Ah, Death. You're such a card. I may have even fell in love with you a little.
Mark Zusak, you genius. You craftsman. You creator of a literary masterpiece. I really fell in love with you.
After I realized who was telling the story (which took me a minute, admittedly) I knew I was in for a beautiful, interesting, breath-taking journey. I loved the style of writing. I loved how it was pieced together and spoon fed to me a little at a time. I loved the descriptive words. It made no difference to ME (::ahem:: Markie) that some of the phrases and words were a bit "off" because I figured Death knew better than me how to describe things. I just went along with it and lost myself in this artistic masterpiece he was creating for me one brushstroke at a time.
Some examples of his brilliance:
“He adjusted his position and his bones creaked like itchy floorboards.”
“Either way, it fell across them as their metallic eyes clashed like tin cans in the kitchen”
“Papa’s eyes started corroding.”
“When she looked up the sky was crouching”
“Certainly, there was sweat, and the wrinkled pants of breath, stretching out in front of her.”
“All of them were light, like the cases of empty walnuts. Smoky sky in those places. The smell like a stove, but still so cold.”
“In Liesel’s mind, the moon was stitched into the sky that night. Clouds were stitched around it.”
“Rudy was interested, and confused. The moon was undone now, free to move and rise and fall and drip on the boy’s face, making him nice and murky, like his thoughts.”
“He ran his hand through his sleepy hair.”
I mean, I've seen sleepy hair. I just didn't know how to describe it. Now I do. Thank you Grim.
As for the characters, I loved Liesel. I adored Rudy and Papa and even that B, Rosa Hubermann. But there is no one I loved more than Max.
His book of The Standover Man had me reeling with emotions. I went back and re-read it several times before moving on with the book. I'm not sure if it was the hand drawn pictures which provoked me or what, but I found it particularly poignant. The symbolism of painting over Mein Kampf to tell this simple story of he & Liesel was just the icing on the cake.
Not surprisingly my favorite scene in the book involves Max. It gave me chills re-reading it now.
So many sets of dying eyes and scuffing feet.
Liesel searched them and it was not so much a recognition of facial features that gave Max Vandenburg away. It was how the face was acting--also studying the crowd. Fixed in concentration.
Liesel felt herself pausing as she found the only face looking directly into the German spectators. It examined them with such purpose that people on either side of the book thief noticed and pointed him out.
"What's he looking at?" said a male voice at her side.
The book thief stepped onto the road.
Never before had movement been such a burden. Never had a heart been so definite and big in her adolescent chest.
She stepped forward and said, very quietly, "He's looking for me."
Her voice trailed off and fell away, inside. She had to refind it--reaching far down, to learn to speak again and call out his name.
"I'm here, Max!"
"Max, I'm here!"
He heard her.
Holy. Crap. ::ginormous sigh::
This book is practically magical.
Thanks for the selection, Memzy. I had read this several months ago but have truly enjoyed reliving it a little again tonight.
See all you saumensches at the discussion.