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
"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)
I sure would recommend this book! The story is without doubt, a full featured one that never leaves the reader/listener wanting. Great descriptive phrases and imagery marking every paragraph with richness.
Death, or maybe the soul retriever is a better name, was the central character for me. His narrative was the thread that kept the story flowing in perfect sync.
Not that I recall. Corduner's reading of this book was sublime however and he managed to make each character come alive through nuances and inflections.
I don't recall an extreme reaction to the story other than in the first few pages when "death" began the narrative. I was nervous as to how this was going to unfold and whether or not to continue. I am so glad I stuck with it as the book is quite marvelous and well done.
It's easy to see why this is still high on the best seller list. I'll probably listen to it again at some point for the sheer enjoyment of revisiting all the characters once again.
I enjoyed the historical element to this story, and the characters.
The book is moving, it is moving to read about the way the war effected the families in Germany.
This is a powerful and moving story. You will get to know and love the characters and enjoy being led through a story by the most unusual narrator.
When Liesel finally kisses Rudy.
When Max gives Liesel his book.
It is a very moving book. It made me laugh out loud and cry. I would be suprised to hear that it did not have that impact on a reader. It is painful, beautiful, funny.. really, this is an amazing story.
Catapult back in time to Nazi Germany and experience life through Death's eyes and how a little girl copes through it all. The writing is superb. The narration is wonderful. Enjoy how durable the human spirit is in the face of death at any moment. Discover how words become soothing comfort for the soul. The Book Thief takes one through a grievous time of antisemitism, hate, and despair when families are torn apart and possessions are scarce. Through it all, a young girl is saved by her compulsion for books which starts before she knows how to read. The relationships she shares are deep and profound. She becomes orphaned early in the story and her foster parents provide for her bodily needs while her books take care of her spiritual needs. The reader cannot help but feel each genuine bond she forms as she establishes a new life. Loss is not done with her, however, and new growth occurs out of its reemergence. Miraculously, reading saves her life more than once in this incredible story which she eventually writes.
When Liesel Meminger survives a bombing episode because she was reading in the basement. No one in her neighborhood survives.
Death's description of collecting souls from those who chose death over surviving in fear.
Reading is a conduit to the soul.
They have made a movie about this book and I shall watch it when it arrives from Netflix in the next couple of days. I've seen the trailer and behind the scenes; it looks great. The movie, most often, doesn't live up to the book. It's nice when they both share their charm. The book is usually more comprehensive and the characters are understood because of the written word. Death as a narrator should fill in a lot of what would, otherwise, be missed in a movie.
Incredibly well-written. The characters are unforgettable. The narrator was outstanding! The story itself was told from the most unique prospective of any book I have ever read. The instant attachment I had to all the characters was undeniable, and it made the ending that much more effective. You will leave this story with a perspective on WWII that you may never get from anything else and with questions about life you never expected yourself to be asking. This story will stay with me for the rest of my life..
I had very mixed feelings about this book and imagine I would have liked it more had I visually "read" the book, as opposed to listened to it on Audible.
No one can deny that it has some gripping moments, is VERY well-written, and is accessible and moving enough to become this generation's literary introduction to the Holocaust. As opposed to other tales from this genre, the book does not follow the life of a German Jew; rather, a (questionably) gentile German foster child. Thankfully, it manages to pay due justice to the horrors of the time both for the persecuted populations, while also capturing the difficulty of life for the "Aryan" citizens under Hitler's reign. The author uses some of the most creative sensory descriptions I have ever encountered, often daringly describing the tastes of colors, the sounds of visual perception, or the smell of an emotion.
THAT BEING SAID... Before you purchase the Audiobook, go to the Amazon.com "Look Inside" feature. The book is divided, rather charmingly, into paragraphs, small vignettes, sub-chapters, and asides. I would not have known to look at this, were it not for the sometimes choppy narration which clued me into investigating further. The listener misses out on illustrations, back referencing, understanding of a side note vs. a plot point, etc., from the text.
Additionally, to be perfectly honest, for the middle 60%, the story had me a bit bored. I imagine the literary tricks used in the visual text would have prevented my attention from drifting so much, thus increasing my engagement with the very poignant story as a whole.
What the listener DOES gain from the Audible is the lovely voice of the narrator, Mr. Corduner, who, as Death, shares the book with the conspiratorial yet affectionate tone reminiscent of Clarence Odbody in It's A Wonderful Life. While I wasn't the biggest fan of his (sometimes overdone) German accent in dialogue, his lyrical voice added a sense of majesty to the narrated portions,which I would have missed in the straight text form.
Yes, the narration is wonderful and the story is beautiful.
Death. He tells the story so well.
I would SO listen to this book again . . .and again . . . and again!!! The performance was breathtaking!!! The book was not simply read, it was narrated with such identifiable and clear character voices (never faltering) and I was swept totally away!
His narration was absolutely stellar! Simply worth of an award! I'd love to know what other books he's narrated! I would buy them simply because of him!
Death and Mama. Though I had a heart for the other main characters, it was that amazing heart behind Mama's hard exterior and the humanization of Death and enveloped me.
READ IT! Er . . .LISTEN TO IT!!!!
This is a wonderful book. I was initially put off by the device of Death as the Narrator, but this gave way to engagement with the characters and their lives. This is a period I have studied and read many books about. This gives another, bittersweet dimension to such an awful period. Allan Corduner is a superb narrator/actor. I much appreciated his many German accents and dynamic delivery. I have never written a review before, but this novel will stay with me for the rest of my life.
Re-listening to books is not something I typically do, but I would consider going back and giving this one a second ear. There is so much detail in the story that I feel like a second listen is justified to pick up all the beautiful detail.
"The Night Circus" is the first book that comes to mind. These two are completely different genres, I am well aware, but hang in there, I'll explain. The reason I'm comparing these two books is that the narrator did a wonderful job of telling these beautiful stories. Both books and narrators had me lost in the vivid descriptions that are beautiful and tragic at the same time. The narrators both made me feel like I was listening to a grandfather tell me a magnificent story, which sounds like it would be frustrating, but their voices were really enjoyable.
My favorite scene was when Liesel leaves the not for the Mayor's wife explaining herself and why she is a book theif.
I would love to take Liesel out to dinner. She's a little pistol. This girl endures so much hardship and just keeps bouncing back. I would love to hear more about her view on the world and also to listen to her stories.
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