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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 (11152 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Diane 08-19-14
    Diane 08-19-14 Member Since 2013
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    1
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    Story
    "I thought I was tired of novels..."
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Book Thief to be better than the print version?

    This is a wonderful book. I was initially put off by the device of Death as the Narrator, but this gave way to engagement with the characters and their lives. This is a period I have studied and read many books about. This gives another, bittersweet dimension to such an awful period. Allan Corduner is a superb narrator/actor. I much appreciated his many German accents and dynamic delivery. I have never written a review before, but this novel will stay with me for the rest of my life.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lindsay Denver, CO, United States 08-13-14
    Lindsay Denver, CO, United States 08-13-14 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Beautiful, sad and wonderful"
    Would you listen to The Book Thief again? Why?

    Re-listening to books is not something I typically do, but I would consider going back and giving this one a second ear. There is so much detail in the story that I feel like a second listen is justified to pick up all the beautiful detail.


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

    "The Night Circus" is the first book that comes to mind. These two are completely different genres, I am well aware, but hang in there, I'll explain. The reason I'm comparing these two books is that the narrator did a wonderful job of telling these beautiful stories. Both books and narrators had me lost in the vivid descriptions that are beautiful and tragic at the same time. The narrators both made me feel like I was listening to a grandfather tell me a magnificent story, which sounds like it would be frustrating, but their voices were really enjoyable.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    My favorite scene was when Liesel leaves the not for the Mayor's wife explaining herself and why she is a book theif.


    If you could take any character from The Book Thief out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    I would love to take Liesel out to dinner. She's a little pistol. This girl endures so much hardship and just keeps bouncing back. I would love to hear more about her view on the world and also to listen to her stories.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    claudia NORTH OLMSTED, OH, United States 08-13-14
    claudia NORTH OLMSTED, OH, United States 08-13-14 Member Since 2012
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    10
    4
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    "Awful"
    Has The Book Thief turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No


    What didn’t you like about Allan Corduner’s performance?

    I could not get into the book. Actually stopped after 2 chapters


    Any additional comments?

    Need a refund. Hope the movie was better

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Valerie E Tulsa, OK 08-13-14
    Valerie E Tulsa, OK 08-13-14 Member Since 2014

    I love to read so much, but find it hard to sit down and get through a book anymore. Loving being able to listen to a story while busy.

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    16
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    "Soo good!"
    If you could sum up The Book Thief in three words, what would they be?

    Imaginative, sad, funny


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

    Death's description of one Jew's soul he collected;"His soul was skinny. His beard was a ball and chain."This created a very vivid picture of the Jewish people's conditions during the Holocaust.


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

    I had not heard Allan Corduner read before this. I certainly enjoyed the German and pronunciations throughout his reading. I undoubtedly would not have gotten the real feel for the language without his performance.


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

    Absolutely!


    Any additional comments?

    I haven't been this "in love" with a story's characters in awhile.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michelle Reston, Manitoba, Canada 08-12-14
    Michelle Reston, Manitoba, Canada 08-12-14 Member Since 2011
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    "Compelling Story"

    I enjoyed this book immensely. Though it seems to start out slow and almost difficult to follow, the narration slowly pulls you into a wonderfully woven story.

    It is not at all what I expected from a Nazi Germany era story. So rarely do we hear stories from the average German citizen's perspective. Yet this one is so refreshing, honest and heart breaking.

    I think this is one of those books that deserves to be heard, rather than read. The pace allows you to become wrapped up in Lisel's story. I especially loved the fable in the middle, at that point I was completely wrapped up in the book and hated for it to end.

    This is a quiet time book and one that requires patience. But the message is so worth it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    R. Mikesell 08-12-14
    R. Mikesell 08-12-14 Member Since 2014
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    "REALLY POWERFUL STORY WITH EXCEPTIONAL NARRATION"
    What did you love best about The Book Thief?

    Really gives tremendous insight into the German people who were caught in the Hilter madness of WW2


    What did you like best about this story?

    So true to life and mind expanding. Having just finished "Tale of Two Cities", I was especially understanding of the many decent German families that were destroyed by the NAZI's


    What about Allan Corduner’s performance did you like?

    Amazing!. Moves flawlessly between the American English and the German Language expressions and has outstanding vocal control to communicate the emotions in a most effective manner.


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

    The Book Thief is good. "The Price of War" would be more descriptive.


    Any additional comments?

    Very heavy message but this is an extremely powerful, well written story with an extremely powerful narration.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Coco Onnen Lutherville, MD 08-09-14
    Coco Onnen Lutherville, MD 08-09-14 Member Since 2013

    Coco Onnen

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    "One awesome story, one awesome performer!"
    Would you listen to The Book Thief again? Why?

    Yes, It was amazing!


    What did you like best about this story?

    The story in itself is my favorite feature!


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

    No, I have not listened to him before, but I would definately listen to him anywhere, he is quite talented!


    Who was the most memorable character of The Book Thief and why?

    Liesel Meminger was the most memorable but Death, Rudy, Papa etc were all memorable!!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anne Taliaferro 08-08-14

    mymyselfanne

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    "Memorable characters"
    If you could sum up The Book Thief in three words, what would they be?

    heartbreaking but hopeful


    What did you like best about this story?

    The trajectory of the story was not predictable


    Any additional comments?

    Could not stop listening. Highly recommend it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    alyssarae 08-07-14
    alyssarae 08-07-14 Member Since 2013
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    10
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    "In love"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Everyone I know. It changes how you see the world.


    What about Allan Corduner’s performance did you like?

    The different voices used were great.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bonnie Scott Seattle 07-27-14
    Bonnie Scott Seattle 07-27-14 Member Since 2014
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    9
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    "So so"

    Good. Not great. A way to pass a long car ride but not worth an extra effort

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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