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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 (7623 )
5 star
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4.4 (5857 )
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Story
4.6 (5839 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Natalie Los Angeles, CA, United States 04-13-11
    Natalie Los Angeles, CA, United States 04-13-11 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    20
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    28
    8
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    "Haunting, beautiful, odd, unforgettable."

    I was a bit nervous because I knew this had something to do with WWII and nazi's thinking it would be "one of those books" but I was so wrong. It is much more than that and only uses that as a backdrop for a set of relationships and stories that transcend time period and environment.

    The narration is my favorite EVER on Audible and that is coming from a sworn Simon Vance fan.

    The writing is beautiful.

    The characters are so real to me even now. I cried, I chuckled, I used words and phrases from it in my everyday vocabulary for months.

    YES. GET IT.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary United States 04-09-11
    Mary United States 04-09-11 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    7
    4
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    2
    Overall
    "A work of Prose ... A great Adult read too"

    This is on a par with the Help in my opinion. The narrator is brilliant. The story is haunting and made me marvel at the awe inspiring creativity of the human spirit that wrote this. I lived with the story for days after I finished. Some reviewers have suggested that the writing is almost prose-like...I would agree.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathy Quincy, WA, United States 04-03-11
    Kathy Quincy, WA, United States 04-03-11 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
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    20
    9
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    "A Gem"

    This is truly an amazing book. I feel very fortunate to have listened to it. So moving...what a great inspiring story. The first bit starts off slow, but give it time. You will be glad you listened.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brooke Melbourne, FL, United States 03-19-11
    Brooke Melbourne, FL, United States 03-19-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
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    37
    6
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    Overall
    "fantastic"

    I have hundreds of read books, this is a favorite. I may require it for my summer reading class. The tale is imaginitive, prose rythmic and story engrossing. I must also compliment the narration in this case. I didn't realize that it was written as a young adult novel until I started to seek other novels by the same author. Anyway, not your usual WWII Nazi Germany story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lisa OMAHA, NE, United States 03-16-11
    Lisa OMAHA, NE, United States 03-16-11 Member Since 2011
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    Overall
    "Keep going!"

    This book really sneaks up on you. After half listening to the first hour I gave up, then I found myself driving without an auto book. I started where I left off and found myself wanting to stay behind the wheel to finish the book. What a powerful story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Krista Urbandale, IA, United States 02-26-11
    Krista Urbandale, IA, United States 02-26-11 Member Since 2010
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    Overall
    "Unexpected"

    This book was surprising good. It was somewhat difficult to get into at first, but once the story progressed it captured my interest. Very interesting style of narrative, unlike any other book I've read or listened to. It is definitely worth the time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Huntington Beach, CA, United States 02-19-11
    John Huntington Beach, CA, United States 02-19-11 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    201
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    REVIEWS
    246
    129
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    29
    1
    Overall
    "Story well put together but not quite 5 star level"

    I thought the story was very well written and constructed with an interesting perspective. Narration was top rate. The story always remained interesting but not engrossing. The characters are the stars of the book, more than the plot. I can see why it got so many 5 star ratings and I would recommend it but not highly. I did feel at many points in the book that it was geared more to a teenage reader.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David BERKELEY, CA, United States 02-18-11
    David BERKELEY, CA, United States 02-18-11 Member Since 2011

    archadvance

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    11
    2
    Overall
    "...Wunderbar"

    The unusual structure of this book may throw you off at first, but taking the time to adapt to the non-linearity of the storyline is an investment that pays off in the most valuable ways that literature can. It will enrich your understanding of humanity and make you feel in the most profound and haunting ways. The reading performance by Allan Corduner is well paced and effortlessly keeps your attention.
    If you like to listen while out and about in public just set aside some personal alone time to finish it, it is likely to require a bit of privacy and time to digest.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul Cornelius, NC, United States 02-09-11
    Paul Cornelius, NC, United States 02-09-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
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    3
    3
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    "Loved it! Listened to it 3 times."

    Absolutely wonderful. Highly recomended. A great story, great narrator. Everybody that I know who has read this or listened to this book has loved it. Worth the credit for sure.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tanille Sarasota, FL, United States 02-06-11
    Tanille Sarasota, FL, United States 02-06-11 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    16
    ratings
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    54
    7
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    Overall
    "Delightful"

    Fantastic read - the tale is told with the most clever use of phrase. My favorite read this year!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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