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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 (10629 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Isabelle Middlesex, VT, United States 11-02-10
    Isabelle Middlesex, VT, United States 11-02-10 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    72
    ratings
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    90
    41
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    1
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    Overall
    "No attachment"

    I had trouble getting excited about this story. I stuck it out, and there were some good moments at the end, to redeem it slightly. I wasn't drawn in by the story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bopeep Vermont 10-25-10
    Bopeep Vermont 10-25-10 Member Since 2013

    consumer

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    31
    4
    Overall
    "great story, great narration"

    after listening to this story i grew to love most of the character so much that i hated to finish and say goodbye... so i listened to it a second time.
    i had heard bits and pieces about many atrocities by the nazi's, but his author tells of these historical events through the eyes of ordinary human being, that are actually extraordinary!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pamela 10-14-10
    Pamela 10-14-10 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    191
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    401
    73
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    6
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    Overall
    "Excellent"

    What a great book. I liked the device of using a world-weary but matter-of-fact Death as narrator, which Corduner does with aplomb. The plot is very interesting, the characters complex and well drawn. Another unusual device which works well with this book is that Death often tells you what is going to happen, but not how or when. Instead of spoiling the plot, it adds the suspense of impending tragedy to this already heartbreaking novel. A very well written and deeply moving story which I am sure I will listen to again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Maryann Coto De Caza, CA, United States 09-29-10
    Maryann Coto De Caza, CA, United States 09-29-10 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    151
    5
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    "amazing read"

    This by far was one of the best books I have listened to in years. Both the story and the narration were amazing. I loved it. I found myself laughing, cheering, and yes crying. Its been a long time since a book has moved me this much. It was well worth it. I was actually sad when it ended. Thank you Markus Zusak and Allan Corduner.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susi Peoria, AZ, United States 09-28-10
    Susi Peoria, AZ, United States 09-28-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    13
    5
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    "Awesome!"

    I read The Book Thief twice before having listened it; and the audible version was absolutel wonderful! I highly recommend this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Attila Safari 09-18-10 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    1
    Overall
    "The Perfect Storm"

    The Book Thief by itself is one of the best books written in my recent memory. Add to this the brilliant narration of Allan Corduner and you get the perfect storm. Plain and simple, this audio book is a beautiful storm that plays like the saddest violin piece ever composed. After recovering from listening to this book all I could think of was how the talent of young Markus Zusak brings into focus my own ordinariness and mediocrity. I am jealous.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer Calgary, Alberta, Canada 09-07-10
    Jennifer Calgary, Alberta, Canada 09-07-10 Member Since 2010

    It was a good day when I realized I could combine my two hobbies- reading AND knitting. Audible has seen me through many projects!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    22
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    "Excellent Book, Excellent Reader"

    What a great book to listen to- both the story and Allan Corduner are EXCELLENT. This book is absolutely "credit worthy."

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elizabeth Abington, PA, United States 08-27-10
    Elizabeth Abington, PA, United States 08-27-10 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
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    "A Masterpiece"

    This does rate as one of my favorite books ever. Allan Corduner does a fantastic job of giving each character a distinctive voice. The book is powerful and magnificent.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Caitlin 08-22-10
    Caitlin 08-22-10 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
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    55
    4
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    1
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    Overall
    "Much love for both book and narrator"

    The book is written from a perspective on WWII that I really hadn't seen addressed before. It is the perspective of a German child, growing up in a quickly changing world, and slowly realizing that all the changes aren't just minor differences in life, but dangerous and wrong. I especially enjoyed the narrator, I believe he should narrate many more books than he does! I also enjoyed listening to the witty old man, Death, and his perspectives on WWII.

    Well worth the read/listen. However, if you are reviewing for children, know that there is a bit of language, and they might learn to swear in German as well!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Julia Aryeh bedford, ny United States 08-14-10
    Julia Aryeh bedford, ny United States 08-14-10 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Overall
    "not what I was expecting and great surprise"

    this is a difficult angle to be chatting from - death, and you would think that Nazi Germany would be a really droll listen - but the characters were so real and the story was so beautifully told, that it was a really great find. beautiful prose and beautiful people. made you feel like you were right there or even in a movie, it was that descriptive.
    I loved it for my teen nieces too - it seems that it may be sad, but it was really not written like that - it was a great listen - the narrator did a great job.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
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