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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 (8205 )
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4.6 (6368 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Sandra Sacramento, CA USA 01-17-14
    Sandra Sacramento, CA USA 01-17-14 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Exquisite!"

    There is nothing I can add to the reviews of this book. I think this is possibly the best book I've every read. The author's use of words, phrasing and pacing is truly a work of art. I especially enjoyed listening to this book because the narrator is outstanding!!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nancy LA GRANDE, OR, United States 01-14-14
    Nancy LA GRANDE, OR, United States 01-14-14 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great Story and Narration"

    Allan Corduner gives an excellent narration throughout as he gives life to each character in the book. His quirky and sometimes wistful voice of 'Death' making his sad journey through ravaged Germany nearing the end of WWII, is very good. He even makes the Book Thief herself, little Lisel Meminger, vividly come to life with the cadence and innocence of his expression. I thought the story was a very good one about human tragedy and resilience with the players facing each event that comes their way with humor, courage and often sadness. Better than the movie and alot more satisfying.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Caitlin C Walsh Clifton Park, NY, US 01-06-14
    Caitlin C Walsh Clifton Park, NY, US 01-06-14 Member Since 2011

    Mystery, history, & technology are what I like to read, even better if they are inter connected. I will love a book and get lost in it or hate it and never make it all the way through. I love getting so into a book that is feels it's actually happening in my life and at the end feel a void I need to fill with another good book.

    ratings
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    14
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    "Refreshing Read"
    If you could sum up The Book Thief in three words, what would they be?

    Colorful, Beautiful and Love


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Too many good ones to choose, Papa? Lisel? Rudy? Max?


    Have you listened to any of Allan Corduner’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No but I would love to hear more, his voice MADE this book. I know others have read the book themselves but have listened to this version for the performance


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

    Spoilers


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marlena Killeen, TX, United States 01-05-14
    Marlena Killeen, TX, United States 01-05-14 Member Since 2011
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    9
    3
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    Story
    "Brilliant Story Brilliant Narration"
    What made the experience of listening to The Book Thief the most enjoyable?

    The narration was great and the story itself was a flip between "beauty and brutality"


    What did you like best about this story?

    The characters and the amazing backdrop of WW2.


    What about Allan Corduner’s performance did you like?

    He does "voices" without being tacky or ridiculous. His pronunciations in German brought the story to life.


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

    The end was wonderful.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dnielle Brampton, Ontario, Canada 01-05-14
    Dnielle Brampton, Ontario, Canada 01-05-14 Member Since 2013
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    11
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    "Fabulous!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Absolutely. I loved everything about the book. The author's style is so distinctive, the characters are beautifully drawn, and the narrator, death, is wonderfully droll. The story's reader, Alan Corduner, has a lovely accent and never gets in the way of the story.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Harriett Fair Oaks, CA, United States 01-05-14
    Harriett Fair Oaks, CA, United States 01-05-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Wonderful historical book about Austrailia"
    Would you listen to The Book Thief again? Why?

    I did not order the whispersync because I listened to the sample and I thought the narrator was quite poor at his craft. His delivery was too slow and monotone.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Isabel -


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeffrey B. Daughtry Sarasota, FL USA 01-05-14
    Jeffrey B. Daughtry Sarasota, FL USA 01-05-14 Member Since 2013

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    "Exemplary Historical Recount Of Nazi Germany"

    A superior historical recount of the impact Nazi Germany had upon everyday people. Makes one appreciate war fought on the enemy's turf as opposed to our own.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lindsey Tifton, GA, United States 01-05-14
    Lindsey Tifton, GA, United States 01-05-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Brilliant story. Fantastic narration"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Book Thief to be better than the print version?

    This audio edition was great because it was story about a young girl who couldn't read. This would show anyone who doesn't enjoy reading that words have power.


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

    I loved everything about it.


    What about Allan Corduner’s performance did you like?

    His voices were outstanding, at no point was I confused about which character he was portraying. Perfect accent for the story.


    Any additional comments?

    This was one of the best stories I have ever read. I highly recommend it to anyone.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kerri TAYLOR, TEXAS, United States 01-02-14
    Kerri TAYLOR, TEXAS, United States 01-02-14 Member Since 2013
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Amazing Finish"
    What made the experience of listening to The Book Thief the most enjoyable?

    I can't say enough good things about this book. I love the narrator. They could not have found a better match, and I'd love to hear him narrate something else as well. The voice matches the book, the voices of the characters, everything. Fantastic. It kept me mesmerized, and if I found myself zone out focusing on the traffic around me, I had to back the book up once or twice to not miss a word.

    The writer's eloquence is represented so well here in this story. Death's dance with Liezel and the words he used to decorate such a warming, heartbreakingly, delicious story is incredible.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I love Liezel's fun relationship with her best friend/ boyfriend.


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

    The voices he assigns each character all play a magical part in finding yourself on Hemmel Street with them all. And I would destroy the German words throughout.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Terryn Middletown, Connecticut United States 12-31-13
    Terryn Middletown, Connecticut United States 12-31-13 Member Since 2010

    I like Star Wars, Foundation series, Redwall Series, Bloody Jack series, and westerns for fiction. In nonfiction, I like books about Catholic theology, American history and government, and economics.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great story about the triumph of the human spirit"
    Who was your favorite character and why?

    My favorite character was Hans. He was very kind to all, especially Leisel. Even in the face of great danger, as he takes in and hides a Jewish man.


    Any additional comments?

    This was a great story about the triumph of the human spirit. It takes place in Nazi Germany. It follows the story of Leisel, a little girl who has lost her brother and father, and whose mother gives her up to foster care. Hans and Rosa take her in and give her a humble but loving home. It describes how they survive in increasing Nazi-ized Germany. Even as German citizens they feel Hitler's oppression. This is a well-written book, with some very emotional scenes in it.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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