Wow. That's the one word I have to summon up what I found to be an another amazing work by Markus Zusak. The author's wonderful use of imagery in hisWow. That's the one word I have to summon up what I found to be an another amazing work by Markus Zusak. The author's wonderful use of imagery in his beautiful prose never cease to amaze me. Being my second of Zusak's books- the first was I am the Messenger- I went in with high expectations. I was not let down. This book made me cry harder than I've ever cried with a book before, and I was truly saddened to put it down after the final, haunting page.
Disclaimer: This is not a happy go-lucky book. If you want an easy read, look elsewhere.
Dis-disclaimer: This book is fucking amazing. Read it anyway.
For the sake of elaborating on the meager blurb regarding the book's plot, I'll start with a mini synopsis. Leisel Meminger's story starts on a snowy train ride in Germany with her Mother about to give Leisel and her brother to a foster family in order to have a better life. When her brother dies, a small funeral is held and the grave digger leaves behind his manual. Leisel picks the small black book out of the snow. This is where it all begins.
Leisel's foster family consists of Hans and Rosa Hubermann, an older couple with two grown kids and a lot of love in their hearts (though with Rosa you don't realize it until a bit later).Liesel immediately forms an attachment to her accordion playing foster father, who teaches the illiterate girl to read using the handbook she stole from the snow. When the family shelters a young Jewish man by the name of Max (also my favourite charater), their lives are altered and intertwined forever. As Liesel continues to steal books from various places, she learns the real power of words in a country where words were the harshest mass weapon of destruction.
First off, as far as my review goes, it's noteworthy to know that the story is not narrated by Liesel, but by Death. This is kind of a foreshadowing of the fates of the characters in the end of things, I suppose, but also a reflection on the destruction of the war in Nazi Germany. I mean the foreshadowing thing quite literally, as Death seems to like popping into the story and giving away future events before they happen. I didn't think this ruined the story, as some people have said, but rather enhanced your yearning to know how things came to be the way they did.
The characters... where to start? Zusak's characters leaped off the page in such a strong way that I felt like I was personally getting to know them. They were what made the book so memorable for me. Their introductions are slowly executed in order to get a better feel for them as dynamic, well-rounded people. Hans with his shining silver eyes and accordion, Rosa with her harsh words and soft heart, Rudy's desire to be like the black American athlete Jesse Owens, Liesel's hunger for words, and Max. Oh, Max.
Max holds a special place in my heart with my favourite literary characters of all time. While he is hiding in the Hubermanns' basement, Liesel and he form an unspeakable loving bond with one another. He writes her two books during this time- both of which broke my heart with their loving and compassion. It is this compassion and friendship that he shows for the girl that really won him a place in my heart, as well as his painful struggle to live amongst the suffering of the Jews around him.(view spoiler)[And that scene with him and Liesel as he is being marched to Dachau made me break down in tears for a while. I had to stop reading to clear my eyes. Actually I cried when I found out he was still alive at the end of the book too. Haha. (hide spoiler)] I'll stop about him, now... but still! Max is awesome.
The premise of the story is in itself an interesting one, showing the way that words can have a more powerful effect on people than any other weapon. In a world where Hitler rose to power on the promises of his words, this book finds its place. Another interesting point is that it shows a different side of Nazi Germany, where the Germans are just as afraid of their government as the Jews; where German citizens hide their Jewish friends, despite the obvious risk for their own families. It is a powerful work, resonating with emotion throughout.
Winding down my review, I suppose I will leave it with this: This is probably one of the best books I've ever read. Ever. If I could give it 6 stars, I would have. Though it's not the most feel good book in the world, it's got a lot of heart in its pages. If you're looking for a good read, this one's maybe a good place to start.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
I honestly don't know where to begin with this book... it's beautiful. It made me tear up, laugh out loud, and everything in between. Simply put, it'sI honestly don't know where to begin with this book... it's beautiful. It made me tear up, laugh out loud, and everything in between. Simply put, it's now one of my favourite novels.
Ed Kennedy is a 19 year old kid with no prospects, hopelessly in love, and the closest relationship he does have is with his 17 year old dog, the Doorman. That all changes when he stops a bank robbery without knowing quite why he did it. A few days later, he receives an Ace in the mail, with 3 addresses on it. Each address holds a person or family whose lives he must influence in some way or another. The book is told in four parts, following the addresses on each of the four aces he receives. Sometimes the acts he performs are small, and sometimes grand, but either way you can be assured that it will change the lives of those involved.
I suppose the most beautiful thing I found in this book was the fact that someone so ordinary could make such a large impact on people's lives. It changes the way you look at the world, and left me feeling like I wanted to hold open more doors for people in public. Or maybe shovel my neighbor's walk. Just the simple acts of kindness that make a world of difference in people's lives. Of course, I'm a sap when it comes to stuff like this, but still... it made me think. And when a book can do that much, I think it was worth the read.
Ed may be a flawed character in some ways, but the flaws are made up for by Zusak's wonderful writing. There were so many amazing quotes in this book. I found myself drawn to the wonderful way that he painted the images in my mind, almost as though I was in the story with Ed. Every little detail seemed beautiful, no mater how ordinary. And I suppose that's part of the message. ...more
I have to say that going into reading this play, I'd had no idea how truly funny and amazingly entertaining it would be. I'd never read any of Wilde'sI have to say that going into reading this play, I'd had no idea how truly funny and amazingly entertaining it would be. I'd never read any of Wilde's works before, so I had nothing to base this one off of other than my English teacher's assurance that it would be a very amusing read. So I have to say I wasn't disappointed! Oscar Wilde's play is rife with morals and lessons that reflect very human relations prevalent even today.
The characters' actions are not only the shallow imitations of infatuation that they seem upon first look, but the very real reflections of how we as humans overcome our own vanity and shortcomings. It's a great ride, full of the whiticisms that made Wilde famous, and providing many hilarious quotes. I was unaware of how many quotes used today that were pulled from this play. Foremost among them, of course, being "To lose one parent, Mr. Worthing, may be regarded as misfortune; To lose both looks like carelessness."
If you haven't yet read it, get on that! This play is more than worth the read... and even better if you can find a good audio book. ...more
This is my second time with this book and it's amazing. I've never encountered so well written a novel in this era as this one. Definitely worth a reaThis is my second time with this book and it's amazing. I've never encountered so well written a novel in this era as this one. Definitely worth a read....more