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The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Author:Markus Zusak [Zusak, Markus]
Language: eng
Format: epub, mobi, azw3
ISBN: 9780307433848
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Published: 2007-12-17T23:00:00+00:00


A SMALL THREAT FROM

VIKTOR CHEMMEL TO RUDY STEINER

“You’ll pay for that at a later date, my friend.”

Say what you will about Viktor Chemmel, but he certainly had patience and a good memory. It took him approximately five months to turn his statement into a true one.

SKETCHES

If the summer of 1941 was walling up around the likes of Rudy and Liesel, it was writing and painting itself into the life of Max Vandenburg. In his loneliest moments in the basement, the words started piling up around him. The visions began to pour and fall and occasionally limp from out of his hands.

He had what he called just a small ration of tools:

A painted book.

A handful of pencils.

A mindful of thoughts.

Like a simple puzzle, he put them together.

Originally, Max had intended to write his own story.

The idea was to write about everything that had happened to him—all that had led him to a Himmel Street basement—but it was not what came out. Max’s exile produced something else entirely. It was a collection of random thoughts and he chose to embrace them. They felt true. They were more real than the letters he wrote to his family and to his friend Walter Kugler, knowing very well that he could never send them. The desecrated pages of Mein Kampf were becoming a series of sketches, page after page, which to him summed up the events that had swapped his former life for another. Some took minutes. Others hours. He resolved that when the book was finished, he’d give it to Liesel, when she was old enough, and hopefully, when all this nonsense was over.

From the moment he tested the pencils on the first painted page, he kept the book close at all times. Often, it was next to him or still in his fingers as he slept.

One afternoon, after his push-ups and sit-ups, he fell asleep against the basement wall. When Liesel came down, she found the book sitting next to him, slanted against his thigh, and curiosity got the better of her. She leaned over and picked it up, waiting for him to stir. He didn’t. Max was sitting with his head and shoulder blades against the wall. She could barely make out the sound of his breath, coasting in and out of him, as she opened the book and glimpsed a few random pages ….



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