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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 (9820 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Nor'easter 07-04-10
    Nor'easter 07-04-10 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    67
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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
    HELPFUL VOTES
    21
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    387
    7
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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
  •  
    Karen Sherborn, MA, United States 04-17-10
    Karen Sherborn, MA, United States 04-17-10 Member Since 2014
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    "Hauntingly Beautiful!"

    I have listened to 100s of books on Audible & The Book Thief has to be ranked in the top 10. This story will both haunt you & make you pause to reflect on the meaning of life - both the characters and your own, long after you finish it. However, this book is not depressing. The writing is so full of the perfect balance of humor & pathos that I couldn't help smile while silently weeping over the despair of the character's lives during the plot so well that it is very difficult to let go of this story. I keep re-listening to different passages - perhaps hoping that I can change, or at the least, comfort the characters amidst the despair their lives. The story is beautifully & perfectly narrated by Allan Corduner.

    So as not to ruin the story, the author has developed the narrator's character so well that you will find that you love this character & perhaps will rethink how you feel about life long after you finish the book.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Frederick C. Caruso Centennial, Colorado, US 03-02-10
    Frederick C. Caruso Centennial, Colorado, US 03-02-10 Member Since 2013
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    "A wonderful tale."

    A wonderful approach to an incredible part of our humanity. I loved it. I love books. I love reading about WWII and actually learning more about it from another perspective.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Connie Ray, MI, United States 02-18-10
    Connie Ray, MI, United States 02-18-10 Member Since 2012
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    29
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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
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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 2014
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    3
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    "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
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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
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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 2010
    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
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