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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 (11143 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Kelly 06-03-14
    Kelly 06-03-14
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    Story
    "Life Changing!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Book Thief to be better than the print version?

    Goodness can overcome evil!


    What did you like best about this story?

    I want to learn more about Nazi Germany and the Holocaust.


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

    Yes, he does so through the deep emotional feelings of the characters.


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

    Touched me deeply.


    Any additional comments?

    -

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    SoccerMom 06-02-14
    SoccerMom 06-02-14
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    3
    2
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    Story
    "Heart warming story"
    What did you love best about The Book Thief?

    This story was amazing. It really brought you into her world & you felt like you were there with her. Allen did an amazing job conveying the story. Definitely a pages turner.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Candi Norwood Tennessee 05-30-14
    Candi Norwood Tennessee 05-30-14 Member Since 2015
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    "Fantastic historical fiction"
    If you could sum up The Book Thief in three words, what would they be?

    Heartbreaking, but beautiful.


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

    The perspective of this book is unlike any I have read about war-torn Germany.


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

    What Doesn't Kill Us


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Betty 05-26-14
    Betty 05-26-14
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    "Magnificent !"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Book Thief to be better than the print version?

    No idea. I don't get this question. I don't normally listen to books I've already read.


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

    There are many but to choose one, the note written by the mayor's wife to Liesel telling her she knows she's stealing her books but she's welcome to them. There are many lovely kind people in this story that happened during a war.


    What about Allan Corduner’s performance did you like?

    I can't answer this. The performance did not detract from the story and was perfect.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    When the step father gave bread to the old man being marched through the city, I had tears.


    Any additional comments?

    In addition to this being a wonderful story and an outstanding performance, the writing is vey beautiful. One phrase I remember was, "The clouds arched their backs and looked behind them before moving on." The book is narrated by Death who admits that he is haunted by humans. Very rich imagery.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    kgw 05-24-14
    kgw 05-24-14
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    "Probably best of the year"
    What made the experience of listening to The Book Thief the most enjoyable?

    Told the German "everyday man" side of the war, which I had not really heard before. Innovative approach with Death narrating. Very moving journey of a young girl and her adoptive family.


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

    Sarah's Key due to holocaust themes and a child's journey; A tree grows in Brooklyn due to the journey of a young girl facing hardship,


    Which scene was your favorite?

    the bombing scenes were very suspenseful and tragic. I also liked the scenes with the mayor's wife. I didn't enjoy the various death scenes, but they needed to be told/scene to make the story complete.


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

    yes, this book moved in many ways, happy and sad.


    Any additional comments?

    best book of the year for me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ciparliamo Long Island 05-22-14
    ciparliamo Long Island 05-22-14
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    "Excellent Excellent Excellent"

    I cant imagine "reading" this book any other way but listening to it....the reader was wonderful....hated for it to end. The story was bittersweet and powerful....but really the reader made the story even better and more poignant....

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ramamurti Shankar 05-22-14

    Shankar

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    2
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    "A hidden trasure"
    Would you listen to The Book Thief again? Why?

    yes, the characters continue to haunt me


    What did you like best about this story?

    The way it is told and the unique perspective on life for average Germans under Hitler.
    Many innocent civilians were caught up and perished in the madness.


    What about Allan Corduner’s performance did you like?

    Brilliant narration and accents.


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

    Rudy and Lisel


    Any additional comments?

    DO NOT BE DISCOURAGED BY THE SLOW AND OBSCURE BEGINNING. IT REALLY PICKS UP AND GRABS YOU.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    RMace San Antonio, TX 05-15-14
    RMace San Antonio, TX 05-15-14 Member Since 2015

    R. Watson

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    "Don't miss this one!"

    Doesn't matter how young or old you are...this story is timeless. Not overly sentimental yet deeply emotional in intensity. Put this one on your To Be Read list. RW

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lyn NEW ULM, MN, United States 05-13-14
    Lyn NEW ULM, MN, United States 05-13-14 Member Since 2011

    Mylala

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    "One more story of what it takes to survive"

    In saying that, I mean that this story is amazing, Well written and Very Well read. The personality of the characters, you come to know and love them personally. If you read Diaries of Anne Frank, this is a MUST READ!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nicolette 05-12-14
    Nicolette 05-12-14 Member Since 2013
    ratings
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    "Slow to start"
    What did you love best about The Book Thief?

    The narration was superb. It is read from the perspective of the Grim Reaper which was very unusual but endearing all the same.


    What did you like best about this story?

    It is an unspoken love story in that The Book Thief loves so many people without ever telling any of them out loud. I love that this book shows how the written word is so powerful and enormous in so many different ways. How learning to read changed one child's life and the individuals around her.


    What about Allan Corduner’s performance did you like?

    His accent made the book very real. I don't think reading it would have been as fluid because I would have stumbled over the pronunciation of the German words.


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

    I love the name


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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