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The Book Thief Audiobook

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

4.5 (13483 )
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4.6 (11117 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Mrs-Laufeys0n north branch, MI, United States 03-12-14
    Mrs-Laufeys0n north branch, MI, United States 03-12-14 Member Since 2015

    I like outer space, artichokes, and good fiction. Welcome to whatever this is.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
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    "Beautiful"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Book Thief to be better than the print version?

    In some ways, yes, in others, no. It really depends on your preference. In this time of my life, audio versions of books are better for me because I drive a lot and can't devote the time to sit down and read, although I'd love to.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I could never decide. However, Hans Hubermann reminded me greatly of my grandfather, Papa.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The moments when Liesel and Hans were learning to read.


    Any additional comments?

    I would recommend this book to all of my friends. I didn't know anything about this book before I downloaded, but it was well worth the risk. It's unusual and beautiful, even if it is a bit of a dark read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A. Musser Atlanta 03-08-14
    A. Musser Atlanta 03-08-14 Member Since 2013

    Engineer, wife, audiobook addict. I live for those books that you just cannot put down.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A beautifully written story"
    Any additional comments?

    I am really glad I listened to a friend and purchased this book. The characters are so well developed and it's impossible not to fall in love with them. The narration is spectacular and the story really brought alive the plight of the people living in Germany during the war for me. Also, I was intrigued by the idea that the entire story is narrated by death. At times death's narration was a little esoteric and seemed to muddle the story. I had kind of hoped that death would have played a larger role in the book. He explains why he took an interest in one specific character and there's a good reason for it. But I don't feel like that character ever confirmed that she did see him. And I kind of felt like that was an aspect that wasn't explored to its full potential. My only complaint is that I wanted more of an epilogue. I wanted to know more about what happened to each character after the final scene in the book. I don't want to provide any spoilers so I will just say this: there is one character in the book that I particularly wanted to know about at the end. The author doesn't tell you. You have enough information to know what the possibilities were and I think this is intentional since those that would have known the character in this story if it were 'real life' likely also wouldn't have known how his story ended. But I did wish for more of a conclusion.

    I waffled between giving the story 3 stars or 4 stars. Overall, it was worth the listen.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cheryl 03-04-14
    Cheryl 03-04-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
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    "Wonderful Writing & Audio"
    Would you ever listen to anything by Markus Zusak again?

    Yes, yes, yes. Love his command of the language and the poetry of the application of his descriptions.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Allan Corduner?

    No one. I absolutely loved Mr. Corduner's voice - very soothing & easy to listen. I did have a problem staying awake because his voice is wonderfully comforting. His pronunciation of the German words was perfect.


    Any additional comments?

    I haven't read a book in a long time with the ability to use words and descriptions like Markus Zusak has in this book. I'm hesitant to watch the movie because the book is so good. I loved how he used Death as the narrator - great perspective.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    D. W. Potter 03-03-14

    I read, therefore I am.

    ratings
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    9
    5
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Beautiful! Simply beautiful."
    Would you listen to The Book Thief again? Why?

    Yes! It's just that good!


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

    The ending.


    What about Allan Corduner’s performance did you like?

    One of the best matches of voice of the narrator to the voice of the story I've listened to in my time as a member of Audible.com.


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

    The ending!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    diane 03-02-14
    diane 03-02-14

    graphic & fine artist

    HELPFUL VOTES
    26
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    2
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    "new perspective"

    not your average WWII story - really enjoyed this perspective. good story with many elements. you will not be disappointed but don't expect sunshine & puppies. WWII reality prevails.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nina SANTA FE, NM, United States 02-28-14
    Nina SANTA FE, NM, United States 02-28-14 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
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    "Gloomy and moving"

    I wouldn't expect a book about WWII Germany to be uplifting, and somehow, I managed to avoid all the other reviews and the recent movie, so I didn't really know what to expect. I think I liked this book because it wasn't about just one set of events, or revolve around a single plot. It basically just takes you through years in the life of regular people during terrible times. And that is more real than anything else. It is not just a gray march though, it is lively and touching, even when times for the characters are dark.

    I was not sure how I would feel about a book narrated by a European man where the central character is a pre-teen girl, but he really nails it. And I completely forgot those reservations during the scene (you'll know it when you read it) at the end and I was walking my dogs with tears pouring down my face. The incredible narration made this book come to life for me, and I think that this may be one of those cases where the Audiobook version is much better than the written one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joan St. Pierre Jacksonville, FL, United States 02-28-14
    Joan St. Pierre Jacksonville, FL, United States 02-28-14 Member Since 2016
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    "A very unusual read, loved the style and narration"

    A well written story, narrated expertly, from an unusual viewpoint of an old subject, The Tragedy of Germany in the early 40's. Very human from a completely different point of view. This book brings to life how many more people were torn apart by these horrible events than the obvious victims.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    catherine CIBOLO, TX, United States 02-26-14
    catherine CIBOLO, TX, United States 02-26-14 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "PROFOUND"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Most definitely. It gives you a different perspective of what some Germans experienced during the Nazi reign. The element of human compassion shows up in many different forms, Nazi to Jew, Foster parent to foster child, friend to friend.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Frau Hauberman. She came across brash, cold and cruel, but was deeply genuine in the love she had for her family, to include her foster child. She shielded her emotions to maintain a sense of structure and stability in a time that was bleak and hard. She was their rock.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    There were so many but a memorable one was when Frau Hauberman visited Lisle at school to inform her Max had awakened. She showed compassion, thoughtfulness, ingenuity and that she had a sense of humor too.


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

    The end when she lost everyone who ever meant anything to her. lisle's whole life was torn from her.


    Any additional comments?

    The idea of death having a spirit of caring compassion for the soles he was collecting gave a new meaning to afterlife. He respected the soles and gathered them up gently.
    The book was brilliantly written.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Larisa St. Leonard, MD, United States 02-26-14
    Larisa St. Leonard, MD, United States 02-26-14 Member Since 2014
    ratings
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    87
    3
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    Performance
    Story
    "Just not for me"
    Any additional comments?

    I just never got into the story line. It was well written and the reader was good, I just never felt that excitement that I feel with some books. That "I don't want to get out of the car because this book is so awesome and I can not POSSIBLY wait to find out what happens next" feeling just never happened.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    pat 02-26-14
    pat 02-26-14
    ratings
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    1
    1
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    "Entertaining"
    What made the experience of listening to The Book Thief the most enjoyable?

    the story and the voice of the narrator was different and was entertaining.


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

    many memorable moments but the most was the relationships she was able to maintain with all characters.


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

    initially his tone and voice was creepy but you began to realize it was the intent. and just like "momma" it became endearing.


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

    the human spirit's ability to be resilient in the face of disappointment and disaster


    Any additional comments?

    none

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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