Tuesday, 1 May 2012

May Read: Bailieborough Reading Group

Marcus Zusak
The book thief

This work is narrated in the all-knowing matter-of-fact voice of Death, witnessing the story of the citizens of Molching: When nine-year-old Liesel arrives outside the boxlike house of her new foster parents at
33 Himmel Street
, she refuses to get out of the car. Liesel has been separated from her parents - 'Kommunists' - for ever, and at the burial of her little brother, she steals a gravedigger's instruction manual which she can't read. It is the beginning of her illustrious career. In the care of the Hubermans, Liesel befriends blond-haired Rudy Steiner, her neighbour obsessed with Jesse Owens, and the mayor's wife, who hides from despair in her library. Together Liesel and Rudy steal books - from Nazi book burning piles, from the mayor's library, from the rich people for whom her foster mother does the ironing. In time, they take in a Jewish boxer, Max, who reads with Liesel in the basement. By 1943, the Allied bombs are falling, and the sirens begin to wail. Liesel shares out her books in the air-raid shelters.

1 comment:

  1. Bailieborough Reading Group discussed this book on the 31st of May. For most of the members this was the second time reading and discussing the book but none of us minded that in the least.
    We all agreed that this is an excellent book, very well written and in such way that it can be read by readers of almost any age.
    All of us thought that having Death as the narrator made for an interesting and very original concept.
    There are obvious links between this book and The Pianist, which we read last month. Both books show that although the German people as a whole can be seen as wrong during the Nazi years, this doesn't mean that there weren't good individual people who tried to do the right thing despite the circumstances surrounding them.
    The anti "black versus white" or "us versus them" message that is so obvious in both books is also what makes these books so appropriate for the Dialogues Through Literature Programme.