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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 (10147 )
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4.6 (8096 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Yvonne Austin, TX, United States 01-26-14
    Yvonne Austin, TX, United States 01-26-14 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Excellent a Must Listen To"
    Would you listen to The Book Thief again? Why?

    Yes I would definitely listen again. This is the second Best Audio Book I have heard. The story is very well developed and easily captures you with every chapter. The narrator secured my attention in such a manner that if I missed a sentence I would go back to listen again. I felt as if I was present with every situation.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The most mysterious character was the Mayor's wife. Her sense of sorrow and interest in the child would play a significant role in her life.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C. Oneal California 01-25-14
    C. Oneal California 01-25-14 Member Since 2012

    I'm addicted to Audible. A new grandma I am responsible for my grandsons library, which reignited my interest in books.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Brilliant."

    I passed this book so many times. Yes it was a best seller, yes it had great reviews I just didn't think I'd like it. Wow, so glad I was running out of choices. this is one of the best books I've read. The point of view is original. It's so human, with humor, and pain, suspense, and joy, laughter and heart ache. It has it all. I've never heard a story told this way about Nazi Germany, and yet I feel like it was very real. And the narrator I could go on about forever too. He added so much depth and dimension to the book I am sure it wouldn't have been the same had I read it. Still wonderful but without the inflections and accents absolutely not the same. I will miss the characters, and the only reprieve is that I heard there is a amovie, which I will have to wait to come out on DVD in March. Must read!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Occasional Barista New Orleans 01-24-14
    Occasional Barista New Orleans 01-24-14 Member Since 2001
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    3
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    "If you could only read one book, this is it."
    Any additional comments?

    It's been a long time since I've read a really good book. It always catches me by surprise when I do finally do come across a really great book. The beauty of language in the hands of a skilled writer is a joy that is hard for me to convey. I'm not a skilled writer, unlike Marcus Zusak who makes the words sing and fly like a great artist. Even if he were sallow, his use of language alone would make this book worth the read. But he is not sallow. This is a book that will reach into your soul and show you your heart. It's a book about the universal human condition. It's life and love. It's death and sadness. It's hope and dreams.
    I'll not give any spoilers, I'm sure you can find plenty if you look. This isn't a book that should be described; it should be experienced. Treat yourself and read the Book Thief.
    No regrets or disappointments, you'll love it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 01-14-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fantistic story but..."
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    The story was so wonderful but it was told in such a choppy manner that Iconstantly had to backtrack. It was extremely annoying BUT Instill believe it's a book everyone ought to hear!


    What did you like best about this story?

    The new prospective on what it was like in WWII Germany and that one individual can change thecourse of someone's life forever.


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

    No....he was fine....it was not his delivery as much as the disjointed and the way it was told by the grim reaper. I personally think the story would have been much more powerful had it been told in a less disjointed manner.


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

    No.


    Any additional comments?

    This is a book that I would have liked to listen to again but, sadly, it would be too annoying!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    T. L. Oksner 01-14-14

    trishimi

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "MesmeriZing. You Won't Be Sorry!"
    What did you love best about The Book Thief?

    The story is a good one and the narrator is excellent


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I really loved so many of them: Rudy, Liesl, Papa...they are so well drawn


    What about Allan Corduner’s performance did you like?

    He did an excellent job of discerning each character's "flavor"


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

    No idea...but they made a film!


    Any additional comments?

    You won't be sorry if you listen, and you will be thinking about it long after you're done

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    m United States 01-12-14
    m United States 01-12-14 Member Since 2012
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    "Intriguing book. Love the story. Great performance"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Book Thief to be better than the print version?

    I did not read the printed version


    What about Allan Corduner’s performance did you like?

    Wonderful performance


    Any additional comments?

    Just love this book. Happy and sad and hopeful in the terrible days of Nazis and world war 2 in Germany

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gerri 01-10-14
    Gerri 01-10-14 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Amazing"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Beautiful Characters - unique point of view of narrator


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

    Rudy protecting Lisel


    What about Allan Corduner’s performance did you like?

    His accent and passion and clear portrayal of different characters were fabulous.


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


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Don 01-10-14
    Don 01-10-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great Story"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I read a couple of the reviews on this book so I downloaded it. Was totally glad I did. and then I couldnt wait for the movie to come out 2 weeks later.
    Both were great.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tabatha Bensalem, Pa 01-09-14
    Tabatha Bensalem, Pa 01-09-14 Member Since 2013
    ratings
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    19
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    "Excellent Story!"
    Would you listen to The Book Thief again? Why?

    Yes, the story was very interesting.


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

    The perspective of the story teller and the way he described the details.


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

    No, the narrator did a great job capturing the darkness of the story teller.


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

    Death


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cory Des Moines, WA, United States 01-08-14
    Cory Des Moines, WA, United States 01-08-14
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    "Heartbreaking & Amazing"
    What did you love best about The Book Thief?

    Beautifully told story with wonderful character development. Told from the point of view of Death during World War II, The Book Thief will haunt you long after you have heard the final sentence.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Leisel Meminger and her indomitable spirit. Her openness to new ideas and people. She is a heroine for the ages and she epitomizes the era in which she lives.


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

    His is a wonderful narrator. He brings each character to life...even Death, the narrator of the book. You can see the characters as they interact with each other, not an easy task for a single narrator. Beautifully told.


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

    No, I listened to it over a couple of weeks.


    Any additional comments?

    I listen to many, many books, including all of George R.R. Martin's, the Song of Fire & Ice - with the fabulous Roy Dotrice. This narrator is on par and the book is simply amazingly beautiful in it's description of love, loss, and unspeakable acts.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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