Markus Zusak quotes

  • Like most misery, it started with apparent happiness.
    -- Markus Zusak

    #Misery

  • As a child in Sydney, my German Mum and my Austrian Dad would spontaneously tell me stories about what they saw and what they did as children. It was like a piece of Europe coming into our house... Those stories led me to my writing.
    -- Markus Zusak

    #Dad #Children #Writing

  • I have to say that although it broke my heart, I was, and still am, glad I was there.
    -- Markus Zusak

    #Heart #Broke #Glad

  • When I was a teenager I decided I was going to be a writer and that nothing was going to stop me. It sounds almost villainous. But I knew that was what I wanted.
    -- Markus Zusak

    #Teenager #Sound #Wanted

  • I am haunted by humans.
    -- Markus Zusak

    #Humans

  • I've been a writer since I was 16. I didn't get published until I was 24. I know that sounds crazy.
    -- Markus Zusak

    #Crazy #Sound

  • Please, trust me, I most definitely can be cheerful. I can be amiable. Agreeable. Affable. And that's only the A's. Just don't ask me to be nice. Nice has nothing to do with me.
    -- Markus Zusak

    #Nice #Cheerful #Trust Me

  • I think, as the writer, you're always going to mourn something [left out of a film]. But you also just want to know there's a good reason for it being left out. On the whole, you want to give something to somebody creative. The worst thing you can do is say, "Here, be creative, but do it like I want you to do it." I was always very mindful of that.
    -- Markus Zusak

    #Thinking #Giving #Creative

  • I guess that’s the beauty of books. When they finish they don’t really finish.
    -- Markus Zusak

    #Book #Writing

  • The beauty of my work is that my sets cost nothing. That's what I love about being a writer of novels.
    -- Markus Zusak

    #Cost #Novel

  • I guess humans like to watch a little destruction. Sand castles, houses of cards, that's where they begin. Their great skills is their capacity to escalate.
    -- Markus Zusak

    #Skills #House #Watches

  • As always, one of her books was next to her.
    -- Markus Zusak

    #Book #Next

  • I wanted to tell the book thief many things, about beauty and brutality. But what could I tell her about those things that she didn't already know? I wanted to explain that I am constantly overestimating and underestimating the human race-that rarely do I ever simply estimate it. I wanted to ask her how the same thing could be so ugly and so glorious, and its words and stories so damning and brilliant.
    -- Markus Zusak

    #Book #Race #Brutality

  • Maybe one morning I’ll wake up and step outside of myself to look back at the old me lying dead among the sheets.
    -- Markus Zusak

    #Morning #Lying #Steps

  • Sometimes you read a book so special that you want to carry it around with you for months after you've finished just to stay near it.
    -- Markus Zusak

    #Book #Special #Want

  • Imagine smiling after a slap in the face. Then think of doing it twenty-four hours a day.
    -- Markus Zusak

    #Sad #Pain #Thinking

  • She took a step and didn't want to take any more, but she did.
    -- Markus Zusak

    #Moving On #Broken Relationship #Want

  • I could introduce myself properly, but it's not really necessary. You will know me well enough and soon enough, depending on a diverse range of variables. It suffices to say that at some point in time, I will be standing over you, as genially as possible. Your soul will be in my arms. A color will be perched on my shoulder. I will carry you gently away.
    -- Markus Zusak

    #Color #Over You #Soul

  • How do you tell if something's alive? You check for breathing.
    -- Markus Zusak

    #Breathing #Alive #Checks

  • It is early, early morning. It's that time when it's still dark but you know the day is coming. Blue is bleeding through black. Stars are dying.
    -- Markus Zusak

    #Morning #Stars #Dark

  • It was a Monday and they walked on a tightrope to the sun.
    -- Markus Zusak

    #Monday #Sun

  • One was a book thief. The other stole the sky.
    -- Markus Zusak

    #Book #Sky #Thieves

  • It was Russia, January 5, 1943, and just another icy day. Out among the city and snow, there were dead Russians and Germans everywhere. Those who remained were firing into the blank pages in front of them. Three languages interwove. The Russian, the bullets, the German.
    -- Markus Zusak

    #Cities #Russia #Snow

  • His soul sat up. It met me. Those kinds of souls always do - the best ones. The ones who rise up and say "I know who you are and I am ready. Not that I want to go, of course, but I will come." Those souls are always light because more of them have been put out. More of them have already found their way to other places.
    -- Markus Zusak

    #Light #Soul #Want

  • I'd rather chase the sun than wait for it.
    -- Markus Zusak

    #Waiting #Sun

  • It's not a big thing, but I guess it's true--big things are often just small things that are noticed.
    -- Markus Zusak

    #Bigs #Small Things

  • It was the beginning of the greatest Christmas ever. Little food. No presents. But there was a snowman in their basement.
    -- Markus Zusak

    #Christmas #Littles #Snowman

  • It amazes me what humans can do, even when streams are flowing down their faces and they stagger on, coughing and searching, and finding.
    -- Markus Zusak

    #Faces #Coughing #Streams

  • Very suddenly. Yes, quite suddenly, I didn't feel like I could handle my feeling of aloneness.
    -- Markus Zusak

    #Feelings #Feels #Handle

  • I had to decide what I was going to do, and what I was going to be. I was standing there, waiting for someone to do something , till I realised the person I was waiting for was myself.
    -- Markus Zusak

    #Waiting #Standing #Persons

  • So much good, so much evil. Just add water.
    -- Markus Zusak

    #Water #Evil #Add

  • He does something to me, that boy. Every time. It’s his only detriment. He steps on my heart. He makes me cry.
    -- Markus Zusak

    #Love #Heartbreak #Sadness

  • A fighter can be a winner, but that doesn't make a winner a fighter.
    -- Markus Zusak

    #Fighter #Winner

  • ... And the boy whose hair remained the color of lemons forever.
    -- Markus Zusak

    #Boys #Color #Hair

  • She wanted none of those days to end, and it was always with disappointment that she watched the darkness stride forward.
    -- Markus Zusak

    #Change #Time #Disappointment

  • I like to tell students, 'I didn't burst on to the literary scene.' I'm never good at things at the beginning. I was terrible at the start. I need to work and work.
    -- Markus Zusak

    #Needs #Students #Scene

  • Make no mistake, the woman had a heart. She had a bigger one that people would think. There was a lot in it, stored up, high in miles of hidden shelving. Remember that she was the woman with the instrument strapped to her body in the long, moon-slit night.
    -- Markus Zusak

    #Mistake #Heart #Moon

  • A happening was looming. It was out there somewhere beyond the regular enclosed life that I had been living. It was out there, not waiting, but existing. Being. Perhaps it was only slightly wondering if I would come to it.
    -- Markus Zusak

    #Waiting #Wonder

  • No matter how many times she was told that she was loved, there was no recognition that the proof was in the abandonment.
    -- Markus Zusak

    #Unconditional Love #Matter #Recognition

  • ...one opportunity leads directly to another, just as risk leads to more risk, life to more life, and death to more death.
    -- Markus Zusak

    #Opportunity #Life And Death #Risk

  • I like that every page in every book can have a gem on it. It's probably what I love most about writing--that words can be used in a way that's like a child playing in a sandpit, rearranging things, swapping them around. They're the best moments in a day of writing -- when an image appears that you didn't know would be there when you started work in the morning.
    -- Markus Zusak

    #Morning #Children #Book

  • Maybe everyone can live beyond what they're capable of.
    -- Markus Zusak

    #Life #Inspiring #Philosophy

  • The only thing worse than a boy who hates you: a boy that loves you.
    -- Markus Zusak

    #Love #Hate #Boys

  • ...there would be punishment and pain, and there would be happiness, too. That was writing.
    -- Markus Zusak

    #Pain #Writing #Punishment

  • You'll have days of complete lack of faith in your abilities. But you have to keep coming back. That's when you know you're a writer - when you take the failures and appear at the desk again, over and over again.
    -- Markus Zusak

    #Desks #Coming Back #Ability

  • Together, they would watch everything that was so carefully planned collapse, and they would smile at the beauty of destruction.
    -- Markus Zusak

    #Life #Death #Together

  • I have hated words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right.
    -- Markus Zusak

    #Power #Power Of Words #Made

  • Believe it or not--it takes a lot of love to hate you like this.
    -- Markus Zusak

    #Hate #Believe #Love Hate

  • Papa sat with me tonight. He brought the accordion down and sat close to where Max used to sit. I often look at his fingers and face when he plays. the accordion breathes. There are lines on his cheeks. They look drawn on, and for some reason, when I see them, I want to cry. It is not for any sadness or pride. I just like the way they move and change. Sometimes I think my papa is an accordion. When he looks at me and smiles and breathes, I hear the notes.
    -- Markus Zusak

    #Moving #Sadness #Pride

  • That was when the world wasn't so big and I could see everywhere. It was when my father was a hero and not a human.
    -- Markus Zusak

    #Father #Hero #World

  • As we walk back, it feels like the city is engulfing us. Adrenalin still pours through our veins. Sparks flow through to our fingers. We've still been running in the mornings, but the city's different then. It's filled with hope and with bristles of winter sunshine. In the evening, it's like it dies, waiting to be born again the next morning.
    -- Markus Zusak

    #Running #Morning #Winter

  • She said it out loud, the words distributed into a room that was full of cold air and books. Books everywhere! Each wall was armed with overcrowded yet immaculate shelving. It was barely possible to see paintwork. There were all different styles and sizes of lettering on the spines of the black, the red, the gray, the every-colored books. It was one of the most beautiful things Liesel Meminger had ever seen. With wonder, she smiled. That such a room existed!
    -- Markus Zusak

    #Beautiful #Wall #Book

  • I want words at my funeral. But I guess that means you need life in your life.
    -- Markus Zusak

    #Life #Mean #Funeral

  • Just be patient, she told herself, and with the mounting pages, the strength of her writing fist grew.
    -- Markus Zusak

    #Writing #Pages #Fists

  • You should give it to Max, Liesel. See if you can leave it on the bedside table, like all the other things." Liesel watched him as if he'd gone insane. "How, though?" Lightly, he tapped her skull with his knuckles. "Memorize it. Then write it down for him.
    -- Markus Zusak

    #Writing #Skulls #Giving

  • She could smell the pages. She could almost taste the words as they stacked up around her.
    -- Markus Zusak

    #Smell #Pages #Taste

  • I am constantly overestimating and underestimating the human race - that rarely do I ever simply estimate it.
    -- Markus Zusak

    #Race #Underestimate #Humans

  • I am hunted by humans
    -- Markus Zusak

    #Humans

  • Summer came. For the book thief, everything was going nicely. For me, the sky was the color of Jews. When their bodies had finished scouring for gaps in the door, their souls rose up. When their fingernails had scratched at the wood and in some cases were nailed into it by the sheer force of desperation, their spirits came toward me, into my arms, and we climbed out of those shower facilities, onto the roof and up, into eternity's certain breadth. They just kept feeding me. Minute after minute. Shower after shower.
    -- Markus Zusak

    #Summer #Book #Doors

  • A snowball in the face is surely the perfect beginning to a lasting friendship.
    -- Markus Zusak

    #Friendship #Inspiring #Perfect

  • But then, is there cowardice in the acknowledgment of fear? Is there cowardice in being glad that you lived?
    -- Markus Zusak

    #Cowardice #Glad

  • One wild card was yet to be played.
    -- Markus Zusak

    #Cards

  • Outside is dark. The kitchen light is loud. It deafens me as I walk towards it.
    -- Markus Zusak

    #Dark #Light #Kitchen

  • When we move apart, she looks at me again, till a small tear lifts itself up in her eye. It trips out to find a wrinkle and follows it down.
    -- Markus Zusak

    #Moving #Eye #Wrinkles

  • I want to talk to him. I want to ask him about that girl and if he loved her and still misses her. Nothing, however, exits my mouth. How well do we really let ourselves know each other? There's a long quietness until I finally break it open. It reminds me of someone breaking bread and handing it out. In my case, I hand out a question to my friend.
    -- Markus Zusak

    #Girl #Hands #Long

  • The water crumbles on it's way down as my hands and feet push me forward. The world is lightening, taking shape, and turning to color. It feels like it's being painted around me.
    -- Markus Zusak

    #Color #Feet #Hands

  • Handfuls of frosty water can make almost anyone smile, but it cannot make them forget.
    -- Markus Zusak

    #Water #Forget

  • People die of broken hearts. They have heart attacks. And it's the heart that hurts most when things go wrong and fall apart.
    -- Markus Zusak

    #Hurt #Fall #Heart

  • There was the gate next, which she(Liesel)clung to. A gang of tears trudged from her eyes as she held on and refused to go inside. People started to gather on the street, until Rosa Hubermann swore at them, after which they reversed back whence they came. ~A TRANSLATION OF ROSA HUBERMANN’S ANNOUNCEMENT~ ‘What are you arseholes looking at?
    -- Markus Zusak

    #Eye #People #Tears

  • The best word shakers were the ones who understood the true power of words. They were the ones who could climb the highest. One such word shaker was a small, skinny girl. She was renowned as the best word shaker of her region because she knew how powerless a person could be WITHOUT words.
    -- Markus Zusak

    #Girl #Skinny #Power Of Words

  • Fear is shiny. Ruthless in the eyes.
    -- Markus Zusak

    #Eye

  • Liesel observed the strangeness of her foster father's eyes. They were made of kindness, and silver.
    -- Markus Zusak

    #Kindness #Father #Eye

  • He left Himmel Street wearing his hangover and a suit.
    -- Markus Zusak

    #Hangover #Suits #Himmel Street

  • Crowds of questions stream through me like lines of people exiting a soccer ground or a concert. They push and shove and trip. Some make their way around. Some remain in their seats, waiting for their opportunity.
    -- Markus Zusak

    #Soccer #Opportunity #People

  • The conversation of bullets.
    -- Markus Zusak

    #Bullets #Conversation

  • There was once a strange, small man. He decided three important details about his life: 1. He would part his hair from the opposite side to everyone else. 2. He would make himself a small, strange mustache. 3. He would one day rule the world. ...Yes, the Fuhrer decided that he would rule the world with words.
    -- Markus Zusak

    #Men #Opposites #Hair

  • God. Twice I speak it. I say His name in a futile attempt to understand. "But it's not your job to understand." That's me who answers. God never says anything. You think you're the only one he never answers? "Your job is to..." And I stop listening to me, because to put it bluntly, I tire me.
    -- Markus Zusak

    #Jobs #Thinking #Names

  • What would you do if you were me? Tell me. Please tell me! But you're far from this. Your fingers turn the strangeness of these pages that somehow connect my life to yours. Your eyes are safe. The story is just another few hundred pages of your mind. For me, it's here. It's now. I have to go through with this, considering the cost at every turn. Nothing will be the same.
    -- Markus Zusak

    #Eye #Mind #Cost

  • That's typically what writers do; we just sit around complaining most of the time. And the better things are going, the more they complain.
    -- Markus Zusak

    #Writing #Complaining

  • Max lifted his head, with great sorrow and great astonishment. 'There were stars,' He said. 'They burned my eyes.’ ...from a Himmel street window, he wrote, the stars set fire to my eyes.
    -- Markus Zusak

    #Stars #Eye #Fire

  • People have defining moments, i suppose, especially when they're children.
    -- Markus Zusak

    #Children #People #Defining Moments

  • Things always seem to glide away. They come to you, stay a moment, then leave again.
    -- Markus Zusak

    #Moments

  • Our footsteps run, and I don't want them to end. I want to run and laugh and feel like this forever. I want to avoid any awkward moment when the realness of reality sticks its fork into our flesh, leaving us standing there, together. I want to stay here, in this moment, and never go to other places, where we don't know what to say or what to do.
    -- Markus Zusak

    #Running #Reality #Laughing

  • I just know that right now, we want to be proud. For once. We want to take the struggle and rise above it. We want to frame it, live it, survive it. We want to put it in our mouths and taste it and never forget it, because it makes us strong.
    -- Markus Zusak

    #Strong #Struggle #Mouths

  • I traveled the globe as always, handing souls to the conveyor belt of eternity.
    -- Markus Zusak

    #Soul #Eternity #Belts

  • The thrill of being ignored!
    -- Markus Zusak

    #Being Ignored #Thrill #Ignored

  • Can a wolfe be beautiful?
    -- Markus Zusak

    #Beautiful

  • Yes, I'm often reminded of her, and in one of my array of pockets, I have kept her story to retell. It is one of the small legion I carry, each one extraordinary in its own right. Each one an attempt - an immense leap of an attempt - to prove to me that you, and your human existence, are worth it.
    -- Markus Zusak

    #Stories #Pockets #Legion

  • He prefers not to ruin things with any more questions. What it is is what it is.
    -- Markus Zusak

    #Ruins

  • Papa was a man with silver eyes, not dead ones. Papa was an accordion! But his bellows were all empty. Nothing went in and nothing came out.
    -- Markus Zusak

    #Father #Eye #Men

  • July 24, 6:03 A.M. The laundry was warm and the rafters were firm, and Michael Holzapfel jumped from the chair as if it were a cliff... Michael Holzapfel knew what he was doing. He killed himself for wanting to live.
    -- Markus Zusak

    #July #Cliffs #Rafters

  • ...and the night is so deep and dark that I wonder if the sun will ever come up.
    -- Markus Zusak

    #Dark #Night #Sun

  • She was a Jew feeder without a question in the world on that man's first night in Molching. She was an arm reacher, deep into a mattress, to deliver a sketchbook to a teenage girl. (84.25)
    -- Markus Zusak

    #Girl #Teenage #Night

  • I want to talk to him. I want to ask him about that girl and if he loved her and still misses her.
    -- Markus Zusak

    #Girl #Missing #Want

  • You're far from this. This story is just another few hundred pages of your mind.
    -- Markus Zusak

    #Mind #Pages #Stories

  • Warily, she dares to allow me a smile. "It's okay. It's just...I'm not too good at talking to people." She looks away again as her shyness smothers her. "So, do you think it'd be all right if we don't talk?
    -- Markus Zusak

    #Thinking #Talking #People

  • It’s the leftover humans. The survivors. They’re the ones I can’t stand to look at, although on many occasions I still fail. I deliberately seek out the colors to keep my mind off them, but now and then, I witness the ones who are left behind, crumbling among the jigsaw puzzle of realization, despair, and surprises. They have punctured hearts. They have beaten lungs. Which in turn brings me to the subject I am telling you about tonight, or today, or whatever the hour and color. It’s the story of one of those perpetual survivors –an expert at being left behind.
    -- Markus Zusak

    #Heart #Jigsaw Puzzles #Color

  • I suppose he'll die soon. I'm expecting it, like you do for a dog that's seventeen. There's no way to know how I'll react. He'll have faced his own placid death and slipped without a sound inside himself. Mostly, I imagine I'll crouch there at the door, fall onto him, and cry hard into the stench of his fur. I'll wait for him to wake up, but he won't. I'll bury him. I'll carry him outside, feeling his warmth turn to cold as the horizon frays and falls down in my backyard. For now, though, he's okay. I can see him breathing. He just smells like he's dead.
    -- Markus Zusak

    #Dog #Fall #Doors

  • There are moments when you can only stand and stare, watching the world forget you as you remove yourself from it - when you overcome it and cease to exist as the person you were.
    -- Markus Zusak

    #World #Overcoming #Forget You

  • She was a girl with a mountain to climb.
    -- Markus Zusak

    #Girl #Mountain #Climbs