded me of an arrow, stretching across the sky and pointing to a direction I could not see.

And just on more thing, I typed this blog out as soon as I got on the computer, I did not watch TV or do anything to make me forget the terrible brilliance of this story. It made me want to write a story like it, a story so beautiful that in the end you will cry from joy or sorrow or the strange yet familiar mix of the two. That is what the best stories can do. And now with my eyes still burning from the tears I can tell you that this is the end

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