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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 (10956 )
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Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Don 01-10-14
    Don 01-10-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    23
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    4
    4
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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
    REVIEWS
    19
    3
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    Story
    "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
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
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    Story
    "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
  •  
    Gettica 01-07-14
    Gettica 01-07-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    14
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    18
    6
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    0
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    "beautifully written, excellent performance"
    Would you listen to The Book Thief again? Why?

    I would listen to this book again. The depiction of the characters is so rich and life-like.


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

    Yes.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Justin 01-06-14
    Justin 01-06-14 Member Since 2013
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    26
    2
    Overall
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    Story
    "An immersive experience"
    If you could sum up The Book Thief in three words, what would they be?

    It's so cliche to say the book is gripping, compelling, and important, but those are the words that fit.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The narrator is the key to bringing a most interesting perspective to the reader.


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

    I've not listened to Corduner before, but will look for him in the future.


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

    I would chose to have dinner with and Hubermann. His patience and strength are extraordinary.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary College Station, TX, United States 01-06-14
    Mary College Station, TX, United States 01-06-14 Member Since 2012

    Audible books, wow who knew I would be so taken with reading.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    45
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    "You will want to reread this one."

    War torn Germany, a small girl and not the heaviness of so many I have read. Papa is my favorite character. He is like still water to the girl. He gives her love and encouragement. This story holds wonderment and tears. The reader is perfect. The story is told by an interesting character, which brings you into the story. You will watch and observe with him. I hope the movie does this book justice.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sandra 12-29-13
    Sandra 12-29-13 Member Since 2012

    sansmile

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fascinating point of view"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Absolutely. The narration was key to enjoyment of this story, especially as there were words in German I would not have known how to pronounce. The story was compelling and the voices so distinct that you could tell "who was talking".


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

    Realizing who the narrator in the story is. (there is an actual narrator in the story as well as the external narrator who was reading the story)


    Which character – as performed by Allan Corduner – was your favorite?

    Liesel or perhaps Papa.


    Who was the most memorable character of The Book Thief and why?

    Don't want to give it away


    Any additional comments?

    The movie did a great job of showing the village and the general atmosphere, but missed so many details. The characterizations in the movie matched those in the book well.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michelle Patterson Seattle, WA USA 12-26-13
    Michelle Patterson Seattle, WA USA 12-26-13 Member Since 2010

    Chelley

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Death - perhaps the ultimate of 'Dirty Jobs'"
    What made the experience of listening to The Book Thief the most enjoyable?

    Great package -- tender and entertaining storyline, fabulous narration!


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Perhaps it has been done before, but I can't recall another story told from Death's perspective. It's a clever device and simply makes this story work. If I could go for coffee with and get to know any of the characters better, it would be Death. I'd have a million questions...


    Which character – as performed by Allan Corduner – was your favorite?

    Hard to choose, they were all well done! He really nailed Rosa/Mama and her sourness in contrast with Hans/Papa and his sweetness.


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

    Sure - though I seldom listen to anything in one sitting (life's too busy). For me, a good audiobook is one I listen to whenever there is a spare chunk of quiet time -- while brushing my teeth and putting on my makeup, driving to work and at bedtime -- until it's finished. This was one of those!


    Any additional comments?

    I loved the use of German followed by a pause and then the translation. Having studied German, this was a nice little quiz! There was just enough of a pause after the German for me to translate for myself before finding out if I was correct. I enjoyed the selection of German words chosen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Madeleine 12-25-13
    Madeleine 12-25-13
    ratings
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    104
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    "Don't skip this one"
    Would you listen to The Book Thief again? Why?

    Yes, it was a beautiful and moving story with wonderful narration. I hesitated to purchase it because I was afraid it would be another heartbreaking holocaust tale, but it isn't. While the effects of world war II are the catalyst for the events in the book, there is a deeper story about love, friendship and loyalty. The suffering makes the story believable and reminds us that it is set in a tragic time period, but doesn't exclude the joy of just being alive and young. The book reminds us that while there is hope for a better tomorrow, life is happening now and small joys and minor victories can sustain the soul no matter what the situation.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Death was my favorite character because using his perspective on life, everything that happens in the story seems to enrich his sense of humanity and ours along with him.


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

    The narration of this audiobook was perfect. The rich tones of Allan Corduner 's voice set a mood that refused to become maudlin, while looking closely at suffering and misfortune.


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

    No


    Any additional comments?

    This audiobook took me to a terrible time in history but focused on good people doing their best to survive the times and retain their humanity. I feel this is the real lesson of the story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Diane SOUTH ABINGTON TOWNSHIP, PA, United States 12-24-13
    Diane SOUTH ABINGTON TOWNSHIP, PA, United States 12-24-13 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
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    85
    5
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    "I have already listen to this book 6 times"

    I rarely listen to a book more than once. This one I will keep on my ipod for a long time. An extremely poor German town, an abandoned girl, the rise of Hitler. Then narrated by death.
    Add these together and you would expect a horrible story. "The Book Thief" is touching and uplifting. Beautifully narrated, wonderful characters you grow to know and love.
    Listen to this book. Actually listen to it a couple of times!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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