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The Book Thief

Markus Zusak

Summary and Analysis Part 9: The Last Human Stranger: The Cardplayer

Summary

Hans and his fellow LSE men play cards. Hans wins his third game in a row, and Reinhold Zucker is angry about the outcome. Hans, unlike Reinhold, does not gloat when he wins, and he offers to share his winnings. Reinhold refuses the offered cigarette, though, and holds a grudge that causes him to take Hans's seat a few weeks later and lose his life, inadvertently saving Hans.


Analysis

This chapter foreshadows how Hans's life will be saved and who will save it. It also explains Reinhold's motivations for taking Hans's seat on that day, and allows Death to discuss how so much of life is left up to chance, that life is full of so many little moments that seem to mean nothing, but, in reality, these moments drastically alter and determine the future.