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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 (9004 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Michey Las Vegas 08-20-13
    Michey Las Vegas 08-20-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Broke my heart into thousands of pieces"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Book Thief to be better than the print version?

    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.


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

    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.


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

    I haven't but I would perhaps be interested in hearing something else from this guy.


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

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    PJ Eustis, FL, United States 08-20-13
    PJ Eustis, FL, United States 08-20-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Poetic, masterful, engaging, one of the best"

    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.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Book Worm 08-19-13
    Book Worm 08-19-13 Member Since 2012

    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.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I loved it!"

    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.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Suzanne 08-15-13
    Suzanne 08-15-13
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    "Like watching a movie!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    If you're like me, and enjoying reading a book as well as listening to one, THIS is one you absolutely should listen to.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Howie Calgary, AB, Canada 08-01-13
    Howie Calgary, AB, Canada 08-01-13 Member Since 2007

    History, historical fiction and mysteries are my faves, but a fan of all genres.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "One of the Best Books I've ever read bar none!"


    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.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Meredith Pittsford, NY, United States 07-26-13
    Meredith Pittsford, NY, United States 07-26-13
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    3
    2
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    "Finished in 3 days!"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Danielle O'Donnell Warren, OH United States 07-11-13
    Danielle O'Donnell Warren, OH United States 07-11-13

    alleykatt2232

    ratings
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    4
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    "Didn't want it to end/Couldn't stop listening!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Book Thief to be better than the print version?

    I don't know because I started with the audible version.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The narrator was fabulous, but I adored Papa!


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

    No, I haven't but I look forward to the comparison! He is completely captivating and thrilling as Death himself.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Death becomes the captive!


    Any additional comments?

    Don't miss this one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    annhere Abbotsford, B.C., Canada 06-26-13
    annhere Abbotsford, B.C., Canada 06-26-13 Member Since 2002

    Ann.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "HAUNTINGLY BEAUTIFUL!"

    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.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    kokobean99 06-18-13
    kokobean99 06-18-13 Member Since 2011
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    "Beautiful"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lucy St. Petersburg, Russia 06-08-13
    Lucy St. Petersburg, Russia 06-08-13 Member Since 2013

    I love to read. On average I read and/or listen to more than 100 books a year. Audible has been a fantastic addition to my life. Love it!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Perfect Book"

    This was hands down the best book I've experienced in a long time. The story was amazing and the narrator a perfect match. I highly recommend this.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
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