Death is objective

book thief

Or is he? Perhaps not in the case of The Book Thief. Although I generally avoid blogging about the same author twice, I reckon that Markus Zusak is the exception to the rule. I decided to reread this amazing story because of the film adaption which was recently released, and was once again struck by the genius of the author. If you have read his other works, you will understand how versatile he is and how he is a wordsmith in the true sense of the term.

The Book Thief tells the story of Liezel Meminger, living in Nazi Germany. Adopted by the Hubermans who live in a small town near Munich, Liezel learns to live, love and most importantly, to read, during the tumultuous period that was World War 2. The genius of this masterpiece is that it is narrated by Death, a very busy “person” at that particular point in history, as he encounters the book thief at several points in her young existence. It is a rich, exquisitely crafted tale that you will never forget, if you haven’t read it yet, what else have you been doing? I once watched an interview with Zusak in which he said he based the story’s events on anecdotes his grandmother used to tell him about the war, and I can’t help wondering if Granny Zusak was Liesel Meminger herself.

I paired this exquisite book with an exquisite wine, just as rich and layered as the story itself. The Clos Malverne Chardonnay is buttery and lingering, and is a worthy match for The Book Thief.

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Lucky at cards…

marcus zusak

I’m not overly fond of Australia. Its mostly desert, and marsupials really freak me out. However, I can appreciate the talent that the country has produced, like Nicole Kidman, Hugh Jackman (sigh) and Markus Zusak. Best known for his mind-blowing art-work  like piece of literature, The Book Thief, Zusak has produced a lesser-known work, which I found far more gripping and delightful than The Book Thief (if that is conceivably possible) called I am the Messenger. I could not put this book down for three days. I couldn’t stop thinking about it and the characters in it, and I recommended it to everyone I saw for the next month.

It tells the story of below-average Ed, a taxi driver in Australia whose life changes when he begins receiving mysterious tasks via playing cards in his post box. It’s one of those stories that you feel has the potential to change lives. Though I found the ending somewhat disappointing and confusing, the delight of the journey, and the characters (especially The Doorman) I befriended along the way more than made up for it.

For a magical book like this, I would recommend the Haute Cabriere Tranquill. Its a soft and delicate wine. A blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay gives it a beautiful salmony-colour.

Alternatively, although its not a wine, a dram of Drambuie would also go well with this read, its sweet, and warms you from head-to-toe, just like I am the Messenger.

<p>Article by Aimee McDonald</p>
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