The magnificent, highly anticipated new novel from the author of the international bestseller, The Book Thief.
About the Author
Markus Zusak is the bestselling author of six novels, including Bridge of Clay, The Book Thief and The Messenger. His books have been translated into more than forty languages, to both popular and critical acclaim. He lives in Sydney with his wife and two children.
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This is a triumph of writing. I am not sure where Markus finds his inspiration but please keep it up.
This book is about the Dunbar boys a riot who live with an assortment of animals including a donkey all have names taken from Greek mythology. There are some really insightful vignettes as we build up the story of the parents, their loves and losses.
There are many themes throughout the book and there is a lot of connections to the classics. These could form a study if the reader is inclined. Another major theme is horse racing. I am reasonably aware of Australian horse racing and this is required to appreciate that part of the story to its fullest but doesn't detract either.
The largest theme is the comparison of Clay to Michelangelo. Probably another source for study to fully appreciate.
The author uses flashback to gradually tell the story. This becomes tedious and annoying. I became lost and quite often not sure where we were in the story as if there were two mirrors facing each other. At the end I had completely lost the point of the story. But I can see that this is book has many hidden depths which would profit a diligent reader.
As usual Marcus Zusak does not disappoint. This book is to be chewed and savored it is not an offering that can be rushed or skimmed. It is hard, sad, heartbreakingly funny, caring and above all it must be earn't. It is a story that has clear characters and they stay with you long after the last page. The language is beautiful it is a work of art , it paints the canvas of the imagination with such brilliance. I was surprised with some of the negative reviews even from some so called critics saying they could not get past the first chapters, to them I say try again, try harder do not give up, you will not regret the effort. You can tell I loved this book and will read it again and recommended it at every opportunity. I hope the next book from Marcus will be sooner than 10 years but if it is as good as this one who cares.
Every so often you read a book which lodges itself inside you. To be remembered, to be reread, examined in introspection, talked about with other bibliophiles, and generally treasured. This is one of those books for me. Markus' manner of placing words with such craft proves he is exactly that: a wordsmith worthy of the name. The characters, the storyline, weave in and out, pulling you along, pulling you into their world. The house full of boys, the donkey, the river bed and bridge; I can still see them, hear them and cry with them, several months after finishing the book. On my RECOMMEND list.
I have just finished Markus Zuzak's 'Bridge of Clay' a few days ago and I felt I must write to express my admiration for his latest book. Thank you Markus for your persevering in completing your book over that long 13 years. It is wonderful and belongs in my top 5 list of all time and I read a great deal. In Marcus' usual style it is somewhat difficult to access in the first 50 pages and I would recommend that all who read try not to put the book down in the initial chapters - keep going. Marcus' style is very unique, I can't really explain it and even though there is some similarity to the style used by the narrator in 'The Book Thief', it actually takes a lot longer to realise who is telling the story. The characters are very unique and one feels very sympathetic to all of them as their stories are slowly revealed. I would have loved to have met the boys' mother Penelope as she is drawn as an unbelievably resilient woman and loved her boys so fiercely it was hard to comprehend. I can't say much about the story because half the fun in reading 'The Bridge' is actually figuring out what is really going on. I don't think I have ever read a book which demands so much of its readers to keep going. Needless to say it is a wonderful,wonderful story of love, tragedy and sacrifice. Bravo Markus
Whilst I found the writing style very difficult to start with, I persevered and by about 40 pages in, I was hooked! This is a very moving story told by the eldest son essentially about his younger brother Clay. However, it goes much deeper, also telling the story about his parents and the family, a multitude of animals and of course, the building of a bridge. It takes a lot to make me laugh and cry when reading a novel but I did both while reading this story! Well worth the read!!