The Book Thief – Part Ten – The Ribcage Planes

The Ribcage Planes

Writing by hand is really tiring, and the little hand muscles get so sore so quickly. Thank goodness that we have computers these days so can easily and quickly type things, without the pain. ‘Words are so heavy’ once again a beautiful image. Eleven hand-written pages in one night is a fantastic effort!

Page 1

I try to ignore it, but I know this all started with the train and the snow and my coughing brother. I stole my first book that day. It was a manual for digging graves and I stole it on my way to Himmel Street …

The beginning of the book we are reading, seems such a long time ago, and the death of her brother was so long ago. Liesel fell asleep down in the basement, and in the morning Rosa found her. I really love Rosa! I love all the characters!

Liesel’s life is complicated and full of interesting things, that she is in danger of forgetting something, and it isn’t like she can just insert more words in-front of the ones she already has written. If she left something out, it would have to be worked in later, or left out entirely. Liesel has been consumed by writing, words have become even more important to her, I don’t know what would happen if she lost them, not again. This is a really elegant way to recount some of the things that have happened to Liesel in this book, really clever and quite unique.

Page 42

Papa sat with me tonight. He brought the accordion down and sat close to where Max used to sit. I often look at his fingers and face when he plays. The accordion breathes. There are lines on his cheeks. They look drawn on, and for some reason, when I see them, I want to cry. It is not for any sadness or pride. I just like the way they move and change. Sometimes I think my Papa is an accordion. When he looks at me and smiles and breathes, I hear the notes.

Liesel really does have a way with words, when words are that important to someone, I guess you know how to use them. Molching was bombed again, whilst Liesel was asleep in the basement, but Hans woke her up and took her to the ‘safer bunker’.

Page 175

A book floated down the Amper River. A boy jumped in, caught up to it and held it in his right hand. He grinned. He stood waist deep in the icy, Decemberish water. ‘How about a kiss. Saumensch?’ he said.

Clearly our ‘The Book Thief’ is different to Liesel’s ‘The Book Thief’. This is her story, but Death is our narrator and not Liesel. I wonder what this would be like if Liesel narrated. Clearly we wouldn’t know as much, and wouldn’t be able to travel around, but I wonder if it would be as interesting. I don’t think so. The main attraction is Death, Liesel’s story too, but without Death and his commentary and knowledge, the book wouldn’t work, at least as well as it does.

Liesel finished her book, with only a few dozen pages to spare. The book is divided the same way this one is, in 10 parts each titled after the book/story that played a part in the ‘part’. We learn that in 5 days, everything is going to change.

The Book Thief – Last Line

I have hated the words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right.

That would be a superb end to a book, but of course our story continues, though for only 20 more pages!


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