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Unformatted text preview: breathes, I hear the notes.
After ten nights of writing, Munich was bombed again. Liesel was up to page 102 and was asleep in the
basement. She did not hear the cuckoo or the sirens, and she was holding the book in her sleep when Papa came to wake her. “Liesel, come.” She took The Book Thief and each of her other books, and they fetched Frau
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.
By the next raid, on October 2, she was finished. Only a few dozen pages remained blank and the book thief
was already starting to read over what she’d written. The book was divided into ten parts, all of which were
given the title of books or stories and described how each affected her life.
Often, I wonder what page she was up to when I walked down Himmel Street in the dripping-tap rain, five
nights later. I wonder what she was reading when the first bomb dropped from the rib cage of a plane.
Personally, I like to imagine her looking briefly at the wall, at Max Vandenburg’s tightrope cloud, his dripping
sun, and the figures walking toward it. Then she looks at the agonizing attempts of her paint-written spelling. I
see the Führer coming down the basement steps with his tied-together boxing gloves hanging casually around
his neck. And the book thief reads, rereads, and rereads her last sentence, for many hours.
THE BOOK THIEF—LAST LINE
I have hated the words and
I have loved them,
and I hope I have made them right.
Outside, the world whistled. The rain was stained. THE END OF THE WORLD (Part II)
Almost all the words are fading now. The black book is disintegrating under the weight of my travels. That’s
another reason for telling this story. What did we say earlier? Say something enough times and you never forget
it. Also, I can tell you what happened after the book thief’s words had stopped, and how I came...
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This note was uploaded on 01/17/2014 for the course ENG 99 taught by Professor Michal during the Winter '13 term at CSU Sacramento.
- Winter '13