80 pages 2 hours read

Markus Zusak

The Book Thief

Fiction | Novel | YA | Published in 2005

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Chapters 49-56Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Part 7: “The Complete Duden Dictionary and Thesaurus”

Chapter 49 Summary: “Champagne and Accordions”

During the summer of 1942, Liesel helps Hans with his painting. Business is booming. With air raids on the horizon, everyone in town needs to have their window blinds painted black. When one customer can’t pay Hans in cash, he’s offered a bottle of champagne instead. Liesel gets a glass, too.

Liesel relishes the experiences of that summer, but they won’t last. As Death says, “Bold and bright, a trilogy of happiness would continue for summer’s duration and into autumn. It would then be brought abruptly to an end, for the brightness had shown suffering the way. Hard times were coming” (114).

Chapter 50 Summary: “The Trilogy”

During August, a Hitler Youth carnival is being held, and Rudy is ambitious to win four gold medals in the 100, 200, 500, and 1500-meter races, just like his idol, Jesse Owens. His old nemesis, Deutscher, is disgruntled after Rudy wins three events. The boy is disqualified in the fourth because he makes a false start before the gun goes off. He later confides to Liesel that he did this on purpose. She speculates about his reasoning: “Perhaps three medals had shown what he’d wanted to show, or he was afraid to lose that final race.