The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
*Page numbers will be included when I have the time to go back and comb through.*
- “I wanted to explain that I am constantly overestimating and underestimating the human race– that rarely do I ever simply estimate it.”
- “Together, they would watch everything that was so carefully planned collapse, and they would all smile at the beauty of destruction.”
- “I guess humans like to watch a little destruction. Sand castles, houses of cards, that’s where they begin. Their great skill is their capacity to escalate.”
- “War clearly blurred the distinction between logic and superstition.”
- “…although there was a good portion of guilt, there was also the juvenile trace of laughter. As she rode, she tried to tell herself something. You don’t deserve to be this happy, Liesel. You really don’t. Can a person steal happiness? Or is it just another internal, infernal human trick?”
- “The toy soldier was buried in the dirt, not far from Tommy Muller’s place. It was scratched and trodden, which, to Liesel, was the whole point. Even with injury, it could still stand up.”
- “Liesel was exercising the blatant right of every person who’s ever belonged to a family. It’s all very well for such a person to whine and moan and criticize other family members, but they won’t let anyone else do it. That’s when you get your back up and show loyalty.”
- “Standing above him at all moments of awakeness was the hand of time, and it didn’t hesitate to wring him out. It smiled and squeezed and let him live. What great malice there could be in allowing something to live.”
- “Of course, I’m being rude. I’m spoiling the ending, not only of the entire book, but of this particular piece of it. I have given you two events in advance, because I don’t have much interest in building mystery. Mystery bores me. It chores me. I know what happens and so do you. It’s the machinations that wheel us there that aggravate, perplex, interest, and astound me.”
- “With a clean-shaven face and lopsided yet neatly combed hair, he had walked out of that building a new man. In fact, he walked out German. Hang on a second, he WAS German. Or more to the point, he HAD been.”
- “You can do all manner of underhanded nice things when you have a caustic reputation.”
She walked over and did it again, this time much slower, with her hand facing forward, allowing the dough of her palm to feel the small hurdle of each book. It felt like magic, like beauty, as bright lines of light shone down from a chandelier. Several times, she almost pulled a title from its place but didn’t dare disturb them. They were too perfect.
“Was he really a coward, as his son had so brutally pointed out? Certainly, in World War I, he considered himself one. He attributed his survival to it. But then, is there cowardice in the acknowledgement of fear? Is there cowardice in being glad that you lived?”
“The human child- so much cannier at times than the stupefyingly ponderous adult.”
“That’s the sort of thing I’ll never know, or comprehend– what humans are capable of.”
“When she came to write her story, she would wonder exactly when the books and the words started to mean not just something, but everything.”
I say His name in a futile attempt to understand. “But it’s not your job to understand.” That’s me who answers. God never says anything. You think you’re the only one he never answers? “Your job is to…” And I stop listening to me, because to put it bluntly, I tire me. When I start thinking like that, I become so exhausted, and I don’t have the luxury of indulging fatigue. I’m compelled to continue on, because although it’s not true for every person on earth, it’s true for the vast majority– that death waits for no man– and if he does, he doesn’t usually wait very long.
***A SMALL BUT NOTEWORTHY NOTE***
I’ve seen so many young men
over the years who think they’re
running at other men.
They are not.
They’re running at me.