This may sound cold, but at some point, all the books about WWII and Nazi Germany started sounding alike. I postponed listening to this book for that very reason. Happily, The Book Thief is NOT like the others. This is (shockingly) a story you have not heard yet.
The most immediately refreshing, engaging, and unique aspect of The Book Thief, right from the start, is that it's told from the perspective of Death. And not just any death, but one which is a poetic, sarcastic workaholic. In fact, the narration by Death not only seems obvious - who better to narrate a story of WWII? - but provides such a strong voice that it becomes immediately clear that this book would not be like the others. This book would be new and different. And indeed, it took many aspects of that time and cast them in such surprising light that nothing seemed familiar. Listening to this book is like looking at WWII and Nazi Germany for the first time. Refreshing!
The characters are primary and the plot is secondary. The characters became real people in my imagination. The reader glimpses their exteriors, their interiors, their pasts and their futures and none of it is old or recycled. They are as real as if you are meeting them on a street in Germany. Their relationships are not idealized or overly structured, and the love between the characters is real love shown in all its imperfections.
Perhaps a stronger plot would have caused me to add an exclamation to my 5 stars, but as it is, The Book Thief was such a relief, such a new and engaging way of telling stories of WWII and all that it encompassed, that I feel like I've gained new perspective. Hopefully this book inspires other writers to veer off the beaten path in telling their own WWII stories in the future.
I recommend The Book Thief without reservation. It will add to your perspective!
DEFINITELY. I have the print version and I didn't read it because it was formatted strangely. The narrator made the strange print more sensible, which made it so so much better.
I'm not sure there IS another book like this. It's almost a Holocaust book, but not exclusively. It's just... whatever it is.
I haven't but I would perhaps be interested in hearing something else from this guy.
I think Mama is the most memorable character. When I wasn't able to listen, I heard her German swear words in my head constantly. I miss the book but I can't bear to listen to it again.
This book is incredibly written. It's beautiful and heartbreaking, and it wouldn't have been so very heartbreaking if it hadn't been how lovely and lovingly it was written. It was just a good damn book.
Ah, this is what a book should be! I think this book is enhanced by hearing it because of the poetic language and the fair amount of German phrases. Superbly written with a story line that slowly pulls you in. The book is clever in the integration of the ordinary with the extraordinary. The narrator was superb.
I love yoga. I love cooking healthy, organic, natural, delicious food. I love reading, writing, traveling. But more than anything, I love laughing and cuddling with my Michael and our pup.
This piercingly intimate portrayal of Nazi Germany, narrated by the voice of death and following the life of a German foster child, is beautifully written and unforgettable. I am always moved by themes like the power of words and/or books and how they can change lives so dramatically—for better or for worse. The Book Thief manages to delicately embody the charming magnificence of childhood while illustrating the gravity of wartime tragedy. It’s as if each moment of the book simultaneously holds exquisite beauty and searing heartbreak. But all in all, it’s a story of grace, resilience, and the power of words. I absolutely loved it.
This is a truly great book. I was a little concerned when I saw it had won awards for "young readers." But it is a wonderful book for any age. It is vastly entertaining, but also a work of art. The reader, Allan Corduner, should win every award available. He is an amazing performer. It was like watching a movie.
If you're like me, and enjoying reading a book as well as listening to one, THIS is one you absolutely should listen to.
History, historical fiction and mysteries are my faves, but a fan of all genres.
A captivating engrossing tale I finished in record time because I couldn't stop listening. Felt like I was in the story watching, very well written about a time that is hard to comprehend in my mind. Highly recommend to anyone from High School age and upward.
Wonderful and compelling book. I couldn't stop listening even when I would finish my daily commute. Such an interesting perspective coming from the point of view of "Death." I would highly recommend for anyone fascinated by WWII or the politics of Germany during this time.
I don't know because I started with the audible version.
The narrator was fabulous, but I adored Papa!
No, I haven't but I look forward to the comparison! He is completely captivating and thrilling as Death himself.
Death becomes the captive!
Don't miss this one.
This is the story of a young girl placed in a foster home on Himmel (Heaven) Street, Munich, Germany, just before WW2. Although they are poor and the foster mother swears like a heathen, it is a place of love in the midst of ignorance. I will not tell you who the story teller is but you will be surprised - at least I was. You will cry, you will laugh, but most of all you will be buoyed by the courage of the human spirit! Listen to this story. You will not be disappointed.
This story was beautifully written. It is a book that I would listen/read again. The characters and the story were so believable. The narrator was excellent in capturing the essence of each character and bringing them to life.