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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

Critic Reviews

  • 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 Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5.0
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    12,107
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    3,758
  • 3 Stars
    1,242
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Performance

  • 4.7 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
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  • Story

Absolutely phenomenal

Let me start this review by saying that I am a shameless book snob. I spent years reading every classic I could get my hands on, and had yet to find a contemporary writer who could hold a candle to the likes of Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, or Thomas Hardy; I'd almost given up searching, and was resigned to reading the same 100 books for the rest of my life. That being said, The Book Thief was recommended to me via Audible after I took a leap of faith and read All the Light We Cannot See, and The Nightingale (both of which were set during WWII). While those books were interesting and well-written, they simply cannot compare to The Book Thief--no book can, as far as I'm concerned. I can honestly say that it is the best book I've ever read, and I feel a hole
in my heart, having finished it. The writing was first class, the perspective was unique, the story was captivating, and Allan Corduner's narration was flawless. I simply cannot say enough about the impact this book has had on me, and I thank Markus Zusak for having created it. What a gift to the literary world it has been!

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Haunting

Beautifully narrated, heartbreaking and redeeming too, the story had me crying at my steering wheel more than once. An important story to share w my son who is the same age as the main character but separated by a universe that is easy to forget about in the course of everyday.

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Unforgettable!!

An unforgettable story, beautifully written! The narration is outstanding!!
Although I know I would have enjoyed reading the book, listening to The Book
Thief read by Allan Corduner magnified the pleasure!! Thank you Audible!

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Destroyed and Renewed

This is probably one of the most amazing books I have ever listened to. The story of Liesel and Rudy and mama and papa and Max, and all the people on Himmel Street captivated me. Skillfully narrated by death it was an emotional roller coaster highlighting how the simple interactions of humans are actually the greatest acts of all.

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Wonderful and Devastating

Taking the ranks as my new favorite book, The Book Thief accomplishes three challenging goals:
1. The story is told by none of the main characters, but rather in the first-person narrative of Death
2. Some of the most unlikable characters become the ones you cherish the most
3. The story is brutal, and devastating, and yet the world is a better place for its existence

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Powerful

I would not call this book entertaining. It is thought-provoking at points and clearly the author has a love of language. This is not a story with a clear resolution. kind of a sad drama about the reality of humanity. as far as a story goes... I couldn't give it 5 Stars even though I believe it is extremely well-written and an example of a mastery love language

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Great book to listen to.

narrator was wonderful, loved this story, and now I can't wait to see the movie. A must read.

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Excellent story

Rife with sadness and happiness, struggle, love, and danger. I will listen to it again and again. The narrator was fabulous and the author a genius.

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a profound story

the only thing that improves this perfectly crafted story is the insightful narration. 10 stars!

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The colors of the sky

Where does The Book Thief rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

It's one of my favorite books

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

A fantastic voice that both brings the characters to life and fits deaths personality.

If you could take any character from The Book Thief out to dinner, who would it be and why?

Death, because I imagine he'd be an interesting conversationalist

Any additional comments?

I love this book, both in text and in audio form.