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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 (7762 )
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Performance
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  •  
    julia Bedford, NY, United States 08-14-10
    julia Bedford, NY, United States 08-14-10 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "not what I was expecting and great surprise"

    this is a difficult angle to be chatting from - death, and you would think that Nazi Germany would be a really droll listen - but the characters were so real and the story was so beautifully told, that it was a really great find. beautiful prose and beautiful people. made you feel like you were right there or even in a movie, it was that descriptive.
    I loved it for my teen nieces too - it seems that it may be sad, but it was really not written like that - it was a great listen - the narrator did a great job.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Neha Jain LA, California 08-11-10
    Neha Jain LA, California 08-11-10 Member Since 2009

    bookie

    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
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    5
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    "An AWEsome and AWEinspiring experience"

    I really dont know what I can say that other people have not already said about this book. But this book moved me so much that I could not bring myself not to write even a word about it.

    Through this book I got a chance to live through Hitler's Germany and the atrocities and uncertainties of a war inflicted world, and all this through the eys of an innocent little girl less than 14years old.

    I cried and I laughed. This is what writing is all about. Anything that can move a human soul so deeply as this book does, deserves a mention. I am just surprised this one missed the bestseller list!

    And oh a word about the narrator: Allan Corduner. Phenomenal Job! He made the book come alive, it was like watching a movie rather than listening to a book. It was so unobtrusive that I almost failed to notice the narrator or even the fact that I was hearing; not listening or seeing.
    If you like a good book, that you will remember for years, then this one should be your next pick.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S. Friday Ramstein Air Base, Germany 07-29-10
    S. Friday Ramstein Air Base, Germany 07-29-10 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    19
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    "We loved this book!"

    The kids (ages 11 and 15) and I really loved listening to this book. We found the characters to be quite believable and were always anxious for the next car ride to hear what was happening with Liesel and her family. It was a new take to hear how the war affected ordinary German citizens.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michelle Highlands Ranch, CO, USA 07-22-10
    Michelle Highlands Ranch, CO, USA 07-22-10
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    3
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    "Wonderful!!"

    Amazing, creative writing. Narration is well done and a bonus that the German is pronounced correctly for you. You will fall in love with the characters...even death.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nor'easter NH 07-04-10
    Nor'easter NH 07-04-10 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great Book"

    Only Death himself can take something as morbid as the Holocaust and inject a bit of humor. While very sad at times, I thoroughly enjoyed the way this book was written. A great piece of historical fiction that should not be limited to young adults.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William APO, AP, United States 06-23-10
    William APO, AP, United States 06-23-10 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Read this one"

    What a wonderful story with excellent narration. Well worth your listening credits!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karen Sherborn, MA, United States 04-17-10
    Karen Sherborn, MA, United States 04-17-10 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Hauntingly Beautiful!"

    I have listened to 100s of books on Audible & The Book Thief has to be ranked in the top 10. This story will both haunt you & make you pause to reflect on the meaning of life - both the characters and your own, long after you finish it. However, this book is not depressing. The writing is so full of the perfect balance of humor & pathos that I couldn't help smile while silently weeping over the despair of the character's lives during the plot so well that it is very difficult to let go of this story. I keep re-listening to different passages - perhaps hoping that I can change, or at the least, comfort the characters amidst the despair their lives. The story is beautifully & perfectly narrated by Allan Corduner.

    So as not to ruin the story, the author has developed the narrator's character so well that you will find that you love this character & perhaps will rethink how you feel about life long after you finish the book.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Frederick C. Caruso Centennial, Colorado, US 03-02-10
    Frederick C. Caruso Centennial, Colorado, US 03-02-10 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A wonderful tale."

    A wonderful approach to an incredible part of our humanity. I loved it. I love books. I love reading about WWII and actually learning more about it from another perspective.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Connie Ray, MI, United States 02-18-10
    Connie Ray, MI, United States 02-18-10 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    27
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    "What a wonderful book!"

    I have listened so many good books on Audible. Middlesex, Bonfire of the Vanities, Cutting for Stone, and now the Book Thief. This story will stay with you long after you've finished it. The writing is beautiful and the narration excellent. I highly recommend going on this journey.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    El Jay Tucson, Az 01-12-10
    El Jay Tucson, Az 01-12-10 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    "The Best Book I've Read in Years!!!"

    My 16 year old was reading this for English class. I pick it up off his floor while cleaning his room, I opened it and started reading, then went straight to Audible to download it. I don't think that I have ever been so touched by a story or a narrator's voice. This book is brilliantly written, the story remarkably engaging, and a cast of characters that imprints your heart, forever. The tale is heartbreaking, but at the same time gives you hope for the human spirit, as "Death" tells the story.The narrator's voice is mesmerizing, imaginative and memorable. I know this book will stay with me forever. Allan Corduner's narration is the best on Audible and maybe of all time! You will want to buy the book and keep it in your library; you may also want to donate a copy to your local high school!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
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