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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 (11431 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Wendy 04-19-14
    Wendy 04-19-14

    Avid listener

    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    "OMG"
    If you could sum up The Book Thief in three words, what would they be?

    mesmerizing, evocative, engaging


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

    Incomparable, I am now going to look for more books that might be this good


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

    Somehow his voice brings that geography and period to life, more so than if it were in my voice


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

    no


    Any additional comments?

    This author's use of words is so beautiful, it was like listening to a piece of art.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cynthia Howell skippy 04-19-14
    Cynthia Howell skippy 04-19-14 Member Since 2014

    Tell us about yourself! I love books! Managed a book store for 10 years. Love my Kindle and Audible.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    ratings
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    12
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    9
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    "Best biook I have ever read!!!!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Book Thief to be better than the print version?

    YES!! Allan Corduner embodied the character of death.


    What did you like best about this story?

    How these ordinary people overcame horrific times, and the love they showed each other in such extraordinary ways. I'm crying just remembering them.


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

    He turned a really good book into an excellent unbeatable book


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

    I like that title it peaked my curiosity


    Any additional comments?

    I can't find a book to match it and would appreciate any recommendations

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Debbie Durham, CA, United States 04-18-14
    Debbie Durham, CA, United States 04-18-14 Member Since 2015
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    12
    5
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    "I enjoyed this very much"

    I enjoyed this book quite a bit and felt the narrator did an excellent job. I'd recommend this book to almost anyone, the writing was excellent.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary Cole 04-14-14
    Mary Cole 04-14-14 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    41
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Brilliant prose, phrases to savor."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I recommend this wholeheartedly. The author is brilliant with turning a phrase (beautiful prose throughout), the point of view was a unique & effective twist (I had to reread ch 1 a couple of times before I got it, but after that it felt like the only way it could have been written), and the mix of solemn, loving, and lighthearted approach to the story was refreshing & uplifting.

    It is beautiful in every way: fascinating historical details, deep and varied characters, a love for life & beauty & humanity, a gripping story with love, loss, mystery, surprises, and may I say again, phrases to savor all throughout the book.


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

    The Help -- Story, characters, & historical interest.
    Tale of Two Cities & Name of the Wind -- Depth and beautiful prose.


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

    I laughed some, cried a little, smiled much, and was left better at the end than when I began.


    Any additional comments?

    This book is a caress of love, loss, wisdom and perspective, and it offers all this with just the right amount of humor, wit, and clever phrasing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Standiford Helm 04-08-14 Member Since 2013
    ratings
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    1
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    Story
    "unreadable"
    What disappointed you about The Book Thief?

    The author is self-absorbed, the written pretentious. All very off putting. I was unable to listen beyond the prologue.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J-Red 04-06-14
    J-Red 04-06-14 Member Since 2012
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    "Haven't seen the movie....And probably WON'T!"

    The story, the writing, and the narration alone are more vibrant and vivid than any movie director could possibly portray on the screen. Unlike any movie, the reader/listener, becomes part of the story line, able to almost see, feel, and touch the world within the book. I almost passed up this one because of the YA title attached to it, but very early into it am glad that I didn't, and hope that you will not do the same, as this is a book for everyone! Give it a try....you won't be disappointed!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janine T. Lea MA 04-06-14
    Janine T. Lea MA 04-06-14 Member Since 2014
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    10
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Powerful Story"
    What did you like best about this story?

    I thought it was a fantastic story about an incredible time in history. You can FEEL the hearts and emotions of the characters in the story. It is a story of faith and love and compassion which can be found in even the hardest of times. The promise the father gave to the friend who saved his life. And he kept that promise, while putting all in his home in danger.


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

    The Narration was terrific. I haven't heard any other performances by Allan Corduner, but I will look for him again in the future.


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

    I think the title is Perfect. I couldn't come up with anything better if I tried.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Denise Whitaker 04-05-14 Member Since 2014

    I am a truck driver, a mother and a wife.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Death never sounded so good."
    What does Allan Corduner bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The narration of Death by Allan Corduner was incredible. I really felt like Death himself was speaking to me thru my earpiece.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jim Hess 04-05-14
    Jim Hess 04-05-14 Member Since 2015
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    "Beautiful storyline and beautfully written"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Book Thief to be better than the print version?

    The performance was a work of art


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Mama, you zaomench!


    What about Allan Corduner’s performance did you like?

    Perhaps the best performance I've enjoyed thus far on Audible


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S. Cloke 04-04-14
    S. Cloke 04-04-14
    ratings
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    26
    3
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    Story
    "Loved the story! LOVED the narration!"
    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I can't pick! I love Liesel, Rudy, Max, Liesel's dad, her mom, you name it. They were all plucky and sweet and funny in their own way.


    Any additional comments?

    Allan Corduner as the narrator (Death) was perfect and so funny!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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