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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 (10475 )
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4.6 (8386 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Melanie L 10-01-12
    Melanie L 10-01-12 Member Since 2014

    writer

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    52
    14
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    Performance
    Story
    "Story from Death's Perspective"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    The Book Thief was an entertaining story that conveyed heavy events occurring in Germany during WWII in an endearing and lighthearted manner.


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

    The book reminds me of the movie "Life is Beautiful." Both bring forth the positive -- even in the most dire circumstances.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I loved all scenes between Liesel and Rudy. The author artfully illustrates a sweet friendship between the boy and the girl that is blessed with mutual understanding, trust and respect.


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

    If I could take any character from the book out to dinner, I'd invite the storyteller: Death. I'd ask the spirit more about the meaning of life, appreciating his wise perspective having seen everyone who lives at their lives' ends.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer CLEMMONS, NC, United States 09-25-12
    Amazon Customer CLEMMONS, NC, United States 09-25-12 Member Since 2015

    Real Person

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    12
    1
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    Story
    "About a unique girl in WWII GER from a unique POV"
    What made the experience of listening to The Book Thief the most enjoyable?

    The narration and story telling style are great.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Markus Zusak? Why or why not?

    I'm not sure, while I liked the style of story telling, it took a long while to make me care about the characters or get to a point where I was heavily invested in them. Still the story was just about a girl's eventful life, there were crises and cartharsis throughout the book, but you sort of knew what was going to happen. There wasn't any one climatic struggle at least not until the end. There are some surprises, and some unexpected twists that make ths story overall enjoyable, and once you listen to chapters and chapters of rather mundane events eventually you get to the meat of the story, more memorable events, aspects of the characters that make you start to care about them. It just takes a while, and it took me several months of listening to it, getting bored with it, and picking up listening to it weeks later before I got to the point I couldn't stop. At that point I was 2/3 through the first part, so several hours in. So yes, it takes a while. But the unusual storytelling and unique point of view of the narrator is impressive and interesting.As an audio book this worked, I can listen to it when I have nothing better to do like when I'm driving to work, I don't think I would have invested the same amount of time had I actually been reading it.


    What about Allan Corduner’s performance did you like?

    Yes, his performance is really what helped push me through the slow points of the story and long explanations and setup at the beginning, he has a very interesting voice and speaking style.


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

    I did get teary eyed at the end.


    Any additional comments?

    It's a good book if you don't mind it taking a while to build to the situation and invest yourself in the characters. It does pay off.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amy 09-25-12
    Amy 09-25-12
    ratings
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    1
    1
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    Story
    "Pleasantly surprised"
    What made the experience of listening to The Book Thief the most enjoyable?

    After hearing so many people rave about this book, I was hesitant to read it. Afraid it would not meet up to its hype. However, I begun to read the book and enjoyed it, but when I began to listen to it I became enthralled. The narrator is key to understanding and appreciating the story.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cynthia 09-25-12
    Cynthia 09-25-12
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    4
    3
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    "The Book Thief stole my heart."
    Would you listen to The Book Thief again? Why?

    No. I read it twice and listened to it once. Listening removed my emphasis on certain parts.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Rudy. There was something both sad and sweet about him.


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

    Papa.


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

    It takes a community to survive Hitler.


    Any additional comments?

    Mr Corduner did a wonderful job with all the characters, including Death.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    sarah CHICAGO, IL, United States 09-17-12
    sarah CHICAGO, IL, United States 09-17-12 Member Since 2011
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    11
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    "Captivating narration and story!"
    What made the experience of listening to The Book Thief the most enjoyable?

    The Book Thief is well written but the most enjoyable part was the narration. The narrator did a great job with varying his tone and voices for different characters. He really made the book come to life.


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

    All the amazing stories and illustrations that were created between Liesel and Max.


    What about Allan Corduner’s performance did you like?

    Everything. He is the first narrator I read who did an absolutely outstanding job.


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

    Many. When papa gave the bread. When Liesel found Max in the parade and joined him.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Julie 08-21-12
    Julie 08-21-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Wonderful listen!"

    I read this book a few years ago and liked it. The audio version I loved! Interesting concept of having "Death" tell the story. I loved Zusak's descriptive writing ie: giving human characteristics to non human things. Solid development between the main characters.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sash & Em: A Tale of Two Bookies United States 08-17-12
    Sash & Em: A Tale of Two Bookies United States 08-17-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Beautifully written"

    This book is beautifully written and the performance that Allan Corduner gives is unlike any voice actor out there.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Hunter Smyrna, GA, United States 08-13-12
    Hunter Smyrna, GA, United States 08-13-12 Member Since 2012
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    8
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    "Fantastic, moving story! Superb narration!"
    What made the experience of listening to The Book Thief the most enjoyable?

    How the author really sculpted the characters and built their relationships. The reader was there during WWII with the Book Thief


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    You can't deny the main character, Liesel, as the favorite. As a mere 12 year old, exemplifies courage, compassion, imagination, sincerity, and loyalty. She is a herione the reader can truly embrace and admire.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The scenes with Liesel and her Papa learning to read in the basement


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    yes, but being that it was 13 hours long, I just couldn't make the time. :)


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Nashville, TN, United States 08-13-12
    Amazon Customer Nashville, TN, United States 08-13-12 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
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    "Best fiction book I have listened to"
    What did you love best about The Book Thief?

    I loved everything about The Book Thief, from the story to the narration.


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

    One of the most memorable moments of The Book Thief is the last time Max is seen in the book.


    What about Allan Corduner’s performance did you like?

    Allan Corduner's performance gave the exact pace and dialect to the narrator's voice.


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

    It touched me both ways.


    Any additional comments?

    This book is highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    janet smiths falls on. k7a-4h7 08-07-12
    janet smiths falls on. k7a-4h7 08-07-12 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
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    107
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    1
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    "great story well written"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    oh yes. i find it interesting to hear about how the other side dealt with the war


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    it has opened my mind to all aspects of life & to have a more tolerant attitude to those of the "other side" of ww 2


    What about Allan Corduner’s performance did you like?

    that is the authors genuis. the way with the written word to keep our interest. what a great talent


    Who was the most memorable character of The Book Thief and why?

    not a thing he was perfect


    Any additional comments?

    nope. just bring on more gr8 books with a gr8 narrator

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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