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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 (179 )
5 star
 (112)
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 (45)
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Overall
4.5 (171 )
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Story
4.4 (169 )
5 star
 (110)
4 star
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3 star
 (9)
2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    HDJ 11-13-12
    HDJ 11-13-12 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    98
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    750
    32
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    22
    9
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Ignore the teen classification!"

    This is an adult story about the power of words. It is also about children growing up and trying to live a normal life in a time of unbelievable horror. The Book Thief is moving and personal and wonderfully written. I often found myself going back listening to passages a second and even a third time immersing myself in the language. So beautiful and at times so sad. The narration by Dennis Olsen is outstanding. I highly recommend this book and hope it won't get lost in the teen section.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael 12-20-12
    Michael 12-20-12

    Classics, history, historical fiction, marketing, Napoleonic stuff and of course 'Boys own Adventure'. This is my bent. Occasional self help as well.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    156
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    381
    179
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    Story
    "Beautiful"

    Listen to this book, read this book, own this book. This book a nothing but a work of art. It is lovely and a joy to read. My mother put me onto this book and I think Markus Zusak is possibly one of the great writers of this century. The story is on par with 'To Kill a Mocking Bird' and the style so interesting. This book will make you laugh, make you cry, it will change your life. Okay it is a good read and Dennis Olsen is fantastic at narrating it. Loved it and will want to read it for years to come. It don't get much better than this.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Benbarian Johannesburg, South Africa 09-04-13
    Benbarian Johannesburg, South Africa 09-04-13 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    59
    16
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    4
    Overall
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    Story
    "The most beautiful book I've ever read."

    Not something I say lightly. But I've never been as deeply touched by a story, by a grouping of words. Simple, beautiful, thought provoking. Zusak is a wordsmith of the highest calibre. Each sentence lingers in my ears, my heart. Mayne tears where shed, mayne giggles escaped my lips, and so much was caught in my throat. Read it, read it again, pass it on, and read it to them.

    Thanks you Mr Zusak. Thank you

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jillian Warragul, Australia 02-25-13
    Jillian Warragul, Australia 02-25-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
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    1
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
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    Story
    "Better through Audible"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I tried to get into this book with an actual book. It was very heavy to start and I kept putting it aside. Listening to it though was a pleasure! Dennis Olsen did a lovely job and the story is wonderful. It kept me captivated and when it was finished, I had that sad feeling when you wonder what you will possibly read next and enjoy as much. The Book Thief Is a must listen.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Papa! He was such a lovely gentle man who had patience and a sense of humour, and wasn't afraid to love.


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

    for me, pronunciation of the german words and doing german accents.


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

    No, it was one that was nice to think about and ponder.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kim Karalee, Australia 08-07-13
    Kim Karalee, Australia 08-07-13 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    40
    1
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    3
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    Story
    "Took a while!"
    What did you like best about The Book Thief? What did you like least?

    I loved the richness of the story and the depth of the heroine. It took me several chapters to decide if i was enjoying the story or not. It took some time for me to get used to the story being narrated by death, although in the end this was one of the things I liked most. I found the accordion music between chapters very irritating.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I liked how it was narrated by death and how we saw his point of view.


    What about Dennis Olsen’s performance did you like?

    His voice was perfect for the voice of death.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    Yes I would.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael 01-29-13
    Michael 01-29-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
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    69
    10
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    4
    Overall
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    Story
    "Great storytelling from a different viewpoint."

    Really enjoyed this story from the perspective of a young girl fostered into a Munich home during WWII. There are many great stories from the war and this one stands out for it's authentic feel and the less commonly explored perspective of the German townsfolk. An amusing, moving and fascinating work. The narration was wonderful and I enjoyed the snatches of accordion music (relevant to the story) played prior to each chapter.
    Well worth a credit.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Deborah Hawthorn, Australia 12-01-12
    Deborah Hawthorn, Australia 12-01-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    1
    1
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Story
    "Sleepy mother of two under two"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Book Thief to be better than the print version?

    Yes, the narrator gave more realism to the story teller.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Hans Hubermann, he represents the type of person we all want to be, loyal, loving and brave.


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

    Tone and expression that the author would want you to experience


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

    There were several moments in the book when I cried


    Any additional comments?

    A wonderful book, highly recommended

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. M. Allais Johannesburg, South Africa. 10-08-12
    J. M. Allais Johannesburg, South Africa. 10-08-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    1
    1
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    0
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    Story
    "moving and poignant story"
    What did you like best about this story?

    It was engrossing and about real people who had weaknesses and complexities.


    Any additional comments?

    The problem with the reading of this book is that the narrator speaks his 'asides' sotto voce. My elderly father, who is hard of hearing, could often not hear these particular sections.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lyndie Lilydale, Australia 07-28-14
    Lyndie Lilydale, Australia 07-28-14 Member Since 2011
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    104
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Hate the narration"
    What would have made The Book Thief better?

    A different narrator


    What could Markus Zusak have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Ensured a better narrator


    How could the performance have been better?

    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


    What character would you cut from The Book Thief?

    Is the narrator a character ? I think so in the instance of audio. Loose the narrator


    Any additional comments?

    There are outstanding narrators, and even this one would be fine without the over acting!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sue 07-02-14
    Sue 07-02-14 Member Since 2011
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Outstanding!"
    What made the experience of listening to The Book Thief the most enjoyable?

    Narrator captured the characters perfectly.


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

    The Word Catcher


    Which character – as performed by Dennis Olsen – was your favorite?

    Rosa! And Hans! And Leisal! And Rudi!


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

    Every part of it.


    Any additional comments?

    Best narrated book I've listened to - ever!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 27 results PREVIOUS123NEXT
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  • Joe
    melbourne, Australia
    3/7/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "First Rate"

    What an amazing story! The weaving together of stories from the author's family history into a thoroughly engaging account of death, war and the human experience is entrancing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • ISAAC
    Cheltenham, United Kingdom
    12/14/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Handkerchiefs at the ready..."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Only if they liked seriously sad books- don't get me wrong 'The Book Thief' is fantastic but it is one you must choose to read for yourself.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The narrator who struggles so hard to stay impartial but colours can only do so much.


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

    I haven't but I would now.


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    "Please don't make me into a film- I'm perfect as I am."


    Any additional comments?

    You will cry at some point during this book but at least this way you won't get the pages soggy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mrs
    Bournemouth, United Kingdom
    11/17/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Unusual, thought provoking."

    A complex story narrated by death itself. This story is complex and thought provoking throughtout. It plays about with chronology, but the narrator allows you to always know where you are. I loved this.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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