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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 (9161 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Maureen Livermore, CA, United States 09-06-13
    Maureen Livermore, CA, United States 09-06-13 Member Since 2009
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
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    "LOVED THE STORY AND THE READER"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    YES, I COULDN'T STOP LISTENING AND WAS SAD WHEN IT WAS OVER


    What other book might you compare The Book Thief to and why?

    THE STORY TELLER BECAUSE OF NAZI GERMANY


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joel NEWPORT BEACH, CA, United States 08-30-13
    Joel NEWPORT BEACH, CA, United States 08-30-13 Member Since 2007

    Joel Szerlip

    HELPFUL VOTES
    75
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    "Didn't Live Up to the Hype"

    I usually read books based off recommendations and/or reviews and most of the time that works out. However after just finishing The Book Thief I can say that this one doesn't live up to the high praise. As a story it works pretty well. But as the highly praised book that it is I just didn't think it held up all that well.

    I did fall for the book's main character Liesel who is adopted into a family in Germany during WWII. However don't mistake this for a war novel. If anything the war, the Nazi's, are a backdrop to a story of a young girl and her love to read. The book is also told from the angel of deaths perspective which I thought was interesting but it almost was distracting from the tale.

    To me I just never fell in love with either the characters nor the story the author wove. I enjoyed it but I wasn't sad it was over either.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    3dogs3 08-25-13
    3dogs3 08-25-13 Member Since 2012

    bunnymama

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Something I've Never Done Before"
    What did you love best about The Book Thief?

    The relationship between Papa and Liesl was so wonderful right from the start.


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

    When Rudy finally got his kiss.


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

    No, I haven't listened to any books read by Allen Corduner. He is not the best narrator I've heard, but he certainly is within the top 10.


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

    There were so many, but the ending was particularly poignant.


    Any additional comments?

    When I finished The Book Thief, I did something I never do: I started to read it all over again. The gentle and sometimes kind narration by Death is such a big factor in the wondrousness of the book. Liesl's story could not have been told as well by any other character. Yes, this is another World War II book, but in this one, the war is mostly a backdrop to the daily lives of the German poor and the Jewish among them.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dotty CLOVIS, CA, United States 03-14-13
    Dotty CLOVIS, CA, United States 03-14-13 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    15
    ratings
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    32
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    "Not quite sure"

    This book wasn't quite what I expected, but I think I liked it. Yes, I liked it. I still can't decide if I liked the reader. Well, if you were reading in the voice of Death, what would you sound like? OK, he did a good job.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anne 01-29-12
    Anne 01-29-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I couldnt stand it"
    What would have made The Book Thief better?

    I can't think of one thing. I just loathed the content from the first page, especially the personification of Death.


    Has The Book Thief turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No, I love Young Adult books (I am a librarian).


    Would you be willing to try another one of Allan Corduner’s performances?

    Yes. The book is not his fault.


    Any additional comments?

    I couldn't stand the book. I don't understand the rave reviews generated by the print version.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan Winchester, VA, United States 05-02-11
    Susan Winchester, VA, United States 05-02-11 Member Since 2010
    ratings
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    1
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    "Why ruin a story unnecessarily?"

    Although this book is on a topic we should all never forget lest history repeat itself, the language in it is appalling. Listener beware, if you do not like hearing gratuitous cursing, name calling, and especially the Lord's name taken in vain over and over and over, you probably should skip this one. The story itself would have been ok if the unnecessary profanity had been left out. Be prepared also for great sadness. ( I cannot believe this book is written for young adults!) The narrator is wonderful, however.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Hal Miami, FL, United States 12-30-10
    Hal Miami, FL, United States 12-30-10 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I got tired of his writing style"

    I thought his new style was interesting at first - for about the first half of the book. But then Death (the narrator of the story) started sounding a little too cute. I think I am tolerant of new writing styles, I work hard at understanding them in poetry, but his style is too "artsy" for a work of fiction.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jt casper, WY, United States 08-23-10
    Jt casper, WY, United States 08-23-10 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The Book Thief"

    Didnt get it. Thought it was going to get good but drops you flat on your face.

    2 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cecilia SAN FRANCISCO, CA, United States 06-22-09
    Cecilia SAN FRANCISCO, CA, United States 06-22-09 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Wonderfully good read"

    mesmerizing, imaginative and memorable. Wonderfully written and narrated nicely. I'll probably listen to a second time.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kim Holahan 06-15-09
    Kim Holahan 06-15-09 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    29
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    "A wonderful book!"

    WOW! I'm amazed at the way the author took such a mean and depressing subject, and turned it into a story that kept me riveted to my Ipod. Excellent!!!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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