Tuesday, 23 August 2011

And another latest book read

I was given this book by a colleague at work who said, rather worryingly, "I've read it once, it was good but I won't want to read it again".  When I asked why she told me that it was like watching "Schindler's List", because although you are glad you have seen it, you don't want to put yourself through the ordeal of watching it again.  With some trepidation, I began reading.  Another colleague noticed me reading and asked what the book was.  On seeing the cover, she said "Oh, it's really good but it is so harrowing."  As I had only just got started, this didn't fill me with confidence.  Having now finished it, I can see what they meant, but that is to do with the subject matter.  Any book dealing with the Second World War and the persecution of the Jews is, by its nature, going to be upsetting and harrowing.  However, this book views Germany through the eyes of a child who initially hasn't quite grasped the significance of events unfolding around her.  The most unusual aspect of the book is the narrator - not the girl, but Death.  It is an interesting slant on the war and the author has cleverly given Death a sympathetic voice.  Death is not the grisly phantom so often depicted, as he tells the reader, (and I have assumed he is a he).  The story doesn't shy away from the concentration camps, nor from the forced marches nor from the allied bombing over Germany.  At the end, it is an uplifting story, in spite of the subject matter, which concentrates on the survival of the human spirit.

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