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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 (9500 )
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4.6 (7541 )
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Performance
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  •  
    A. L. Blake New Hampshire 05-06-13
    A. L. Blake New Hampshire 05-06-13

    Vlad

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Good narration, unclear plot"
    What did you love best about The Book Thief?

    The narrator did a great job at doing different characters and bringing you into the world of the book. Also the beginning voice was intriguing but was dropped and not picked up till the end.


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

    The ending was most memorable by far. It was emotional, picturesque, and beautifully written.


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

    His different characterizations and voices were well done.


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

    Germans who weren't Nazis


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gilmara Lima Mendes Piscataway, New Jersey 05-06-13
    Gilmara Lima Mendes Piscataway, New Jersey 05-06-13 Member Since 2014

    Audible Obsessed wishes she had more time for so many audiobooks.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    74
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    Story
    "Heil, Liesel!"

    For starters, if you like happy endings, this book is not for you. However, this book is wonderfully written, captivating and for all ages.
    This is a story of love, war, sacrifice and choices.
    It's a simple story, really: a girl, foster parents, an accordionist, a boy, poverty, hunger, simplicity and... death.
    This is the story of Liesel. Because of the circumstances, she becomes the foster daughter of Hans and Rosa, who ask her to call them mama and papa, and love her deeply. Her papa is the one to teach her to read, and this way, he giver her thw world and the start of a new "career".
    Even though the author doesn’t build up your anxiety throughout the book, he involves you in such a way that you want not only to finish listening, but also keep reading more about the true story behind the war. I balled like a baby when I finished it. This is one book I will take with me, recommend, and read/listen to again many times.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Husam united states 05-05-13
    Husam united states 05-05-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Very Impresive Book!"

    Most of the times, I can't be objective when I really like a book because I usually become captured when it's ending is captivating as this one. But if you only like happy endings then I don't think you're going to like this one.

    Having a death as a narrator was simply amusing and delightful, as strange as it may seem, and you will only feel it when you read it. The narrator himself was also excellent and added a nice taste to the book.

    Sometimes it was a little boring but since it's not that big it didn't last for long.

    Overall it deserves a 4.5 stars on my scale.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Claudine ESCONDIDO, CA, United States 04-30-13
    Claudine ESCONDIDO, CA, United States 04-30-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    17
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    Story
    "Not just a story - it's an experience!"

    I am so glad that my teenage son recommended this book to me. He was so enthusiastic that I couldn't say no. But little did I expect such an amazing ride. From the 'unique' identity of the storyteller, to the choice of imagery and the performance of the narrator - this was quite an experience.

    The story was set in the backdrop of Hitler's Germany and it was profoundly poignant. The story was not about the Nazi's - it was about Leisel Meminger and her life - but you got a sense of how that time in history impacted this little girl who didn't understand what Hitler was all about.

    The author was highly adept at creating a mood in the book - from the very first sentence. But I think the fact that it was an audio book enhanced - or intensified- that mood. I think a good comparison is the difference between watching Star Wars on a TV at home or watching it at the movies in surround sound. The audio of The Book Thief was a full experience; and the best audio book I have listened to.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bksmrt Illinois, USA 04-09-13
    Bksmrt Illinois, USA 04-09-13 Member Since 2013

    Community Outreach Librarian. I wouldn't finish half as many books, if it wasn't for audio books! Mostly love non-fiction, though have loved many fiction recommendations from my colleagues!

    ratings
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    13
    1
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    ""Death" as Narrator is creative perspective"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Excellent story, characters and reader, with fine German accent. Learned more WWII history, German words and pronunciations.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The characters were wonderful. Extremely well written, believable and alive.


    What about Allan Corduner’s performance did you like?

    Everything. His tone, accent, and the depth of emotions in his voice.


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

    When Lisel finally kissed Rudy.


    Any additional comments?

    Highly recommend this audio book. I did look at the print copy and realized the many drawings included, that I did not see, but it did not diminish my enjoyment.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Megan 04-09-13
    Megan 04-09-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Phenomenal performance of a fantastic story!"
    If you could sum up The Book Thief in three words, what would they be?

    Fascinating, Poignant, Intriguing


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The narrator of the story is "death." He is a grim reaper character. I was immediately taken into the story by this unique twist. No matter what your religion or faith, this narrator is such a powerful perspective that the book is truly one of the best I have ever read.


    Any additional comments?

    Allan Corduner is the best audio narrator I have ever listened to. He has the perfect voice to narrate this book. He uses the appropriate German accents when necessary, and characterizes each person in the story with unique sounds and vocal mannerisms, yet it is never jarring or over the top. He is fantastic!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tammy San Diego, CA, United States 03-16-13
    Tammy San Diego, CA, United States 03-16-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    4
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    "The most beautiful book I've ever read."
    Where does The Book Thief rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    #1


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Liesel; because you love her from the very first pages of the book to the very last pages of the book.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    When Papa first came to her room and played the accordian.


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

    I loved the characters so much that I missed them for weeks after reading the book. It made me laugh and cry.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Vicki 03-12-13
    Vicki 03-12-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Now in my top 3 favorite books ever!"

    I truly enjoyed Death's perspective on the events of WWII Germany. The narrator's reading of this story brought it to life - upping the enjoyment level.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carl Vernal, UT, United States 03-11-13
    Carl Vernal, UT, United States 03-11-13 Member Since 2011
    ratings
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    8
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    "Loved Loved Loved it."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would highly recommend this book. Better than most coming of age Stories. It was fantastic. The narration was great and the story Superb.


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

    The memorable Moments were the characters, Max, Rosa, Rudy, and my Favorite Hans Huberman.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    So many good scenes. And death as the Narrator draws them up very poetically.


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

    Yes. I am not an emotional being particularly when it comes to film and literature. But this one did get to me.


    Any additional comments?

    Just a great book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jessica Shoop LEBANON, IN, US 03-05-13
    Jessica Shoop LEBANON, IN, US 03-05-13 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    13
    5
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    0
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    "Love the Narration being from Death!"
    If you could sum up The Book Thief in three words, what would they be?

    Riveting, Thoughtful, Meaningful


    What did you like best about this story?

    I like that Death tells the story, but also that it teaches a lesson and the heartache involved with the time and place the story is told.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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