80 pages 2 hours read

Markus Zusak

The Book Thief

Fiction | Novel | YA | Published in 2005

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Prologue-Chapter 8Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Prologue: “A Mountain Range of Rubble” - Part 1: “The Gravedigger’s Handbook”

Prologue 1 Summary: “Death and Chocolate”

The book’s narrator introduces himself. He is Death and explains that he sees the day as a progression of colors. Chocolate brown is his favorite. He says he is going to tell a story about someone called “the book thief.”

Prologue 2 Summary: “Beside the Railway Line”

Death describes a young boy dying while aboard a train. His mother and sister stand by helplessly as all three are put off at the next station. Death becomes fascinated with the girl, whom he has come to know as the book thief.

Prologue 3 Summary: “The Eclipse”

Years later, Death catches another glimpse of the book thief when he comes to collect the soul of an airplane pilot who has crash-landed. Rather than describing the experience in colors, Death says he sometimes sees eclipses when people die.