Summary and Analysis
Part 8: The Word Shaker: The Thought of Rudy Naked
A doctor and a nurse had come to Rudy's school. They had examined him and two other boys in a small office. They tell the boys to take off all of their clothes and make them stand naked in the cold room. The boys undergo an examination and, upon leaving, hear the doctor and nurse saying they'll take two of them, the first and the third. Rudy hopes he isn't one of them, but realizes he is when the coated men come for him at his house. He shares all of this information with Liesel, who wonders about Max and hopes he's still alive, and within these thoughts are new thoughts of Rudy standing naked. The image of Rudy naked, along with the "dead-body dominoes," fills her with dread.
This chapter illustrates how Liesel can sense that something bad is on the horizon, as if she can sense Death approaching Rudy and Max in how she imagines that those fallen dominoes are like people. Such an image of so many bodies stacked one on top of another recalls the drawing from one of Max's books, one that had frightened Liesel earlier.