The award-winning novel that established Markus Zusak as an international brand.
It is 1939, Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still. By her brother's graveside, Liesel's life is changed when she picks up a single object, partially hidden in the snow. It is The Gravedigger's Handbook, left there by accident, and it is her first act of book thievery.
So begins a love affair with books and words, as Liesel, with the help of her accordion-playing foster father, learns to read. Soon she is stealing books from Nazi book-burnings, the mayor's wife's library, and wherever there are books to be found. But these are dangerous times. When Liesel's foster family hides a Jewish fist-fighter in their basement, Liesel's world is both opened up, and closed down.
©2005 Markus Zusak (P)2012 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd
A different narrator
Ensured a better narrator
Infinitely better! It's like listening to over acting in a fourth rate play. I will read the book as I'm sure it is a great story
Is the narrator a character ? I think so in the instance of audio. Loose the narrator
There are outstanding narrators, and even this one would be fine without the over acting!
Narrator captured the characters perfectly.
The Word Catcher
Rosa! And Hans! And Leisal! And Rudi!
Every part of it.
Best narrated book I've listened to - ever!
I'll listen to this again and again. I completely loved it. I'm addicted to it.
The love of Liesel to her adopted father & mother and Rudi Steiner and Max. Her loss was desperate. Her endurance amazing. Just gorgeous.
Absolutely. Couldn't "put it down".
Thank you and what a sensational author. Very moving. Thank you for enhancing my life with this wonderful tale.
Terrific book+wonderful narrator=best listening experience I have ever had.
Dennis Olsen does the voice of death so well .
No, it was a poor story actually, it finished leaving the reader up in the air. I hate this kind of endings
No, and I wouldn't get the DVD out to watch either
Not at all!
I could not finish this audiobook, in fact I endured only about an hour of it. I put up with that much hoping that it might better, but it didn't, so I gave up.
Denis Olsen is a famous Australian actor and much loved for his Gilbert and Sullivan performances. But he utterly ruins this book. He seems to think that we, the listeners, want to hear him ham it up, using ridiculous vocal modulations and even an echo chamber.
Good reading is an art. The narrator must first of all understand what he or she is reading, and then he or she must read the author's words in a way that simply conveys that meaning.
The only reader I have heard in 20 years of regular listening to audiobooks is an AAAmerican called Charlton Griffin. I have learnt necer to buy anything read by him . Denis Olsen has joined that illustrious company.
This book should be re-recorded by a narrator who can read properly.
Eclectic mixer of books of my youth and ones I always meant to read, but didn't.
I very infrequently listen to something I have read that suffers from the reading. Unfortunately, I thought this was one of those occasions. Fortunately the substance of the book is good enough to rise above the let-down I felt on listening to it.
The plot is really not that complex. Liesel is an orphan. She is relocated to the outskirts of Munich at the outset of WWII and billeted with Hans and Rosa Hubermann. She grows up playing soccer with her close friend Rudy Steiner and other boys and girls. She learns to steal food and necessities. She is a survivor. And she has one special vice; she steals books. When she begins, she can't read, but slowly she becomes the voice for the small community, reading in the air-raid shelters whilst the bombs fall tragically on Munich. In all of this she is supported by her step-father (Geoffrey Rush in the film version), an extraordinary man in a very ordinary way, and step-mother (Emily Watson in the film), the disciplinarian with a soft centre.
However, it is the telling of this beautiful story that makes it. The little asides, Death as the narrator and the fun that does just enough to break the appalling mantle of loss and destruction. I surmise that this is why I didn't enjoy Denis Olsen's reading. It is not how I had read it, many times aloud, to myself.
I am an admirer of Olsen's. He has long been a statesman of the Australian theatre, especially in Gilbert and Sullivan and Shakespearean roles; his King Lear is something to queue for. So, he has a classically trained voice which is very apt for some versions of Death, but is a bit sing-songy for me almost in every other way. This is made more so because he reads the parts (with feeling), he does not assume the characters (except Death).
I struggled through the title because I knew how powerful the ending is. If you don't have the same reaction to the reading, you will no doubt love the title, because it is a wonderful story. Hopefully you pre-reading expectation will not get in the way of your enjoyment.
The words and the story of The Book Thief makes this a book I will recommend to many. Markus Zusak's prose is brilliantly crafted.
BUT THE NARRATION!!
The large majority of the audio books I have are performed. I get it. But this narrator has interpreted the story according to his mindset rather than allowing me to 'read' it and make up my own mind.
The 'sotto' voice used for Death is incredibly irritating when you listen to books while travelling as you cannot hear what is said.
That said I love Dennis Olsen's voice - a voice that is truly a gift. I wish he had chosen to read the book and not interpret it. I have borrowed a hard copy so I can honour the writing better.
Just love books.
Yes. I have not read the print version but the narrator was fabulous and gave so much more to the story.
That it was told through the Grim Reapers eyes. Ingenious.
No, but I would like to. He is an awesome narrator.
Yes, it has some wonderful turns of phrase, engaging characters and manages to be quirky and heavy in equal measures.
Hans - he handles a hard life and challenging times with admirable dignity.
The narration is wonderful BUT, the audiobook has one very large flaw. In the written version of the book, the narrator (death) will sometimes talk in asides, which are written in italics. In the audiobook, these asides are whispered and buried in echo and are often impossible to hear or understand. How the producers let this happen is mystifying and it really disrupts the flow of the story.
1. When Death steps on the picture of Hitler.2. When Death describes how Rudi makes him cry.
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