Friday, 12 May 2006

The Book Thief

The best new novel I have read in quite some time is the magnificent 560-page work, The Book Thief, by the young novelist Markus Zusak. It’s a powerful, compelling and humorous story about a young German girl in the Second World War who discovers books and the power of words. She also learns a very important skill: how to steal books.

I think the book’s greatest achievement is its intriguing and wonderfully funny narrator. Without spoiling the story, I’ll just tell you that the narrator is not even a human being—he is Death himself (and Death has never been more endearing).

Anyway, if you only want to read one new novel this year, I reckon this should be the one. I devoured it recently, and I’m already feeling like reading it again. To find out more about the novel, you can also check out the author’s very nice website.


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