I'm not one to cry at books. I read a lot, and I read a lot of good ones. But wow, this one packs a whammy. My Book Tears haven't come so easily sinceI'm not one to cry at books. I read a lot, and I read a lot of good ones. But wow, this one packs a whammy. My Book Tears haven't come so easily since Harry Potter 7. If I didn't already do it after I Am the Messenger, I'd shout from the rooftops about the amazingness that is Markus Zusak. This man is the KING of character development. He deftly balances humor and gravity into his subject matter, and he clearly has a lot of love for every person in his stories. Every character he writes is amazingly real: you come to love them like your family and friends. (That said, I wish I could take Rudy home with me.) I saw my own amazing father in Hans Hubermann, and I wept for it. That's what powerful writing does. Thank you Markus Zusak for reminding me again how much I love my Dad.
It's easy to take large, heavy subject matter like War and The Holocaust, and create the Evil Nazi Psychopath or Saintly Martyr. Zusak definitely avoids these tropes, and reminds us that war is something perpetrated by - and resisted by - by humans. Wonderful, heroic, simple human beings with lives just like ours. The last, perfect line of the book is, "I am haunted by humans." You will be haunted by Liesel, Papa, Rudy, Mama, and the entire cast of The Book Thief. ...more