Review: Bridge of Clay by Marcus Zusak

Bridge of Clay

Series : N/A

Publisher : Pan Macmillan Australia

Source : Publisher

Release Date : Oct 9th 2018


From the author of the no.1 New York Times bestselling novel The Book Thief.

“An amazing talent in Australian literature” Sunday Telegraph

Let me tell you about our brother.
The fourth Dunbar boy named Clay.
Everything happened to him.
We were all of us changed through him.

The Dunbar boys bring each other up in a house run by their own rules. A family of ramshackle tragedy – their mother is dead, their father has fled – they love and fight and learn to reckon with the adult world.

It is Clay, the quiet one, who will build a bridge; for his family, for his past, for his sins. He’s building a bridge to transcend humanness. To survive.

A miracle and nothing less.

Markus Zusak makes his long-awaited return with a profoundly heartfelt and inventive novel about a family held together by stories, and a young life caught in the current: a boy in search of greatness, as a cure for a painful past.

Tash M

I remember as a teenager lugging around The Book Thief as I tried to devour and understand  the masterpiece it is . It was my first experience  with Zusak and  it’s one that I have never forgotten . Over the years , he has been a name whispered between friends, raving about his books and wondering whether we would see another book from him.

Finally the glorious day has come and Zusak has given us a new book to delight and fawn over. Bridge of Clay and introduces to a whole new set of characters that will get people talking.  In some ways this is a new arrival , in other ways it coming home to a old friend.  As this is a book stirrer like his others, tackling  grief, family and love , the only way Zusak can.

Bridge of Clay is ambitious, in some ways it reminds me of the yesteryears we explored in The Book Thief. In other ways its own piece of unique fiction exploring these issues through the voice of one character  but the eyes of another.

The Dunbar boys are what society would describes as nuisances, something the oldest Matt recognises. However the true reality, they are flawed and  honest characters , bonded by their kindredship and the reality that they live in.  He is the voice of the story, telling the story of his family and their heartbreaks.

It’s a  maturing voice guilted by his own  problems.  These boys are only young adult and their story is complicated. It’s not easy to describe or put into words their thoughts and journey as it means revealing the plot. It’s the story of the story that  driven things close to home and makes you appreciate  your own family bonds and the reality that you live in.

As a result  Matt’s voice took some time to get used to, as the oldest of Dunbars, he is placed perfectly because of his responsibility to his siblings and particular Clay  . He dives into this character driven story head first, never pausing, only building to the crescendo that Clay. Clay is the glue to this story , he holds the answers and bridges everything together.  Through his eyes we see and learn a lot about this family who struggle with each other and their heartbreak

It’s not any easy book to digest. It’s raw at time and it’s patient in building up those scenes  . Whilst Zusak is known for his stories and hitting close to home. Bridge of Clay reflects  what seems a simple family matters  and captives you in a whole different way. It’s a unique story that divides your  thoughts and it’s genius.



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