The New York Times and Sunday Times bestseller
Over one million copies sold in the UK alone
'A novel of breathtaking scope' Guardian
1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier.
Liesel, a nine-year-old girl, is living with a foster family on Himmel Street. Her parents have been taken away to a concentration camp. Liesel steals books. This is her story and the story of the inhabitants of her street when the bombs begin to fall.
SOME IMPORTANT INFORMATION - THIS NOVEL IS NARRATED BY DEATH
This new edition features an amazing early chapter from Markus Zusak's brand new literary novel BRIDGE OF CLAY.
This hefty volume is an achievement a challenging book in both length and subject, and best suited to sophisticated older readers. The narrator is Death himself, a companionable if sarcastic fellow, who travels the globe "handing souls to the conveyor belt of eternity." Death keeps plenty busy during the course of this WWII tale, even though Zusak (I Am the Messenger) works in miniature, focusing on the lives of ordinary Germans in a small town outside Munich. Liesel Meminger, the book thief, is nine when she pockets The Gravedigger's Handbook, found in a snowy cemetery after her little brother's funeral. Liesel's father a "Kommunist" is already missing when her mother hands her into the care of the Hubermanns. Rosa Hubermann has a sharp tongue, but Hans has eyes "made of kindness." He helps Liesel overcome her nightmares by teaching her to read late at night. Hans is haunted himself, by the Jewish soldier who saved his life during WWI. His promise to repay that debt comes due when the man's son, Max, shows up on his doorstep. This "small story," as Death calls it, threads together gem-like scenes of the fates of families in this tight community, and is punctuated by Max's affecting, primitive artwork rendered on painted-over pages from Mein Kampf. Death also directly addresses readers in frequent asides; Zusak's playfulness with language leavens the horror and makes the theme even more resonant words can save your life. As a storyteller, Death has a bad habit of forecasting ("I'm spoiling the ending," he admits halfway through his tale). It's a measure of how successfully Zusak has humanized these characters that even though we know they are doomed, it's no less devastating when Death finally reaches them. Ages 12-up.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Brilliant book, thought provoking
What a brilliant book. Even though you know what will eventually transpire the sheer artistry of the author in portraying a such a full, rich tapestry for the reader to feast his eyes on is simply brilliant. The reader knows what the outcome will be but the matter of fact way in which the story is told belies the tragic but totally believable narrative. At times I was in total despair at other times in awe. This book should be read by anyone who has doubts or lack of knowledge about the holocaust. I cannot praise this book enough.
Heartbreaking and beautiful
I don’t think I need to say much more than this, this book is so well written, it strums on your heartstrings and feeds your soul. You will have waves of happiness and pain every step of the way. Read this book, I think it’s my favourite book I’ve ever read.