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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 (8777 )
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4.6 (6885 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Harriet Kill Devil Hills, NC, United States 02-02-14
    Harriet Kill Devil Hills, NC, United States 02-02-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    17
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    "Better than the movie."
    What does Allan Corduner bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Wonderful narrator, full of emotion.


    Any additional comments?

    I think having the book narrated by "Death" is ingenious!
    The book is full of imagery and emotion.
    I also found it refreshing to read a WWII book that is told from a German's perspective.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jonathan Franklin, PA, United States 02-01-14
    Jonathan Franklin, PA, United States 02-01-14 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    16
    7
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    "A beautiful story masterfully narrated."

    I just finished listening to Manchester's 3rd volume on Winston Churchill, "The Last Lion". So I was well aware of the timeline of the events of WW II from the allies' perspective. This is a unique and compelling story about the lives of average German citizens during the war years 1940-45. The main character is a 10 year old girl sent to live with a foster family in 1940 in a Munich suburb. It is a story of her new family, her new friends, and the challenges they face as the war comes home to Germany. Narrated so that each character comes to life. You feel their pain and their joy. I didn't want the story to end, and I'm sure I will listen again in the years to come. Bravo!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tina NORTON, VA, United States 02-01-14
    Tina NORTON, VA, United States 02-01-14 Member Since 2010
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    1
    1
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    Story
    "Excellent. Interesting point of view."

    Good historical piece with wonderful narration and story line. Awaiting another audible book by this author.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alicia SAN ANTONIO, TX, United States 02-01-14
    Alicia SAN ANTONIO, TX, United States 02-01-14 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    5
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    "This Story has it all"
    What made the experience of listening to The Book Thief the most enjoyable?

    This story is the perfect combination of humor, sadness and joy.
    Even thought is a "war story" , this book tells the story from a different point of view, it recounts the tribulations of the German civilians and how they also suffered and lost their loved ones during war.
    Overall , is a great story.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Liese's papa (Hans Hubermann) changed the gir's life. He was caring, funny, supportive and taught her how to read.


    What about Allan Corduner’s performance did you like?

    excellent.


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

    Even death respected the book thief.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cara Cedar Rapids, IA, United States 01-31-14
    Cara Cedar Rapids, IA, United States 01-31-14
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    REVIEWS
    2
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "hard to follow"
    What disappointed you about The Book Thief?

    I was very much looking forward to this book, it is hard to follow as a audio book.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jamie Olympia, Wa 01-30-14
    Jamie Olympia, Wa 01-30-14 Member Since 2013

    Jamie

    ratings
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    11
    5
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A stunningly written and beautifully read book"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    This book had me from the beginning. It is stunning in every way. The characters,the pictures it paints, the depth. The unique voice of death, not a scary a death, but a wise old friend who becomes our eyes and ears as he walks us through the war with Lies and her friends and family. It is rich and sparse in all the right places. I can't find the words for how deeply this book touched me and how beautifully it is written. It is nothing short of brilliant. It is in my top five favorites of all time.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    All of the characters were fabulous, each one of them was a favorite in a different way. I will not forget any of them.


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

    I have listened to many books and many wonderful readers, but Allan Corduner is quite possibly the best reader I have ever heard. I was transported and riveted for hours at a time. Everything he does is right, his timing, his tone, his pauses and inflections, his accent. I wish I could personally thank him for the way he brought this book to life.


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

    No, but only because I needed breaks to absorb it, it was so momentous and meaningful, sometimes emotionally painful, and at times equally beautiful. But I did listen for hours at a time and often had a hard time stopping.


    Any additional comments?

    Don't miss this one!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jamie Nanaimo, BC, Canada 01-30-14
    Jamie Nanaimo, BC, Canada 01-30-14 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    19
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    "Loved this book"

    If you haven't listened to this, what are you waiting for? By far an audible essential. Loved everything about it.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eileen ENID, OK, United States 01-30-14
    Eileen ENID, OK, United States 01-30-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
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    8
    8
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    "Good Book"
    What did you love best about The Book Thief?

    The man that was reading the book was very good and very animated. He really made the book come alive. The book was very good. The story line flowed. There were happy parts and some parts that made you want to cry because they were so sad. The reader really drew you in. The part that I didn't like about the book was the cussing. There was a lot of cussing. I am a Christian and they took the Lords name in vein a lot. I had a hard time with that because we are not warned any place that there would be all of that cussing and disrespect to the Lord. Other than that the story line was extremely good.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I liked the book from start to finish. Not just one special part.


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

    Lesle because she had such a difficult life.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Erin CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA, United States 01-29-14
    Erin CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA, United States 01-29-14 Member Since 2012
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    48
    4
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    Story
    "Simply adding to the praise..."

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I wasn't sure about it at first, but it definitely grew on me. The narrator captures the German accent and personality perfectly - although sometimes his voices can get annoying. The story itself kept me coming back to the book -- it's an interesting take on your general WWII/Holocaust story. "Death" gives perfect descriptions of each character. You can truly picture them all in your mind (they become like your own friends) so that by the end of the novel you feel Liesel's pain as much as Death does.

    Definitely worth a credit!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ken 01-24-14
    Ken 01-24-14 Member Since 2007

    Retired high tech CEO who raised quarter horses, pilots his own Bonanza A36 airplane, enjoys shooting sports and spending time with his lovely wife and family

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Unusual Style...Depressing"

    I was drawn in enough to finish the book. But it was not entertaining nor was it informative. The writing style is unusual since everything is viewed through the eyes of a "soul gatherer." This person collects the souls from all the dead bodies. Since this takes place during the 2nd world war in Germany, the gatherer is very busy. He does however take time out to tell the rather sad story of a little girl who learns how to read and has to steal books to feed her passion. If you are fluent in German, it would be much more interesting since many of the passages are in German with translations for those who are not fluent. Narrator is top notch.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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