Posts Tagged ‘prose’

Words are a lens to focus one’s mind.


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It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still.

By her brother’s graveside, Liesel’s life is changed when she picks up a single object, partially hidden in the snow. It is The Gravedigger’s Handbook, left there by accident, and it is her first act of book thievery.

So begins a love affair with books and words, as Liesel, with the help of her accordion-playing foster father, learns to read. Soon she is stealing books from Nazi book-burnings, the mayor’s wife’s library, wherever there are books to be found.

But these are dangerous times. When Liesel’s foster family hides a Jewish fist-fighter in their basement, Liesel’s world is both opened up, and closed down.


The Book Thief is by far the best book I have ever read.

Yes, bold statement, but true. And yes, in the grand scheme of it all, I am only a small reader in a worldwide pool of voracious readers, and have yet to even scratch the surface of the number of great books out there in Literature Land. But to date, it is ranked as my number one by a very long way.

It was the writing that captured my attention … When she looked up, the sky was crouching; … the words fell like injuries from his mouth; Her feet scolded the floor; Air breathed up her pyjama sleeves. They would each greet me like their last true friend, with bones like smoke, and their souls trailing behind.

Marcus Zusak, an Australian writer, gives a master class on how to write prose that is poetic, a narrative that is insightful, and he weaves a storyline that is every bit heart-wrenching from what we’d expect from a book based around Nazi Germany war times. However, hemmed beautifully amongst the dark veil that shrouds the story, Zusak brings light, and it shines wonderfully to lift our spirits, to guide us steadily, and to help us to the end of a truly captivating story.

Of course, there are interesting characters that you learn to love and some that you learn to hate, and a narrator, without giving it away, is simply to die for. These characters create a platform that teaches us the many layers and the varying colours of the human soul.

Liesel Meminger, the book thief, is the main character. Her brother dies on their journey to live with foster parents in a small country town in Germany, and she is alone to start a new life with nothing more than a book she stole at his burial. Through her life with her new family and friends, Rudi Steiner and a Jewish stowaway named Max Vandenburg, we learn about friendships and hardships, love and death, and about courage and hope in the midst of cruelty and adversity.

The Book Thief is masterful and eloquent. It is crafted with intelligence and saturated with creative genius. The story has power and the words are like dancing musical notes, blending wonderfully to create art that easily moves you. I was captured, touched, and provoked to feel—driven to tears and laughter within a single sentence.

If you’re a reader, then I urge you to absorb yourself in the narrative. If you’re a writer, then I beg you to take note of the style and technique and applaud the effort it has taken to create such a masterpiece. I highly recommend reading this book.

Rating: 5 out of 5


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By now, most of us would have experienced the feeling of being in love.

C’mon, guys, you know the feelings I’m talking about—the fast beating of your heart, sweaty palms, that lasting smile that carries you through the day until you see that person next, the way you notice the little things like subtle facial expressions, particular fragrances, the way the light bounces off hair and eye colour, the softness of lips when pressed to yours, the feeling of fitting together perfectly. That’s the power of love, and the feeling is magical.

For some, love is fresh and alive and happening at this very moment, and for you I say, woo hoo! Yes, celebrate it, savour it and capture it any way you can. Follow your heart. Don’t analyse it, simply go with it.

For others, love may be a distant memory archived away or placed carefully into a time capsule, accessible only when that trigger—photo, song, movie, place, phrase etc.—transports you back and forces you to retrieve and remember those feelings from that time, that place, that person.

Now, writing should have that same affect on you, especially if you love it and love what you do. Do you love writing?

If you love writing, you should have the same feelings towards it. Writing should bring that same enthusiasm and passion to your work. Your words should have that same energy flowing through your prose and narrative, intoxicating your senses so you can think of nothing else but that idea, character, story or manuscript. It should draw you deeper and deeper and consume every part of you, and it should grow on you and mould into you until you feel at one with it. Your words should resonate with your readers, helping them feel all that is you.

If you can do that then you are well on your way to a perfect love affair, where true love exists, where dreams become a reality and fairytale endings are not just imaginary ideas, but where your story has no other conclusion but to end happily ever after.

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