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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 (8193 )
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4.6 (6360 )
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Performance
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  •  
    John Weber CT USA 05-15-07
    John Weber CT USA 05-15-07 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    8
    2
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    0
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    Overall
    "Engrossing"

    I could hardly stop listening this story set in Germany during WW II. The characters became my friends and I was totally wrapped up in their hopes and dreams and dilemas. It is beautifully written. A young girl's relationship with her foster father brought tears to my eyes. Her relationship with the Jewish boy they were hiding was extraordinarily touching.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cheryl CASTAIC, CA, USA 04-30-07
    Cheryl CASTAIC, CA, USA 04-30-07 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    18
    ratings
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    93
    3
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    0
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    Overall
    "Breathtaking...Poetic...Bittersweet"

    5 Stars is not enough...This wonderfully woven tale about a young girl's struggle to grasp, going as far as "thievery", in order to attain the true power of Words during a time that Words only belonged to an evil power and all others were silenced and burned into heaps of ashes. Liesel is my newest hero, although fictional, her Words cut deep as did Anne Frank's.

    If you haven't heard it yet, then its a must...but beware because this book is not for the faint of heart...as only Liesel knows full well!



    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    synergy5 Northern California 04-06-07
    synergy5 Northern California 04-06-07 Member Since 2000
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
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    798
    2
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    "Memorable"

    A tale for the ages. This beautifully crafted and narrated novel reaches far beyond its Young Adult categorization. This fantastic tale provides a unique view of WWII from a universal yet German perspective that speaks to the suffering of all humanity in those awful, dark days. Highly recommended.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark ONTARIO, CA, United States 03-24-13
    Mark ONTARIO, CA, United States 03-24-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    24
    ratings
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    61
    14
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    "Great Story, Great Narrator"

    The characters are wonderful and their world is one often overlooked in stories of war.

    2 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joel Langenfeld Shoreview, MN United States 09-09-13
    Joel Langenfeld Shoreview, MN United States 09-09-13 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    64
    ratings
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    514
    16
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    FOLLOWING
    3
    1
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    Story
    "I will soon review this book"

    and when I do, you will see that the review is as I have foretold, so that afterward you will agree that the review was indeed the review to which I alluded.

    Can we have just a little less breathless foreshadowing?

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    D.K Grovetown, GA 06-20-14
    D.K Grovetown, GA 06-20-14 Listener Since 2008
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "What the heck was this book about?"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    An actual story with some sort of rhyme and reason. It was just a book of rambling told through the eyes of Death.


    Has The Book Thief turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No


    What about Allan Corduner’s performance did you like?

    His performance was the best thing about the book


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    Not really, I found myself day dreaming while listening to this book.


    Any additional comments?

    What drew me to the book was the thought it was going to tell the story of a young girl whose family is hiding a Jewish person during the war. But it took to long to even get to that part of the story.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Likesbooksalot Walnut Creek, CA, United States 04-25-14
    Likesbooksalot Walnut Creek, CA, United States 04-25-14 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
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    4
    3
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Story
    "Could not finish listening to this one"
    What disappointed you about The Book Thief?

    I didn't really like any of the characters other than the Book Thief herself.


    What was most disappointing about Markus Zusak’s story?

    the constant swearing in German


    Any additional comments?

    the one thing I did kind of enjoy was 'Death' as the narrator

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan Midlothian, VA, United States 03-29-14
    Susan Midlothian, VA, United States 03-29-14 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    8
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Tears"
    If you could sum up The Book Thief in three words, what would they be?

    This book had me from the beginning. The narrator was great. So well written keep me total engaged.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Death-as we look at most books from the eyes of just one or two characters. The way this was written all characters were present throughout the story.


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

    Deep rich tones to his voice make the story more real.


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

    Tears, tears, and more tears some from joy, but mostly at the loss and hardships that were experienced.


    Any additional comments?

    Nice to see a book written for the other side of the war.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan Barrington, RI, United States 03-28-14
    Susan Barrington, RI, United States 03-28-14 Member Since 2008
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    18
    2
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    "One of the best books I've read in ages!"

    This was a rich, compelling story which focused on the most important aspect of life - hope. The narrator was divine - the perfect voice of Death, in Death's most delightful form. The characters had such depth and dimension that I felt a loss at the end of the book. This was a story that I wanted to continue. In fact, the narrator's perspective and the unique portrayal of Death would make a wonderful launch for other stories. I just loved it...

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    hanpei Beijing, China 03-27-14
    hanpei Beijing, China 03-27-14
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A Must-listen"
    What did you love best about The Book Thief?

    I bought the book several years ago and it's been one of my favourites ever since. The words of Markus Zusak are so powerful that I can feel them punching on my heart. Recently while I was browsing audible.com I saw this book is being promoted again probably because its been made into motion pictures. Suddenly missing the book so much, I bought the audio version to listen. I'm glad I made that decision for Allan Corduner sounds exactly what the Death would sound in my mind. He didn't do a good girl's voice though, that part bothered me a little.


    Any additional comments?

    I hope some government in this world would consider more when they decide to start a war towards other country. No matter how justified they think they are.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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