24 February 2014

The Word Shaker

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Glittered top: Topshop | Necklace and belt: Forever 21 | Pants: Uniqlo | Shoes: Pedro

I only like two kinds of books. First are those that sweep me off my feet. They leave me with big thoughts to consider and ponder on the moment I close the covers. Often, they leave me in tears as well. Then there's the kind of books that works into me slowly. As I read chapter after chapter, I don't notice the punches that land on me. It takes a few minutes upon its completion to realize that, hey, I'm practically bruised by words so nicely put that I feel my vocabulary has just undergone overhaul. The Book Thief falls under the second category. 


Writing book reviews is not one of my expertise; although it's fair to say that I'm not an expert at anything (just yet). But let me try to sum up what the book taught me in a paragraph. Firstly, I read it because events that took place during Nazi Germany's reign greatly fascinate me. Secondly, the novel's narrator was an interesting choice. And I think a story that took place in one of the defining moments of our history cannot be told by anyone but by someone who has been the busiest during those times - Death. The most reverberant idea that the book left me is that, there is power in words. A person who can win a crowd with only words at his disposal has power within him far greater than he initially thought he has. Plant a viable image in others' minds, constantly tend to it, and the sapling will grow sturdy, and eventually multiply. This is how Hitler did it. Perhaps Book Thief wasn't as despairing as Thomas Keneally's Schindler's Ark which became the basis of Spielberg's masterpiece Schindler's List or Jodi Picoult's The Storyteller but it was this novel that made me see it wasn't always Hitler's guns and armies that killed millions but his words which he successfully planted in his followers' minds. He only had to choose the right words and he got a nation who was ready to annihilate another in response to their Fuhrer's call. On a lighter note, I had a quick German-speaking 101 but mostly the words that retained in my mind were saumensch, saukerl, and arschloch

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There's joy in stumbling on words and phrases that we do not normally come across with. So as is often the case, the movie version didn't completely capture the essence of the book.

1 comment:

  1. unfortunately the last time I read many book was in my childhood :( now I just don't have time for that anymore. and it's sad because I actually love reading! I hope there will come time when I can read as many books as in my childhood. yeah, I was a true bookworm then :P I think you're lucky you can read all those books and learn from them!

    Maikeni blogi - part of me


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