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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 (11147 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Jamie Suckiel CHARLOTTE, NC, US 07-20-14
    Jamie Suckiel CHARLOTTE, NC, US 07-20-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "not such a Big fuss"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    The way parts of the story were given away and not allowed to be experienced.


    Do you think The Book Thief needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    Goodness no.


    Any additional comments?

    I would have liked the story more if the narrator didn't give previews of important story material. Dealth of characters, etc. That was a huge let down for me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pattie Powhatan Point, OH, United States 07-20-14
    Pattie Powhatan Point, OH, United States 07-20-14 Member Since 2014
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    "A Lovely Story Even Though Death is the Narrator"
    What made the experience of listening to The Book Thief the most enjoyable?

    Zusak let us grow to love the characters in the story by delving into their everyday world.


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

    I can't answer that because this story isn't your typical Nazi Germany one in which there are so many bad guys. Instead the story shows us that there probably were so many Germans who had to fearfully just go along with the Nazis in order to protect their families.


    What about Allan Corduner’s performance did you like?

    His voice made the characters come alive!


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

    I cried at the end, during the tender moment when Liesel finds Rudy.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Emily J. 07-17-14
    Emily J. 07-17-14 Member Since 2014
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    "I LOVE THIS BOOK."
    Would you listen to The Book Thief again? Why?

    Yes, a hundred times yes. Perfect narrator, amazing story. Sad historical fiction, but beautiful work.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Absolutely Leisel. She deals with hardship in such a quiet and graceful manner.


    What about Allan Corduner’s performance did you like?

    Such emotion, perfect accent.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Peg 07-16-14
    Peg 07-16-14 Member Since 2009
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    "A book to read and listen to!"
    What made the experience of listening to The Book Thief the most enjoyable?

    Allan Corduner is fantastic as the narrator, so able to take on the different emotions of the different characters.


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

    This is my first time with this narrator, but I will look for him again.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Wildwood, MO, United States 07-13-14
    Amazon Customer Wildwood, MO, United States 07-13-14 Member Since 2010

    I love to read, fly and play tennis. I always have a book and an audible book going at the same time. I'm a mystery/thriller junky.

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    "It's worth the tears"

    A heart wrenching story set in WWII Germany. The love, life and crimes of a group of everyday Germans and their interaction with each other and others. It's an intimate story of a young girl, her family and best friend. It' a history of the war, caring and terrible atrocities that happened in Hitler's Germany with a lot of love thrown in for good measure. You'll cry. I sure did.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shelley 07-12-14
    Shelley 07-12-14
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    "THIS IS A MUST LISTEN!!!!"
    Would you listen to The Book Thief again? Why?

    I will definitely listen to this book again. Hearing the voice of 'Death' narrate this story is incredible. It is such a good story to hear rather han just read


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The Word Shaker


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 07-10-14
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    "Wonderful Story"

    At first I didn't think this book was going to be for me. I kept with it and I was very glad that I did. This book gripped my soul and I was unable to put it down.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    B. Phillips San Bernardino, CA 07-09-14
    B. Phillips San Bernardino, CA 07-09-14 Member Since 2013

    Brian

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    "A truly great story."
    If you could sum up The Book Thief in three words, what would they be?

    Captivating, enlightening, heart-breaking


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

    There are so many to choose from! Perhaps the aftermath of the bombing.


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

    Obviously Liesel but death, the narrator, takes a close second.


    Any additional comments?

    A great book written from a different perspective both in narration and in the common German experience in the war.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 07-09-14 Member Since 2014
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    "Spectacular reader!"
    What made the experience of listening to The Book Thief the most enjoyable?

    I loved this book-all 12 hours of it. The story was wonderfully crafted and the reader made the listening experience even better. Want to have the paper book for my library as well.


    Which character – as performed by Allan Corduner – was your favorite?

    Rosa-I loved to hear him say Zaumeinch!


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

    They were amazing, it was hard to choose, Rudy? the Mayor's wife? Rosa? Really it was Papa, if only there had been more men like Papa in 1939......


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Renard 07-09-14
    Renard 07-09-14
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    "Clever and touching"
    Any additional comments?

    This was a beautiful story, told from a poor corner of Munich during WWII. The author is clever with his descriptions (a cardboard woman, a man made of oak, a candle-haired boy) but not to the point that the unusual turn of his phrases distracts from the story. It's a sad story, as anything set in this time must be. But it's much more than that--it's not a tearjerker or an epic tragedy--it focuses on the details of a few lives and manages to be uplifting and even funny at times. Corduner was spot on as Death, personified. He has a great baritone voice with real color. My only issue was that his voice had such depth that it was sometimes distracting when he voiced children and women. Don't let that dissuade you from listening though--by and large his performance is engaging and the story is worth your time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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