Olivia Kershaw: “My Inheritance Classic”—The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

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Congratulations to Olivia Kershaw, who is the winner of a boxed set of seven Orange Inheritance Classics as the winner of the Inheritance Classics Competition Litroran recently with Orange and Vintage Books.

Published below is her winning entry, where she describes a book she would like to pass on to the next generation:

If I could pass a book on to the next generation, it would be The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, a wonderfully poignant story exploring life in Nazi Germany during the 1940s. Death and loss as topics feature very prominently in the story, which is actually narrated from the point of a view of a figure regarded as ‘Death’ himself, giving the book a vibrant and unusual twist.

The author has offered a different slant on the stereotypical ‘Grim Reaper’ image, instead giving the character a dark sense of humour and making him into a sarcastic, almost likeable character with a natural, sinister edge to his personality. This is the defining feature of the book which makes it so enjoyable and so memorable.

A chilling and enthralling read, I think it would be greatly valuable to the next generation because it is such a marvellous book, and it is certainly radically different to most other books in that its dark subject and backdrop is written through the eyes of the most unlikely character… It should make people think deeply, and more than ever, it should provide them with a thoroughly enjoyable read!

Olivia Kershaw

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