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The Book Thief | [Markus Zusak]

The Book Thief

It's just a small story really, about, among other things, a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery. Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak's groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can't resist: books.
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Audible Editor Reviews

Why we think it's Essential - One of the best examples of young adult literature that adults will love (as well as more mature teens), The Book Thief alternates between heartwarming and heartbreaking, always packing an emotional punch with each of Markus Zusak’s carefully chosen words – as brilliantly conveyed by Allan Corduner, who takes on Death, and so much more, in this novel set in Nazi Germany. —Diana D.

Publisher's Summary

It's just a small story really, about, among other things, a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery.

Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak's groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can't resist: books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids - as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement before he is marched to Dachau.

This is an unforgettable story about the ability of books to feed the soul.

©2006 Markus Zusak; (P)2006 Random House Inc. Listening Library, an imprint of the Random House Audio Publishing Group

What the Critics Say

  • Book Sense Book of the Year Award, Children's Literature, 2007

"The astonishing characters, drawn without sentimentality, will grab readers." (Booklist)
"Zusak has created a work that deserves the attention of sophisticated teen and adult readers....An extraordinary narrative." (School Library Journal)
"The Book Thief will appeal both to sophisticated teens and adults with its engaging characters and heartbreaking story." (Bookmarks Magazine)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (10612 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Mike Mission, BC, Canada 05-10-14
    Mike Mission, BC, Canada 05-10-14 Member Since 2012

    Avid Audible listener the life saver in my 180 minutes of commuting each work day.

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    "Wonderful from Cover to Cover"
    Where does The Book Thief rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    One of the best audiobooks I have listened to since I subscribed to audible. Top ten.


    What did you like best about this story?

    It really immersed me in second world war Germany and I could feel Himmelstrasse coming alive in my minds eye. The compassion of human beings traverses sides and it was quite evident early that the German people were far from enamoured by Adolph Hitler. The characters were quite vivid to me. It really reminded me that 'the German people' were subjected to a war and oppressed by a madman.


    What about Allan Corduner’s performance did you like?

    The narrative was excellent and the saukerl and saumensch regularly used with playful emphasis raised a smile.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It was a moving tale, beautifully written and narrated. A real mix of emotions from humour that made me laugh and then such sadness that did raise a tear. A real rollercoaster.


    Any additional comments?

    Will certainly revisit the book once my vivid memory of the text has faded a little.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tim 05-10-14
    Tim 05-10-14
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    "Wonderful book"
    Where does The Book Thief rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    The Book Thief is definitely in my top ten audiobooks .Probably somewhere around seventh place.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I loved that it was a very simple story with really believable characters. It could have been written by Dickens, indeed, the three main characters are reminiscent of the Gargery's and Pip in Great Expectations. It deals with a very difficult time in our history and does so with great understanding and humour. The future of great storytelling is in safe hands.


    What does Allan Corduner bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Mr. Corduner is the perfect reader for this book. The characters are well defined and he expresses the emotion of the book excellently. When I read my paperback version it's his voice that I hear in my head.


    If you could rename The Book Thief, what would you call it?

    Possibly "The Reaper and the Child"


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bogdan Ponomarov 05-08-14
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    "A Jewel of an Auidiobook!"

    We all start reading books with a hope for something breathtaking. In "The Book Thief" you are greeted by the voice of death, and the story promises to be quite amazing. Taking into consideration the gentleness of death's soothing narration, one cannot help but accept the invitation for an enticing journey.

    It's hard to overestimate the literal beauty of this well-written book. It was a pure joy to be guided through the pages of Leasel's life. With each page flipped over, so many lives were lured into death's soft, mighty hands. Nobody can escape that outcome, although a few can impress it. Leasel, and those close to here, were the ones that did a spectacular job at it, making this story such a pleasant adventure.

    I should give special attention to the audio version of the book. The listening experience was particularly enjoyable as the narrator did such a spectacular job at imitating the author's vision of how the story should sound like. The whole book was like a sweet lullaby sung by death, praising the human race in general, and certain souls in particular.

    I would highly recommend to read/listen to "The Book Thief." The recently produced motion picture only amplifies the overall positive impression left by the book. If you're looking for a story to touch your soul and leave some memorable moments for years to come, consider asking the compassionate death to read out loud this one for you.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kate Fort Lauderdale, FL, United States 05-07-14
    Kate Fort Lauderdale, FL, United States 05-07-14 Member Since 2013
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    "You'll never read another book like it."
    What did you love best about The Book Thief?

    This is one of those books that is so good, I was actually depressed after I finished. All I can say is I was so captured from start to end, that when it was over, I became convinced I'd never read another book quite as good. The audio version was fantastic as well.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Regina Conroe, TX, United States 05-07-14
    Regina Conroe, TX, United States 05-07-14 Member Since 2012
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    "One of my top 5 audible books"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I highly recommend this book - even though this is fiction, it is based around historical facts and concepts of the time. It displays the emotions behind true friendship and the hearts behind the first glance of those you meet. This book touches the soul


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Book Thief?

    Loved the 13 presents that she brought to Max


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    This book made me laugh, cry and in general made me more conscience of how I treat others on a day to day basis.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dee 05-07-14
    Dee 05-07-14 Member Since 2011
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    "Loved this book"
    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Book Thief?

    Her father giving bread to the prisoners as they walked by


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Laugh, cry, feel incredulous that this could have happened. Like most holocaust books I am overwhelmed with feelings throughout.


    Any additional comments?

    I had heard good things about this book and was anxious to read it. I could not have been more pleased - great character development, storyline, plot, and a good reader. I highly recommend it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jerrilynn 05-07-14
    Jerrilynn 05-07-14 Member Since 2014
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    "Amazing Tale"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I have already recommended this book to more than one individual. The biggest reason why would be that I found the story absorbing. You can't help feeling the characters in this story.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    It's hard to choose a favorite. Liesel engages your sympathies right away. Rudy is every impulsive moment in our lives. Hans (Papa) is everything that is noble within us that is still reasonable enough to feel fear and regret. Rosa (Mama) represents every challenge overcome that in the end seems not so bad. Max represents love, and strength, and courage. I can't say I can chose a favorite. The best I can do is to say that Rosa is my least favorite and that is because of her abusive nature at the beginning of the story.


    What about Allan Corduner’s performance did you like?

    Allan does an elegant portrayal of each and every character. I especially liked his portrayal of Death. You feel the characters of "The Book Thief" because he brings their thoughts and feelings to you. Thank you Mr. Corduner.


    If you could rename The Book Thief, what would you call it?

    There is no better title.


    Any additional comments?

    This is a wonderful story. It will make my top 10 favorites list for a long time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer 05-07-14
    Jennifer 05-07-14
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    "It Stole My Heart"
    What made the experience of listening to The Book Thief the most enjoyable?

    Hearing the story unfold.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Book Thief?

    That Himmel means Heaven.


    Have you listened to any of Allan Corduner’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    It was too intense for that.


    Any additional comments?

    Death tells a sweet story through the eyes of a child.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Grandspud So Cal 05-06-14
    Grandspud So Cal 05-06-14 Member Since 2014
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    "An Engrossing Read"
    What did you love best about The Book Thief?

    Great prose, historic content, and gripping tale.


    What other book might you compare The Book Thief to and why?

    While some may think it odd, "The Glass Castle." Both are about young girls growing up amid adversity.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dee Trope Florida, USA 05-05-14
    Dee Trope Florida, USA 05-05-14 Member Since 2012

    I am a homeschooling mom of 3 teenagers. I love to read and I love to crochet. With audible I've found a way to do both at the same time.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Beware of the cursing but excellent book"

    I felt like I got a glimpse of what it was like to be a young german girl during the Hitler regime. Having "Death" tell the story added to the aura and was quite appropriate given the subject matter. There was quite a lot of cursing in the book. Did not particularly enjoy hearing Jesus blasphemed constantly, but understand that it was part of the story and culture. I feel that I have gained a new perspective on this tragic time in history.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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