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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

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  •  
    Shelly La Mesa, CA, United States 08-12-11
    Shelly La Mesa, CA, United States 08-12-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Surprised by some of these reviews!"

    I must say that I am surprised that some people are not able to understand and make heads or tales of the book. I have used the introductory chapter with my patients who have brain injury and stroke so that they can use their listening and deductive reasoning skills to decide "who" the narrator is and what they anticipate the book will be about. They all seem to "get it". I believe that perhaps people who are having difficulty trying to understand the book, maybe are trying it at a time when they cannot give it their full attention. I personally thought the book (which I also read on an e-reader), was an exceptional story. So well written, and I personally loved the uniqueness of prose. I think Mark Zusak could have gone overboard and missed the mark, but for me, that mark was RIGHT ON. The narrator was phenomenal!!!! I was so glad that I listened to this on audiobook and not just read it. I would have missed the humor that the narrator has in parts. The relationship between characters in the story was wonderful and so touching. I cried and I laughed and I cried and I laughed and I feel like I got every penny and more out of this book. Everyone I have recommended it to has felt the same special place in their heart for this book. This book has moved up to top 3 of my all time favorite novels. Bravo!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    nvgolfdude Pacific Time Zone, USA 08-01-11
    nvgolfdude Pacific Time Zone, USA 08-01-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
    19
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    "Fascinating and Creative"

    This is a great creative approach to a tough subject. The narrator provides a unique perspective and casts an unusual predawn light on the entire story. The characters are all individuals driven not only swept by the times but also driven by their personnas. I've read it twice already and highly recommend it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wayne Irvine, CA, United States 07-21-11
    Wayne Irvine, CA, United States 07-21-11 Member Since 2013

    Mountain biking, surfing, skiing, literature, philosophy, psychology, theology and my ipod.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Heart-wrenching, heart-warming"

    It doesn't take long to care about Liesel Meminger who is the heart and soul of this story (don't let the introduction discourage you).

    Flashes of Diary of Anne Frank in this story.

    Her love for books, even to the point of "stealing" them builds a deeper bond. That this story is told by Death is a unique and clever way to present Death as a more compassionate entity than Life, especially given the trials and tribulations of Liesel and those around her.

    It is not as profound as it could have been (Max's book within a book had much greater potential for allegory), but the character of Liesel more than makes up for it. Liesel's love is a testimony of morality under ultimate pressure, and her love of books is further testimony to the magic of books. Above all, this is a profoundly spiritual book.

    This book is for all time, and for all ages. Bravo, Markus, and thank you for such a gift as Liesel.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Danna Sherman, IL 06-04-11
    Danna Sherman, IL 06-04-11 Member Since 2011
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    ""Compelling""

    My son received an Audible subscription for a gift and I thought I would listen to a few of his books. I know passersby must have thought how strange it was to see someone riding alone in their car, laughing and crying while listening to this wonderful, but heartbreaking story. The narration was amazing. The characters were so vivid and authentic. LOVED this book!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Katie 05-23-11
    Katie 05-23-11 Member Since 2012

    I am a middle school teacher! I like mostly young adult books.

    ratings
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    "Great Point of View, Holocaust"

    This book was a great POV of the Holocaust. It had a different view than many of the usual Holocaust stories. It was very captivating!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joan Tacoma, WA, United States 04-26-11
    Joan Tacoma, WA, United States 04-26-11 Member Since 2011
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    "Book Thief"

    This is one of those books that you will remember forever. I can't recommend this book enough or to my friends. Loved the narrator of the book, he showed a side of himself that you would not see otherwise. You follow a girl through the war in Germany and how she and her family survived and not survived. A don't miss reading book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C. Little 04-14-11
    C. Little 04-14-11 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Spectacular"

    This is a great listen, beautifully written and narrated. I understand the author generally writes teen fiction? This book is mislabled as such, if so. Don't let that classification sway you away from buying it. You won't regret your purchase.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C. Arlington, MA, United States 04-14-11
    C. Arlington, MA, United States 04-14-11 Member Since 2015
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    "a tender story"

    I absolutely loved this book. The characters were so rich and the narrative so descriptive. A wonderful story about a terrible time in our history. Highly recommend it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Natalie Los Angeles, CA, United States 04-13-11
    Natalie Los Angeles, CA, United States 04-13-11 Member Since 2014
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    "Haunting, beautiful, odd, unforgettable."

    I was a bit nervous because I knew this had something to do with WWII and nazi's thinking it would be "one of those books" but I was so wrong. It is much more than that and only uses that as a backdrop for a set of relationships and stories that transcend time period and environment.

    The narration is my favorite EVER on Audible and that is coming from a sworn Simon Vance fan.

    The writing is beautiful.

    The characters are so real to me even now. I cried, I chuckled, I used words and phrases from it in my everyday vocabulary for months.

    YES. GET IT.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary United States 04-09-11
    Mary United States 04-09-11 Member Since 2014
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    "A work of Prose ... A great Adult read too"

    This is on a par with the Help in my opinion. The narrator is brilliant. The story is haunting and made me marvel at the awe inspiring creativity of the human spirit that wrote this. I lived with the story for days after I finished. Some reviewers have suggested that the writing is almost prose-like...I would agree.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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