Monday, May 6

book talk: the book thief

Here's a statement for you: this is one of the best books I have ever read.  And--shall I brag a little?--I've read a lot.

When I finished it, I closed the book reverently and stared at my ceiling in a grateful and humble stupor.  Conlin walked in a few minutes later and, adore him though I do, I needed a few minutes to recover before I could converse with another human.  It's that good.

Zusak's approach to world war two is flawlessly innovative.  Considering all the literature that's been produced about the war, innovation is hard to come by; and sometimes, when it's there, it's so strained as to dilute the message.  But Zuzak's approach--with death as the narrator--left me feeling better connected to the human conditions of the time than maybe any literature surrounding the war.  Or maybe this was just the literature I needed at this time in my life.

This is a book that demands 
something from its reader-
that they become better.  
Better thinkers,
better feelers,
better humans.

That may sound scary [that it demands from its reader] but it's also delightful in an effortless way.  It's almost like Zuzak tricks you into becoming a more empathetic human; you'll likely be too busy enjoying his prose to realize he's sculpting you into a meaningful person.


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