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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

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Performance
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  •  
    Attila Safari 09-18-10 Member Since 2009
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
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    Overall
    "The Perfect Storm"

    The Book Thief by itself is one of the best books written in my recent memory. Add to this the brilliant narration of Allan Corduner and you get the perfect storm. Plain and simple, this audio book is a beautiful storm that plays like the saddest violin piece ever composed. After recovering from listening to this book all I could think of was how the talent of young Markus Zusak brings into focus my own ordinariness and mediocrity. I am jealous.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer Calgary, Alberta, Canada 09-07-10
    Jennifer Calgary, Alberta, Canada 09-07-10 Member Since 2010

    It was a good day when I realized I could combine my two hobbies- reading AND knitting. Audible has seen me through many projects!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Excellent Book, Excellent Reader"

    What a great book to listen to- both the story and Allan Corduner are EXCELLENT. This book is absolutely "credit worthy."

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elizabeth Abington, PA, United States 08-27-10
    Elizabeth Abington, PA, United States 08-27-10 Member Since 2007
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    "A Masterpiece"

    This does rate as one of my favorite books ever. Allan Corduner does a fantastic job of giving each character a distinctive voice. The book is powerful and magnificent.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Caitlin 08-22-10
    Caitlin 08-22-10 Member Since 2008
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    5
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    "Much love for both book and narrator"

    The book is written from a perspective on WWII that I really hadn't seen addressed before. It is the perspective of a German child, growing up in a quickly changing world, and slowly realizing that all the changes aren't just minor differences in life, but dangerous and wrong. I especially enjoyed the narrator, I believe he should narrate many more books than he does! I also enjoyed listening to the witty old man, Death, and his perspectives on WWII.

    Well worth the read/listen. However, if you are reviewing for children, know that there is a bit of language, and they might learn to swear in German as well!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Julia Aryeh bedford, ny United States 08-14-10
    Julia Aryeh bedford, ny United States 08-14-10 Member Since 2004
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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
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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
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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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    "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 07-04-10
    Nor'easter 07-04-10 Member Since 2010
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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
  •  
    yoderfamily01 06-23-10 Member Since 2007
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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
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