The Book Thief
The Book Thief Chapter 23 Summary
Enter the Struggler
- Now Death is taking us away from Molching "to a secret storage room" (23.6).
- In the storage room is a Jew. He's very hungry and very afraid.
- The storage shed is in Stuttgart, one hundred miles away from Molching.
- Max sits on his suitcase and waits. He doesn't know how long it's been since he's eaten.
- He sleeps and freezes and is careful to move as little as possible, so as not to make any noise.
- A voice wakes him by calling his name, Max. He wakes back into the nightmare of his life.
- The man apologizes for leaving Max alone for so long. He had to wait until he was sure no one was following him.
- The man gives Max an "identity card" (23.19) inside of a book. (The identity card is a forgery, identifying Max as a non-Jew.)
- He tells Max to put the map and the directions to where he's going inside the book.
- The man tells him that a key is taped inside the book.
- The man leaves, and max eats the "bread, fat, and three small carrots" (23.20) the man leaves for him.
- He's afraid the carrots are breaking his teeth.
- Max drinks the water the man has left and then checks his teeth.
- They are unbroken, but he doesn't believe it.
- He wants to look at the book, but is afraid that lighting a match might draw attention to his hiding place.
- He whispers "Please. […] Please" (23.32).
- He hasn't met the man he's pleading to, but he knows his name – Hans Hubermann.