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The Book Thief: Markus Zusak

There are few books that you know will break your heart but still, you pick them up to get your heart ripped out, to cry out your eyes because “When death has a story to tell, you listen.”

What the book is about?

The book is set up in 1939, Nazi Germany. Liesel, a 9-year-old, moves to Himmel Street to live with her foster parents. At such a young age, she has suffered the loss of her parents who were persecuted for being a Communist, and witnessed the death of her younger brother.

Liesel forms at attachment or one can say an escape in books. And how does she get those books? She steals them.

The book then follows her life in Himmel Street and the street inhabitants. Because when there is a war, Death is always an uninvited guest.

My experience reading this book

I have picked this book earlier 2 times but couldn’t get through more than 50 pages for some or other reason. In only 3rd attempt, I was able to get through it. And I guess it makes sense. Like Death, you need at least 3 visits to finally get to know the Book Thief.

While reading the book I was wondering that why do I gravitate so much towards historical fiction especially one set during wars when I know it’s going to tear my heart apart. But I guess it is better to cry over the things of the past and know that it is all well now than to cry over the present when you never know the end.

When talking about this book, I can’t proceed without admiring the narrative of the book. You know from the beginning that people are gonna die. In fact, the writer always declares it a few chapters ahead. But still, when that scene transpired I had goosebumps and tears in my eyes. If it is not one of the most powerful narration then I don’t know what is.

Talking about words and narration, any book lover can totally understand Liesel’s obsession with books. As I feel the author’s emphasis on the importance of words and books is very symbolic. We know that Hitler was a great orator and his speeches influenced millions of people to follow him blindly.

This is my first book where I have read the World War 2 events from the point of German residents. I have read few books but the protagonist of it has been always been either a Jewish or someone from the countries attacked by Germany. It is important to note when there is a war it doesn’t matter who is the perpetuator or who is the defender, the worst victims are always the civilians.


I think is still heavy when I am writing this post. I will have to pick something light now to soothe my heart. But I would not recommend anyone to skip this book. This is a gem of a book and I am so sad that I didn’t read it earlier. This book has made entry into my top books. I highly do recommend it to everyone.

Rating: 5 out of 5.
Published inBooksFiction


  1. A book that can make you cry uncontrollably. The characters like Rudy and Liesel were so positive in their thoughts and ideas. They were positive even though they were right in the middle of a war. They found things to be cheerful about.
    Found this book last year, when I was working on my college project “E- book web application”.
    I used it as a sample.
    Nice review @ShilpiAgarwal.

    • Yes, they were. But I guess it has more to do with them being children. I loved how the author has shown atrocities of the war via the innocense of the children.

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