Bridge of Clay

A Novel

Markus Zusak

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The unforgettable, New York Times bestselling family saga from Markus Zusak, the storyteller who gave us the extraordinary bestseller THE BOOK THIEF, lauded by the New York Times as "the kind of book that can be life-changing."


"One of those monumental books that can draw you across space and time into another family’s experience in the most profound way." —The Washington Post

"Mystical and loaded with heart, it's another gorgeous tearjerker from a rising master of them." Entertainment Weekly

“Devastating, demanding and deeply moving.” —Wall Street Journal 

The breathtaking story of
 five brothers who bring each other up in a world run by their own rules. As the Dunbar boys love and fight and learn to reckon with the adult world, they discover the moving secret behind their father’s disappearance.

At the center of the Dunbar family is Clay, a boy who will build a bridge—for his family, for his past, for greatness, for his sins, for a miracle.

The question is, how far is Clay willing to go? And how much can he overcome?


Written in powerfully inventive language and bursting with heart, BRIDGE OF CLAY is signature Zusak.

"This book is a stunner. Devastating, demanding and deeply moving, Bridge of Clay unspools like a kind of magic act in reverse, with feats of narrative legerdemain concealed by misdirection that all make sense only when the elements of the trick are finally laid out." -Wall Street Journal

"Markus Zusak crafts an unforgettable saga." -US Weekly

"In a complex narrative that leaps through time and place and across oceans, Zusak paints a vivid portrait of the brothers trying to regain their balance by keeping their family's story alive." -Time

"It blew me away." -Jodi Picoult, bestselling author of A Spark of Light and Small Great Things

"A captivating book with a mighty, fearless heart, BRIDGE OF CLAY is filled with characters to believe in and care about ... achingly moving, delightfully funny, and thoroughly uplifting." -M. L. Stedman, bestselling author of The Light Between Oceans

"If The Book Thief was a novel that allowed Death to steal the show . . . [its] brilliantly illuminated follow-up is affirmatively full of life." -The Guardian

"Warm and heartfelt. . . . This is a tale of love, art and redemption; rowdy and joyous, with flashes of wit and insight, and ultimately moving." Times of London

"With heft and historical scope, Zusak creates a sensitively rendered tale of loss, grief, and guilt's manifestations." -Publishers Weekly, starred review

"[A] gorgeously written novel." -Booklist, starred review

Praise for The Book Thief by Markus Zusak:


"Brilliant and hugely ambitious." --The New York Times Book Review

"Deserves a place on the shelf with the Diary of Anne Frank . . . Poised to become a classic." --USA Today

"Absorbing and searing." --Washington Post

"Zusak's novel is a major achievement." -People

"Zusak doesn't sugarcoat anything, but he makes his ostensibly gloomy subject bearable the same way Kurt Vonnegut did in Slaughterhouse-Five: with grim, darkly consoling humor." -Time

Markus Zusak is the international bestselling author of six novels, including 
The Book Thief and most recently, 
Bridge of Clay. His work is translated into more than forty languages, and has spent more than a decade on the 
New York Times bestseller list, establishing Zusak as one of the most successful authors to come out of Australia.

All of Zusak’s books – including earlier titles, 
The Underdog, 
Fighting Ruben Wolfe, 
When Dogs Cry (also titled 
Getting the Girl), and 
The Messenger (or 
I am the Messenger) – have been awarded numerous honors around the world, ranging from literary prizes to readers choice awards to prizes voted on by booksellers.

In 2013,
 The Book Thief was made into a major motion picture, and in 2018 was voted one of America’s all-time favorite books, achieving the 14th position on the 
PBS Great American Read. Also in 2018, 
Bridge of Clay was selected as a best book of the year in publications ranging from 
Entertainment Weekly to the 
Wall Street Journal.

Markus Zusak grew up in Sydney, Australia, and still lives there with his wife and two children.


Einband gebundene Ausgabe
Seitenzahl 544
Altersempfehlung 14 - 17 Jahr(e)
Erscheinungsdatum 09.10.2018
Sprache Englisch
ISBN 978-1-984830-15-9
Verlag Penguin Random House
Maße (L/B/H) 23,6/15,9/5,3 cm
Gewicht 785 g


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  • portrait of a killer as a middle--aged man

    If before the beginning (in the writing, at least) was a typewriter, a dog, and a snake, the beginning itself--eleven years previously--was a murderer, a mule, and Clay. Even in beginnings, though, someone needs to go first, and on that day it could only be the Murderer. After all, he was the one who got everything moving forward, and all of us looking back. He did it by arriving. He arrived at six o'clock.

    As it was, it was perfectly fitting, too, another blistering February evening; the day had cooked the concrete, the sun still high, and aching. It was heat to be held and depended on, or, really, that had hold of him. In the history of all murderers everywhere, this was surely the most pathetic:

    At five--foot--ten, he was average height.

    At seventy--five kilos, a normal weight.

    But make no mistake--he was a wasteland in a suit; he was bent--postured, he was broken. He leaned at the air as if waiting for it to finish him off, only it wouldn't, not today, for this, fairly suddenly, didn't feel like a time for murderers to be getting favors.

    No, today he could sense it.

    He could smell it.

    He was immortal.

    Which pretty much summed things up.

    Trust the Murderer to be unkillable at the one moment he was better off dead.

    For the longest time, then, ten minutes at least, he stood at the mouth of Archer Street, relieved to have finally made it, terrified to be there. The street didn't seem much to care; its breeze was close but casual, its smoky scent was touchable. Cars were stubbed out rather than parked, and the power lines drooped from the weight of mute, hot and bothered pigeons. Around it, a city climbed and called:

    Welcome back, Murderer.

    The voice so warm, beside him.

    You're in a bit of strife here, I'd say. . . . In fact, a bit of strife doesn't even come close--you're in desperate trouble.

    And he knew it.

    And soon the heat came nearer.

    Archer Street began rising to the task now, almost rubbing its hands together, and the Murderer fairly caught alight. He could feel it escalating, somewhere inside his jacket, and with it came the questions:

    Could he walk on and finish the beginning?

    Could he really see it through?

    For a last moment he took the luxury--the thrill of stillness--then swallowed, massaged his crown of thorny hair, and with grim decision, made his way up to number eighteen.

    A man in a burning suit.

    Of course, he was walking that day at five brothers.

    Us Dunbar boys.

    From oldest to youngest:

    Me, Rory, Henry, Clayton, Thomas.

    We would never be the same.

    To be fair, though, neither would he--and to give you at least a small taste of what the Murderer was entering into, I should tell you what we were like:

    Many considered us tearaways.


    Mostly they were right:

    Our mother was dead.

    Our father had fled.

    We swore like bastards, fought like contenders, and punished each other at pool, at table tennis (always on third-- or fourth--hand tables, and often set up on the lumpy grass of the backyard), at Monopoly, darts, football, cards, at everything we could get our hands on.

    We had a piano no one played.

    Our TV was serving a life sentence.

    The couch was in for twenty.

    Sometimes when our phone rang, one of us would walk out, jog along the porch and go next door; it was just old Mrs. Chilman--she'd bought a new bottle of tomato sauce and couldn't get the wretched thing open. Then, whoever it was would come back in and let the front door slam, and life went on again.

    Yes, for the five of us, life always went on:

    It was something we beat into and out of each other, especially when things went completely right, or completely wrong. That was when we'd get out onto Archer Street in evening--afternoon. We'd walk at the city. The towers, the streets. The worried--looking trees. We'd take in the lo