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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 (10970 )
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4.6 (8820 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Cindy Gloucester, ON, Canada 11-12-13
    Cindy Gloucester, ON, Canada 11-12-13 Member Since 2013
    ratings
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    15
    7
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    "I love this book!!"
    Would you listen to The Book Thief again? Why?

    This book was enjoyable, in every way. I loved the characters, the development, the story and everything about it. I couldn't put it down


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I loved Papa. He was so strong an so supportive of Liesel. He was such a strong character with real values and beliefs.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Too many to count.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Acceptance, understanding and love in the middle of Nazi Germany


    Any additional comments?

    I loved this book and I am looking forward to seeing the movie, and pray they can capture the true story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christopher Denny Rancho Cucamonga, CA USA 11-10-13
    Christopher Denny Rancho Cucamonga, CA USA 11-10-13 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Touching and Poignant"
    What did you like best about this story?

    I liked the writing. Makrkus Zusak has a way of describing some of the most menial things with words that bring everything to life. The amazing analogies and descriptive text paint pictures just like Max makes sketches for Liesel.


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

    I have not listened to any of Allan's performances before but I am curious to listen to other books. His performance was well done with the many voices and the accents.


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

    I think I would want to take Death out to dinner. Despite the stereotypes of death itself, this portrayal of death as an mostly omniscient narrator is funny and serious at the same time. The dinner conversation would include his travels and his stories.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ann United States 11-08-13
    Ann United States 11-08-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    33
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    "Oh My! Who could possibly feel sorry for death?"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Book Thief to be better than the print version?

    I definitely chose this over the print version. I knew the premise of the book and had picked up the print version, but just could not stick with it. I am so glad I decided to listen to this book. It is just one of those books that translates better in audio, I loved it, every last minute.


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

    This performance of this book haunts me like the performance of Cormac McCarthy's The Road. They both will linger in my mind for years.


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

    He is the story. He makes you laugh and weep for the little girl. Amazing performance. He actually made me feel a bit sorry for death.


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

    The scene with Max in the parade of jews.


    Any additional comments?

    If you are on the fence on this book, don't hesitate. You will really enjoy the performance, and the story will touch your heart.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Virginia Holbrook, NY, United States 11-06-13
    Virginia Holbrook, NY, United States 11-06-13 Member Since 2015
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    3
    2
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    "Great book..."
    Would you listen to The Book Thief again? Why?

    Yes, thought the narrator did a great job telling this great story.


    What did you like best about this story?

    It was told in the point of view of death which is so unique.


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

    Rosie..I loved how she said "zowcow"!


    Any additional comments?

    It was heartwarming to read a story about nazi Germany in the eyes of a non-Jewish German girl.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    D. Knight Nashville, TN USA 10-25-13
    D. Knight Nashville, TN USA 10-25-13 Member Since 2012

    romans55

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "What a book!"
    Any additional comments?

    This is just a wonderful book. Don't miss it. The narration is wonderful and the German accent and translation is superb. Wonderfully written about a tragic and frightening time, with a completely unexpected voice telling the story. I'm so glad a friend recommended it to me!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    LB 10-17-13
    LB 10-17-13 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
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    "Interesting presentation"

    This book is very different from others. The narrator is death. I don't think that will ruin it as you figure this out by the end of first chapter. I was very confused for a bit. It jumps around a lot, but despite these two difficulties it pulls you in. I was not sure about the book about 1/3 way in enjoying but not loving it. Once I got use to the style, and drawn into all the characters I was hooked. I will say parents of teens should listen first, it is in many best teen reads. I would let my 14 year old read it but my 12 year old I would wait another few years. Some parents may be fine with any age, but you should judge for yourself.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elaine 10-16-13
    Elaine 10-16-13

    I did not learn to read until I was in my twenties. Have not stopped since. The two most important things to learn are reading & chess.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Through the watchful eyes of Death"

    What a fascinating way to tell a story of how souls are picked up after the body has died. The spirit of Death follows a girl around in Germany during WW II picking up souls of people that have died around her, starting with her little brother. It is wonderful and thought provoking from beginning to the end.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Courtney Nebraska, USA 10-14-13
    Courtney Nebraska, USA 10-14-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    "I haven't been so moved by a book in years!"
    Where does The Book Thief rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This is my favorite audiobook so far out of the 70+ I've listened to so far. I cannot believe how moved I was by the story.


    What about Allan Corduner’s performance did you like?

    I loved Allan's performance! He was great at delivering the different characters. I loved him!


    Any additional comments?

    Buy this now and start listening immediately!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    K. Garswood Ontario, Canada 10-13-13
    K. Garswood Ontario, Canada 10-13-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I had to get past the narrative quirks."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, definitely - it's a rich and vibrant story of love and loss, and exquisitely told.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Mama!


    What about Allan Corduner’s performance did you like?

    He had a wonderful versatility!


    Any additional comments?

    Death as the narrator, who warns you constantly about what's about to happen - that, I struggled with. It was very quirky, very strange. And I wasn't sure I enjoyed the constant series of spoilers. But it was a beautiful story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    L. Evans Ocala, Florida United States 10-11-13
    L. Evans Ocala, Florida United States 10-11-13 Member Since 2011

    Southern Girl Reads

    ratings
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    17
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    "Simply Wonderful"
    If you could sum up The Book Thief in three words, what would they be?

    Brilliant, moving, heartbreaking


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

    Too many to name


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

    Papa


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

    It made me smile and made me sob.


    Any additional comments?

    I'm so glad I chose the audio version. Allan Corduner did a magnificent job and made a great book even better to listen to.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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