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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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    12,128
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    3,763
  • 3 Stars
    1,244
  • 2 Stars
    331
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    302

Performance

  • 4.7 out of 5.0
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    11,380
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    2,562
  • 3 Stars
    683
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    170
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    197

Story

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
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    10,581
  • 4 Stars
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  • 3 Stars
    1,032
  • 2 Stars
    279
  • 1 Stars
    234
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One of the best

This is now one of the best books I have ever read. I have not seen the movie - so this was a new story for me, filled with tragedy and love and heartfelt subplots. Leisel is a heroine. Truly a special book.

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Fantastic, enlightening, and well driven.

A very highly recommended pick-up!! Best book I've had since harry potter! Once you start it I guarantee you wont want to stop.

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Fantastic writing

Author is extraordinary with words - sentences made me want to weep with appreciation! Great story, if sad. One of my favorite books. Papa reminded me of the altruistic men/women throughout history who made their small corner of the world a blessed place. Few books are this good on so many levels (history, light/dark of humanity, exquisite writing.)

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A truly amazing and touching story. Sad, though.

This is a story told like no other. Very moving. For the holocast deniers out there, may you rot in Hell!

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Content, --supurb. Narration, exceptional!

Why did I slowly get sucked into this children's story by a young Australian author? Why did my my gutwrenched emotions get played to sit patiently, chapter after chapter, listening to a powerfully subtle message conveyed by a young girl and her pacifist accordian playing father?
Simply, because the author is a genius! He read my mind and inserted a story, pictures and everlasting images!

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Great Book

This was a great book for both YA and adults. I would highly recommend it. The characters are unforgettable!

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Addictive and so well written

Every word is carefully chosen. Every sentence is a poem. It's a beautiful story. 100% recommended.

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A beautiful tale that I love above all others.

Would you consider the audio edition of The Book Thief to be better than the print version?

Yes! Absolutely. The audio edition by Allan Corduner is a meticulous solo performance. His voices are like leather - smoothly modulated Death, comfortable as Papa, then creaky and full of exhaustion as Max, and always surprisingly light as Liesel. I would listen to this man read a book of statistics.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Each character has a place in my heart. I listen to this book at least once a year.

What about Allan Corduner’s performance did you like?

His amazing command of the emotions and voices of the characters. You always knew which person he was representing and what they were feeling.

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

As the story changed so did my emotions. At the end I sobbed all the way across Massachusetts.

Any additional comments?

Don't miss this extraordinary story because as attached as I am to the narrator it is the author who provided this brilliant script and people you will grow attached to.

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Beautiful story, beautifully performed

I would recommend this to anyone. Much enjoyed. Thank you for such a wonderful production.

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A Beautiful Story

Written superbly and narrated with precision, this is a listen I won't soon forget. It is on the top 10 of books I have ever read.