Date: 17 June 2010
To quote Philip Ardach, “Unsettling, thought-provoking, life affirming, triumphant and tragic, this is a novel of breathtaking scope.” It is a must read that will take you on a journey into the very heart of what it is to be human and beyond. It is an extraordinarily complex and many layered work of literature, so deftly and delicately written that I personally rank Zusak right up there with the great classical writers of all time.
Death is the narrator and commentator revealing man’s inhumanity to man along with his potential for greatness with such empathy and compassion that one is moved to one’s core as the children and inhabitants of a small German town deal with the Nazi terror that implacably takes over their lives.
With exquisitely understated precision Zusak creates the entire community of individuals, allowing them to reveal their characters in a myriad small ways so that one is right in the heart of their daily lives, experiencing every nuance of emotion and discovering painfully along with them just what it is like to be a caught up in whole scale political chaos where reason no longer exists.
I could not read it at one sitting as I normally do when I find a good book. It took me two weeks to read it because I had to stop at the end of virtually every sentence, paragraph and page to savour and digest the magnitude of what was being portrayed so seemingly simply and yet so powerfully and profoundly.
I rate it 100 plus stars out of 5!