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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 (8545 )
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Performance
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  •  
    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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    6
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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
    ratings
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    73
    6
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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
  •  
    Andi Fredericksburg, VA, USA 05-04-09
    Andi Fredericksburg, VA, USA 05-04-09 Member Since 2007
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    REVIEWS
    3
    1
    Overall
    "Lovely Story"

    I wasn't sure I'd like this book but within 1/2 hour of listening, I was taken in. The story is very compelling and is so well written. The reader does a wonderful job; you can see the characters through him. I laughed and cried; I think you would too.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Deborah Parker, CO USA 06-16-08
    Deborah Parker, CO USA 06-16-08 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    100
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    27
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    "One of the BEST"

    I listened to this book well over a year ago, and in going through my library, noticed that I hadn't written a review. Not that I write one for every book....BUT even with a year having past - the whole story jumped right into my head. No need to think about the plot. This book leaves an impression that lasts! It is really one of the best!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    05-29-08
    05-29-08 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    161
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    23
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    4
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    "Kudos to the narrator"

    I can't add to the praise given by other readers for the writing in The Book Thief. It was truly great. I would like to add that this is the best narration that I've yet listened to. The reader of this book performs as though you are listening to an audio play with only one actor voicing all the roles. This is difficult given that the characters are German, there is plenty of German vocabulary and the narrator is English.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cranberry 03-15-08
    Cranberry 03-15-08 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fantastic"

    The book itself is fantastic. A very different perspective from other books I've read on the same topic. Even though the narrator (the actual story teller written into the book, not the audio book narrator) tells you how the book is going to end, multiple times, you're never prepared for it. The narration is excellent -- voices and accents are perfect.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lavonna Denver, CO, United States 01-16-08
    Lavonna Denver, CO, United States 01-16-08 Member Since 2001
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    16
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    "Death as the narrator--brilliant!"

    What a brilliant device to have Death the narrator of the story! It truly held me captive for the entirety of the book. Also viewing the Holocaust or WWII from the perspective of the sympathetic but powerless German citizen gives this historic event credence that even the most ardent anti-semitic person cannot argue against.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Angela Hartland, VT, USA 10-18-07
    Angela Hartland, VT, USA 10-18-07
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
    Overall
    "A must listen!"

    I don't think I could have had the same rich experience reading the book as I did listening to this narrator. The story has it all-beautiful imagery, well-rounded characters, humor, sadness. There's nothing about this book I didn't like. It was a wonderful experience. It left me wanting to hear more about Lisl Meminger.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Suze Jackson, NJ, United States 08-14-07
    Suze Jackson, NJ, United States 08-14-07 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    198
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    74
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    "Wonderful"

    just a brilliant book...period !

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Knoxville, TN, USA 08-07-07
    John Knoxville, TN, USA 08-07-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    3
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    "When Stealing Books Is Not Theft"

    This richly original book explores to profound depths the specific characters and struggles on the mean streets of a German neighborhood in World War II. The heroine, Liesl, is a young girl adopted by foster parents who hide Max, a Jew, from the Holocaust. Liesl bonds with her Papa and Mama, Max, and her best friend, Rudi, as she grows up in the shadow of Nazi brutality and war's devastation. The narrator, Death himself, comments ironically on people's both great and petty acts that haunt him as he harvests souls in the carnage of war and genocide. If the plot is full of wonderful twists, the language overflows with crisp images and word play. Liesl's book "thefts" are really disguised gifts. The narrator's Central European accent spices his characters' voices perfectly. This is an utterly compelling, can't-put-it-down story of imagination, tragedy, saving humor and forgiveness. It was the perfect companion to get me through two otherwise unbearably long trips.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
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