How is it even possible for someone to have the gift to make one ache, mourn, thrill, dread, die, and hope just by scratching words on a piece of paper?
Well done Mr. Zusak. Well done.
I'll give a much more thorough review later, because it's warranted, but just a taste of the haunting, insanely crafted sentences from this story, a story of a German girl during WWII, told by Death.
"The book thief saw only the mechanics of the words - their bodies stranded on the paper, beaten down for her to walk on. Somewhere, too, in the gaps between a period and the next capital letter, there was also Max."
"Three languages interwove. The Russian, the bullets, the German."
"A woman of wire had laid herself down, her scream traveling the street, till it fell sideways like a rolling coin starved of momentum."
I sat, paused, and stared off into space several times while reading this book. Mesmerized by the words, writing out my own impressions in my head. And mockingly laughing at myself as I found my thought-ed words to be mimicking the tone of the story - a bad mimicry, but one just the same. And I thought back to an email I wrote back in college - the friend I wrote it to responded with "your last email read differently, like you were channeling a poem or something." Ha, I had just read a bunch of LM Montgomery and had been subconsciously channeling Anne into my own thoughts. I've done that with Jane Austen too - read a few of hers back to back and you'll be thinking in early 19th century English before you can utter "wot wot?" Dickens will do the same. The power of a well-crafted sentence, a skillfully turned word. Think of how Shakespeare's phrases are still peppered throughout today's media - we quote them comfortably, admiring the way they capture exactly what we want to express at that moment.
As I sat thinking over my brain's sponge-like absorption of the written-voice, I thought - hmm, that also happens when I read my Bible. When I make the time to have consistent time in His written word. If the written word is powerful, oh the power of the words inspired by the Spirit, by Him! Imagine, just imagine, if His tone, His meaning, began constructing my thoughts, my sentences. If my written word was subconsciously structured to mimic His, if my spoken words reflected Him.
Challenging thoughts my friends. Lord willing, not just thoughts, but thoughts that lead to actions.
"For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart." - Heb 4:12