Friday, 16 December 2016

The Book Thief Book Review

The Book ThiefThe Book Thief by Markus Zusak
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

One was a book thief.
The other stole the sky."

The Book Thief is, without a doubt, one of the most unusual books I have ever read . Have patience with me , I am to write this review with careful detail .

There's a big if not an enormously huge hype surrounding this book . I , most unexpectedly , avoid these type of books in usual , not willingly though , sometimes I cant bring myself to read a book with a big hype , it scares me , the amount of high expectations . there is also this unconscious thought " the book doesn't need you (does it ?), it has too many fans , why not linger in the periphery and find some lonely forgotten books to back up ? "
Or ... maybe I simply do not like crowds .
So, when I started reading this book I was pushing myself through the lines , curiosity to know what's so admirable about it overwhelming the bookish Enochlophobia . it was a little hard to get into , maybe because of the constant distraction and the slow pace , but the book slowly would takes hold of your heart and whole being. there is much wistfulness , pain , melancholy and beauty in this novel that when you finish the last page, you’re left in pieces .

When i was a child i read books without discrimination , i read anything and everything . I mean it didn't matter if i was reading a newspaper that I've already read 3 or 4 times before , I've read political books , religional books , children magazines or even user instruction manuals that come with devices . which were all mainly my father's or things that come in handy ,When I had nothing in hand i'd read text books of previous or coming years , history , chemistry , mathematics anything , i was never picky . Like though i wasn't interested in politics , but I'd sit and read and may imagine a whole different content than that in the book , now i open these books and can hardly recognize them .
It was not about understanding as much as about reading because it still means holding a book and enjoying the words rolling in your mouth . That Feeling .
However, my reading had changed , I'm being picky now , i write book requests , i search lists , read synopses , reviews and very carefully chose every next book . An uphill or a slop down I don't know .
Now how does this relate to our book ? What i loved the most about The Book Thief is that it didn't matter to Liesel "what the book was " as much as the act of reading did , she'd read a Grave digging guide , and go on re reading it , and still enjoy it . the mere child she is , who has nothing to do with how graves should be dug .
The whole book has this general theme of an odd subtlety , How the words seem to burn one moment then they'd turn into silent nostalgic ashes , you never know which line will sink or float you , make or mar you. Which would be your next undoing. Zusak had written a story of words, He writes with love and adoration and most important of all with respect to the power of words . Books and words almost have a physical presence in here , it’s a fascinating thing to witness. Words can hurt, and conversely as we find out from The Book Thief; they have the capacity to heal and give way to hope.
A meaningful unit of language / a promise / a short remark, statement, or conversation.
Related words: term, name, expression"

The Book Thief is not a book about the Holocaust in the traditional sense Considering that all of Hitler's power rested on his ability to persuade people through words. however, this book shows how this power may be used to create friendships, preserve life, and ultimately made Liesel more courageous and true to herself . it always abolishes whatever you may think is absolute , It’s not even a book about Jews or Germans and world war II . It is a book about people, "They were French, they were Jews, and they were you." it tells how war can victimize both sides of a battle field , that lines blur and people simply die , I connected to the book because there's always a time and a place were humanity would show cruelty , its never simply "the past" , it would be listed in history under different names but they share similar essence , We have our own wars now going on in the world . People suffer and die, there are rebels, there are reborn Fuhrers , and there are martyrs. these stories seem to share the very same content making the book ageless .

And then the insane concept of having Death be our narrator makes the book quite unique , it may sound ominous but Suzak captures the death voice in poetic human way " I am haunted by humans " ,he has conscience and empathy however unaffecting to his work they might be . Death is not what we might imagine for a mental model of the word , he's a sarcastic voice sometimes with an undeniable sense of humor . and it directs the dialogue to us , the readers , Zusak includes us here , we are no mere observers , we do not linger in the death thoughts , we do not eavesdrop his conversations , he simply addresses us , speaks to us . tells us the story of a little girl that touched his very existence . like a friend telling you a story , one who's eager , indifferent to and unaware of the literary sins (giving away spoilers the greatest of them ) . and for a book to provide its own spoilers is assuredly unusual .
through out the book we get glimpses of our odd narrator
"A REASSURING ANNOUNCEMENT Please, be calm, despite that previous threat. I am all bluster— I am not violent. I am not malicious. I am a result"
"A SMALL PIECE OF TRUTH I do not carry a sickle or scythe. I only wear a hooded black robe when it’s cold. And I don’t have those skull-like facial features you seem to enjoy pinning on me from a distance. You want to know what I truly look like? I’ll help you out. Find yourself a mirror while I continue"

having the story told by a character supposedly detached from humanity is eerily effective. this prospect provides the bird eye view of humanity , and this eerie feeling is due to this exact fact , the humanization of death , it has a strange, out-of-place feeling about it . In aesthetics there's whats called The uncanny valley which is the hypothesis that human replicas that appear almost, but not exactly, like real human beings elicit feelings of eeriness and revulsion among some observers .

The world building was outstanding . not that it had many details but it felt too personal , a single town a single street , I felt like I was a member of the neighborhood. I could picture myself wherever the story was at: the school, courtyard, library, basement, house. The beautiful writing was the factor that made it so . Every sentence felt like it was a painting or an artifact .

At some point near the end , The Book Thief stops being just a greatly written novel , it simply becomes Great . its beautiful and tragic . How it manages wartime , death and such great afflictions and diversities with the humor and the curiosity of the youth , It’s one of those books with the ability to linger in your mind long after the final page .
The amount of the sentimentalism the End holds , this much of intense wrenching crushing and scarring heart ache ! Its an end that would tear your heart apart and rip it open . I couldn't stand reading it in one brave daring go , I had to break through every few minutes console my broken heart , manage the hot tears and then step back into the ocean of feelings that end was .
How brave should you be to step back into an ocean in the middle of a tempest ?

I loved the book wholeheartedly , and not only the book but it's characters , the way they learned to love in the face of great hatred.

I have hated the words
And I have loved them,
And I hope I have made them right.

Liesel Meminger , The Book Thief

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Sunday, 4 December 2016

Passenger Book Review

Passenger (Passenger, #1)Passenger by Alexandra Bracken
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

"But she wondered if, in moving outside of the natural flow of time, they had forgotten the most crucial point of life—that it wasn’t meant to be lived for the past, or even the future, but for each present moment. "

Passenger is a scavenger hunt through space and time . a wholesome adventure story . the book is written from the points of view of the two main characters , Etta Spencer and Nicholas Carter . 17 years old Etta is a violin prodigy , from the 2015's New York , she is about to make her debut as a professional violinist when suddenly the night of her debut goes disarray . she encounters some strange events and wakes up somewhere else , and figures , sometime else too . Through this dilemma , on a ship in the middle of the Atlantic She crosses paths with Nicholas, a pirate from 1776 , He's dark-skinned and so experiences all of the societal issues that comes with at the time and he does handle them well . Nicholas hang up on claiming freedom and independence while Etta trying to salvage the life she had , they set out in a journey around the world between different eras looking for something that may change the time line and write a whole new history .
One of these things i admire in novels is when they hold a message , novels should not be written to merely serve as stories , they should hold a message between the lines so like this one do . passenger covers some pretty serious social issues. tells of the role of women in the eighteenth century and how different from that of the twenty first also racism and slavery . and its done in a way that it doesn't seem forced into the story . we get to see how societal issues evolve and change over time.
Etta is an admirable character , she isn't whiny which i really like, though she was a bit extra "badass" at the beginning that at some point it felt fake and unreal but then things changed , she started coming to life few chapters after . Nicholas is a fully fleshed out character where his race is only a part of how he interacts with the world .
Seriously books like this one reinforce my belief that no book should be left unfinished . Because any moment things may change and the book would exceed your expectations . this one did , it fills me with a nice feeling , i love when books do this . I cant elaborate . I mean not like i want books to put me down at the beginning , but for a book to pick itself up is like an extra unconsidered perk .

Generally Time travel maybe confusing but it always is an interesting subject to read a novel about . This novel offers an interesting take on time-travel, particularly as the time-travel within it has so many limitations. in this world one can not cross path with themselves , means if you were somewhere sometime at some point of your life you just cant revisit that year ,the passages are limited for certain times and places and it explains a lot about the concept this book is using . its compelling how through time people who were long dead can still be found in the future sightseeing as they've traveled to these years at some point of their lives , there are traveler and guardians and the whole thing is interesting . I loved the world building as it was so carefully nicely crafted .
The end is cliffhanger(ish) , twisterific , it added an extra layer of tension overall , I am interested to see how things would turn out and i expect more of the next book so Wayfarer would be one of my 2017 anticipated books .

All in all , aside from some minor issues I do like the book , of course it could do with some polishing like there definitely were some slow parts and a moment here and there that didn't feel right but the second half of the book was laudable and the book is worth the read. It just takes a while to get into . Passenger would take you through different times all over the world to America, England, France, Bhutan, Cambodia , Syria , etc . Its an interesting journey , you may want a ticket .

"I’ll be seeing you, in all the old familiar places"

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