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The Book Thief | [Markus Zusak]

The Book Thief

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (203 )
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4.5 (191 )
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Story
4.4 (189 )
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2 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Graeme Sydney, Australia 01-27-14
    Graeme Sydney, Australia 01-27-14 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    23
    ratings
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    94
    44
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    "Wonderful book, frustrating audiobook"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, it has some wonderful turns of phrase, engaging characters and manages to be quirky and heavy in equal measures.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Hans - he handles a hard life and challenging times with admirable dignity.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    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.


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

    1. When Death steps on the picture of Hitler.2. When Death describes how Rudi makes him cry.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Luc Auckland, New Zealand 12-30-13
    Luc Auckland, New Zealand 12-30-13 Member Since 2012
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    REVIEWS
    3
    2
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    Performance
    Story
    "Magnificent in every aspect"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Book Thief to be better than the print version?

    The narration is exquisite - mesmerising and equal to the beauty of the written word.


    Any additional comments?

    This is a must read for all ages - everyone from everywhere would benefit from this story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jo Holland Park West, Australia 12-03-13
    Jo Holland Park West, Australia 12-03-13 Listener Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
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    145
    8
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    Story
    "An Amazing Story Through Death's Eyes"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Absolutely. It is well written, engaging - a beautiful story with a beautiful way of being told.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Everything.


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

    Oh he portrayed Death beautifully. When I heard about it I thought it would be a difficult story to pull off, and even more so to read allowed, but Dennis Olsen was seamless.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patrick Perth, Australia 05-30-13
    Patrick Perth, Australia 05-30-13 Member Since 2011
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    "Incredible concept"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    This book was broken into a large number of small chapters which made it fast yet interesting . the characters were brought to life by the narrator and the authors style was outstanding. Set in a small German town before and during the 2nd world war Zusak produces a very plausible atmosphere. Death is our narrator (and hero) and Olsen is masterly with his timing and characters. This is a very pleasant book (despite the subject) and I recommend it to you


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tammy Tasmania, Australia 05-16-13
    Tammy Tasmania, Australia 05-16-13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    14
    5
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    Performance
    Story
    "Fantastic read"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, a really engaging story with great naration


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

    The Street Sweeper


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No, I enjoyed it in several chapter pieces


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    nerida melbourne, Australia 03-04-13
    nerida melbourne, Australia 03-04-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    9
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    "Wow ! Very powerful"
    What did you love best about The Book Thief?

    It took me a while to get used to the style of the writing and the narration but once I did I really appreciated listening to something quite different to anything else I had listened to. I loved the fact that sometimes it was so powerful I had to just stop what I was doing and just listen.


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

    I haven't listened to Dennis Olsen before but I will definitely look into it ! He was very theatrical and once I got used to it, I fell in love with him. He added so much to the listening-his last line sent shivers down my spine and I couldn't stop thinking about it all day.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Lots of extreme reactions the whole way through the book.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janine Shepparton, Australia 02-05-13
    Janine Shepparton, Australia 02-05-13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
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    Story
    "Beautiful Literature"
    If you could sum up The Book Thief in three words, what would they be?

    Beautifully written & moving


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

    The whole book is beautifully crafted and moving however the ending is particularly good.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathryn Killara, Australia 02-04-13
    Kathryn Killara, Australia 02-04-13 Member Since 2014
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    21
    3
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    Story
    "Gripping audible book read in a weekend!"
    Where does The Book Thief rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This was my first audio book. I wasted a lot of time before finally downloading it to my ipod but it was worth it. I read the book while ironing, making rumballs, and other mindless household tasks. I have never read a book in a weekend but as I was doing household tasks felt justified to read it hours at a time.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The adopted mother, Rosa was a strange one and difficult to fathom, brutal yet unwavering in her role as mother. Yet as the story unfolded she demonstrated some of her good sense.


    What about Dennis Olsen’s performance did you like?

    Easy listening with short German passages translated put the reader in the time and place.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    War in Nazi Germany is a very emotional subject, the author in presenting life at that time cerainly evoked emotion in parts.


    Any additional comments?

    I haven't mastered the technology of an audible book. There are parts of the book I would like to go back and re read however it is hard to flick back. I made an effort to concentrate because I couldn't go back.
    Overall I really enjoyed the audible book experience and will select another soon.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sab_sunrise Rosebank, Australia 12-29-12
    Sab_sunrise Rosebank, Australia 12-29-12 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    "interesting and engaging"

    the story captured me right from the start. it is touching, engaging , intelligent and an excellent piece of writing


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bronte Fairy Meadow, Australia 12-26-12
    Bronte Fairy Meadow, Australia 12-26-12 Listener Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    4
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    0
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    "Beautiful, intriguing and tragic"
    Where does The Book Thief rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Captivating and eerie The Book Thief grabs your mind making you want to listen to the next chapter. The narration was spooky and chilly as you expect from Death! My first foray into fiction in a while so I am seeking out other good fiction listens.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The main character who learns to love books so much she risks her life to steal them.


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

    The chilling rendition of Death as a character who is thoroughly tired of the work humans were giving him.


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

    A girl, some stolen books and a world at war.... And Death watches them all.


    Any additional comments?

    Just a great listen that resonates long after the last word.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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