What is the effect of having the book be narrated by Death?
The Book Thief is about the war. It is written on behalf of the Death, which is unusual. You are reading the book and from the first lines you feel some shock… Usually literary books are written on behalf of the protagonist or on behalf of the author, who is a witness. This same work raises questions at once and changes our mind. The unusual style of the author is bright, lively and metaphorical. It is sometimes sharp. Thoughts transmit imagery, confusing colorful descriptions. And only a few pages later you get used to that conducted on behalf of Death story about people, destinies, events, period. Death is a worker, who works hard and at the same time never has a vacation.
“Inside Look” of fascism. Death turns to appreciate life: “I do, however, try to enjoy every color I see – the whole spectrum. A billion or so flavors…” (Zusak, p. 7). Death is watching a war… Where the children were playing hopscotch; bombs became to fell from the sky. “Blood was running down the road, I have not yet dried up, and it linked the body like logs after the flood….” – “Blood streamed till it was dried on the road, and the bodies were struck there, like driftwood after the flood” (Zusak, p. 15).
The main character of the book is a girl. Her name is Liesel, who provokes empathy and compassion. Books were attractive for this girl. The girl was very curious and liked reading. Liesel Meminger grew up in a strange family.
The book makes you think about the value of life, the bitterness and suffering the devastation that war brings. Human life is precious and short. Peace, love, tranquility – that is what we must cherish, the author points out in his work. And people in all circumstances can and should be a man. Beauty and ugliness of human coexist in the book together. For example, one German gave a piece of bread to a dying Jew – and a Nazi beat them both. The book is much harder, deeper, more varied. The first and foremost it is about words, their incredible power, which can do so much – to kill millions of people or, vice verse, to save.
The value of the book is great. And today the world is not so easy: bloodshed of innocent people. In some countries there is a war, and in the others terrorist acts that lead to human casualties and destructions. The world press appreciated the author’s book and its importance for the present.
Brace, Marianne. (2006, December 31), The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak, Independent.
Maslin, Janet. (2006, March 27), Stealing to Settle a Score With Life, New York Times.
Zusak, Markus. (2006), The Book Thief. New York; Alfred A. Knopf.