The Book Thief – Part Nine – The Snows of Stalingrad and The Ageless Brother

The Snows of Stalingrad

How does a whole street, have a corridor? Aren’t corridors in buildings? So Liesel went to Frau Holtzapfel’s door, for her usual reading time. But a man answered the door.  The man didn’t let her in, and wouldn’t explain, but sent her back home. I wonder who he is, he wasn’t a brother or son, is he from the Gestapo? But three hours later, Liesel was allowed to see her. Apparently her son has returned. From Stalingard, where he lost three fingers, when he was shot in the ribs. Apparently his brother is dead, news he delivered to Rosa in a quick punch, he must have learnt from Death to be so blunt. I guess this news makes everything worse for Rosa, her son is there too, and the last time she saw him they didn’t leave on good terms. Imagine if he died, and the last thing that happened was that he stormed out of the house, it wouldn’t be a good final memory. Actually it is even worse, she did not know, this is new news to her. Even though he was so rude and such a Nazi, I hope for Rosa’s sake he isn’t dead.

A Small War Story

His legs were blown off at the sins and he died with his brother watching in a cold, stench-filled hospital.

As always, Death is there to present another side of the story. Which is a unique way to give us information that Liesel would never have known, that we wouldn’t have had, if Death didn’t tell us. It’s very clever. War, is such a stupid thing, it is idiotic. But it is as much a part of humanity, as us thinking. I don’t think, in our current, mindsets and societies, that we can ever achieve peace. There is no such thing, when we are so divided and separated. Maybe one day, but not today.

I really love Zusak/Death’s descriptions of things, they are so detailed and unique. I mean who comes up with, ‘Blood was bleeding through, and in patches, the clouds were dirty, like footprints in melting snow. Footprints? you ask. Well, I wonder whose those could be.’ Zusak is an artist, and a poet! To be honest, that would be so awkward for Liesel, trying to read in a kitchen with so much grief. I don’t think I’d be able to.

The Ageless Brother

Liesel is almost 14! I had totally forgotten how old she was, I am so thankful that we are told, because I’ve been wondering for a while now. I can’t believe she is 14! She came when she was like 8? That’s 6 years now, that is a long time. So much has happened. At least Liesel returned the plate, though she ran away before someone answered the door. It is better, Liesel, you should do more giving, and less taking. Does this mean that her sleep is going to be nightmareless. This is a big breakthrough. If she has been having these dreams for 6 years, it is amazing that she can stop now.

The Last Human Stranger, Page 38

There were people everywhere on the city street, but the strange could not have been more alone if it had been empty.

That is powerful. And so relevant. Everyone is so connected today through the internet, but we are lonelier than ever. We can talk to hundreds of people at once, everywhere around the world, but yet this does not replace human interaction. We have to talk to people in real life, otherwise our lives feel unfulfilled and lonely. Some people can manage, but most of us still need human interaction. It is something that we should never lose.


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