Australian, (1975-Present)

Markus Zusak Best Books

Markus Zusak, an Australian-born author, is the creator of some of the best literature of the 21st century. Here are the top six books of his ranked.

Even though Markus Zusak is best known for the harrowing account of WWII and the Holocaust in The Book Thief, he is also the author of numerous other fiction books.

Markus Zusak Best Books


The Book Thief

This is his most popular. It’s a story that recounts the horrors of suffering and death that many people experienced during the Holocaust. It also followed the events that occurred during the second world war and it was all narrated by a character called death. The protagonist was an orphan Liesel meminger who became fascinated with reading after her foster father taught her, then began stealing books.

The Underdog

Mark Zusak’s first novel, The Underdog was published in the year 1999 after many initial rejections. The story is narrated by the youngest child in the working-class Wolfe family, Cameron. He is the underdog of the title, and the narrative follows his struggle to establish himself within his family and society. Cameron and his brother’s relationship was a reflection of the one he had with his own brother. He wrote in the author’s note at the beginning of the book, that the voice of Cameron is really his own and that of Ruben is the voice of his elder brother.

In the story, Cameron Wolfe wails about his miserable life. He is living under the shadow of his elder brother, Ruben, and does not like it at all. The novel also discussed how the brothers’ scheme and plan all sorts of tricky and immoral things but they had never had the nerve to pull any of them through. He also describes their family problems especially when his dad lost his and his own worries about getting a girl to like. An interesting story for young adult readers and the first in the trilogy.

Fighting Ruben Wolfe

This is the sequel to The Underdog, Fighting Ruben Wolfe, which tells of the brothers’ participation in illegal fighting in order to support their family. The two brothers Reuben and Cameron were tired of dire financial straits and they decided to fight initially to make some and then for their family’s pride and dignity. They met a sleazy fight promoter who noticed that their vulnerability was a great marketing asset.

This novel continues where the first one ends. It starts with the family being down financially since their father is now without a job. Cameron is not comfortable with the situation and feels like they should be able to do something to help but he doesn’t know what. Cameron and his brother spend their days thinking of ways to help their family’s finances. Then a man who owns a boxing ring contacts them to come and fight in his boxing matches. They discussed it and agreed to do it. The rest of the book shows how they started fighting and earning money.

When Dogs Cry

This is the third part of the trilogy about the Wolfe family. The story picks up when Cameron falls for Octavia, Ruben’s most recent ex-girlfriend. As the story unfolds, it makes sense that Cameron would fall for a girl his brother has already dated because he often finds himself in his brother’s shadow; what he didn’t expect was for Octavia to like him back. It was initially released under the title Getting the Girl and published in 2001.

This story continues from the second story and shows the boys fighting. Ruben was the better fighter and he won lots of fights. This also made him a celebrity in their town and so he can get any girl he wants. This makes him change girls every week and then his brother fell for one of his ex-girlfriends. Ruben becomes angry when he finds out.

The Messenger

Published in 2022, it was one of Markus’s first novels written after the trilogy. The story is about Ed Kennedy, who lives in a suburban shack, shares coffee with his dog, the Doorman, and he’s in love with Audrey. His life was one of peace and routine and incompetence until he inadvertently stopped a bank robbery. He is a teenage cab driver and pathetic card player where he receives cryptic messages that direct him to help strangers in need. 

Bridge of Clay

This is a story about Clay as told by his brother Matthew, the eldest in the Dunbar family. Clay has spent his life training, but no one knows what he is training for. The question ‘what is he training for?,’ is asked at the beginning of the novel and repeated throughout. He was always training, while others drove, rode horses on the nearby racecourse, or played, Clay would create his own racecourse or obstacle course and train.

FAQs

How many books has Markus Zusak sold?

Markus Zusak has sold many copies of his 6 books. However, he is best known for his great novel, The Book Thief, which has sold 16 million copies worldwide. It is published and translated in 42 foreign language territories. It also spent over 500 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list.

What happens at the end of Bridge of Clay?

In the end of the novel, Bridge of Clay, the protagonist Clay builds a bridge that not only connects him to the people he loves, but also carries him where he needs to go alone. Matthew, his brother, mentioned that he is a boy who is caught in the current of destroying everything he has to become all he needs to be.

What is Markus Zusak style of writing?

In the novel, Bridge of Clay, the bridge symbolizes Clay family’s ability to cross over from the past, which is symbolised by their father’s death and move towards a bright future. The novel’s title, Bridge of Clay, has a double-meaning. On the surface level, it refers to the actual bridge Clay is making.

What does the bridge symbolize in Bridge of Clay?

In the novel, Bridge of Clay, the bridge symbolizes Clay family’s ability to cross over from the past, which is symbolised by their father’s death and move towards a bright future. The novel’s title, Bridge of Clay, has a double-meaning. On the surface level, it refers to the actual bridge Clay is making.

How does Liesel Meminger life represent beauty in the wake of brutality?

In The Book Thief,  we see that Liesel’s life represents beauty in the wake of brutality. This is easily seen in the relationships she builds with the people around her. During times of crisis and difficulty as seen in the book, every act of human kindness is appreciated because it is not easily found.

About Ugo Juliet
Ugo Juliet is a passionate lover of books. For over 10 years, she has written books and articles for various organizations. She continues with her passion for literature as an expert analyst on Book Analysis.

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