Quotes from “The Book Thief”

The trailer for this book just came out, and I watched it recently. Besides the World’s Worst Voiceover (TM), it looked excellent. I was looking up quotes of the book online, and it reminded me of how absolutely brilliant and how horribly tragic and beautifully written that book truly is.

Take this scene. It’s a major spoiler, though since the narrator gives it up pretty early maybe not too much.

The tears grappled with her face.
Rudy, please, wake up, Goddamn it, wake up, I love you. Come on, Rudy, come on, Jesse Owens, don’t you know I love you, wake up, wake up, wake up..”
But nothing cared…

She leaned down and looked at his lifeless face and Liesel kissed her best friend, Rudy Steiner, soft and true on his lips. He tasted dusty and sweet. He tasted like regret in the shadows of trees and in the glow of the anarchist’s suit collection. She kissed him long and soft, and when she pulled herself away, she touched his mouth with her fingers. Her hands were trembling, her lips were fleshy, and she leaned in once more, this time losing control and misjudging it. Their teeth collided on the demolished world of Himmel Street.

Books, plays, and movies don’t really make me cry, but I’ll be damned if this isn’t the closest I’ve ever come. Liesel kissing Rudy on Himmel Street.

Rudy is one of my all-time favorite characters. Death said it best:

He does something to me, that boy. Every time. It’s his only detriment. He steps on my heart. He makes me cry

The Book Thief is one of the best, perhaps THE best, book I’ve ever read. It is beautiful and tragic, uplifting and heartbreaking. It is everything a book should be.

If you can only read one book for the rest of your life, this should be it.

It’s a small story really, about, among other things:

* A girl
* Some words
* An accordionist
* Some fanatical Germans
* A Jewish fist fighter
* And quite a lot of thievery

– Marcus Zusak, The Book Thief

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