80 pages 2 hours read

Markus Zusak

The Book Thief

Fiction | Novel | YA | Published in 2005

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Chapters 33-40

Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Part 5: “The Whistler”

Chapter 33 Summary: “The Floating Book (Part 1)”

Death recalls an incident when Rudy dives into a river to rescue one of Liesel’s books. He demands a kiss in payment, which she denies. When Rudy dies two years later in a bombing, Liesel finally offers the kiss that Rudy always craved.

Chapter 34 Summary: “The Gamblers (A Seven-Sided Die)”

In this part of the story, Death uses the metaphor of rolling dice to describe events taking place in 1941. He concludes with the unlucky number seven but takes each individual roll in turn.

Roll Number One—The Haircut, Mid-April 1941: Liesel comments that Max’s shaggy hair reminds her of bird feathers, so he asks her to cut it.

Roll Number Two—The Newspaper, Early May: On her way home from the mayor’s library, Liesel finds a newspaper in the trash with the crossword still empty. She brings this for Max to complete. Often, Liesel will sit in the basement reading while Max finishes a crossword. Death says, “Where Hans Hubermann and Erik Vandenburg were ultimately united by music, Max and Liesel were held together by the quiet gathering of words” (77-8).

Roll Number Three—The Weatherman, Mid May: After returning from a soccer game, Liesel visits Max, and he asks her to describe the weather outside.