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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
  • 5 Stars
    12,573
  • 4 Stars
    3,844
  • 3 Stars
    1,266
  • 2 Stars
    335
  • 1 Stars
    305

Performance

  • 4.7 out of 5.0
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    11,823
  • 4 Stars
    2,620
  • 3 Stars
    692
  • 2 Stars
    173
  • 1 Stars
    199

Story

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    10,984
  • 4 Stars
    2,992
  • 3 Stars
    1,055
  • 2 Stars
    284
  • 1 Stars
    237
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  • Story

Great read.

Excellent book. The narrator did an exceptional job reading this book. The inflections and tones made me feel like I was in ever scene. Loved it.

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Moving but underwhelming

Don't expect the ending to redeem the book. It is well written and has some witty lines and stories that will make you smile but overall is morose and will leave you feeling down on humanity. Other books on the subject matter such as The Diary of Anne Frank and The Boy in the Striped Pajamas manage its little better in my opinion.

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Very good, but sad.

Even though the book was so sad and so painful at such a brutal time in history, the beauty of childhood and the power of love does come through. Great performance.

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So glad I found this

I found this originally on YouTube. I listened to it because I remember reading the first few chapters and absolutely adoring it. However, this had a different cover to it, so when it got taken down from YouTube, my search began to find it again. Why? Because of the narrator. The story is already fantastic, but the narrator adds so much to it from his accent to his voices to his phrasing. I took a risk buying this and I'm so glad it turned out to be him. I don't think the story read by any other would be the same.

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Loved it!!!!!

I fell in love with this book and the narrator. I didn't want it to be over!

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  • Story

Book & Narrator: Brilliant !

I haven't taken time to write a review before although I've enjoyed so many Audible books. But this narration demands to be praised! It's hard to say which was more wonderful, the writing or the narration. The story has the most wonderful language & cast of characters. What other author could make you think of Death himself as such a sympathetic fellow? And I honestly don't see how a narrator could be any better. I enjoyed every moment.

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Love, love, love! !!

I can't imagine a better voice to tell this incredibly beautiful, yet tragic story. It happens to be the book I listened to and now I am hooked. The telling of this story I have recommended even to friends that have already read the book on their own, because it is performed so perfectly.

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This is a must read, great narration.

What an amazing book. Narrated by Death about a young German girls life. Haunting and beautiful which is how Death describes humans.

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Heart wrenching novel, great story telling and narration

The Book Thief tells a story, not often heard, of the non-Jewish Germans victimized by Hitler's reign. Zusak sweeps you up as Death follows the life of a young German girl as her life is devastated time and again by the actions of Hitler. Why does Death care to share this story? Give a listen and hear the narrator share this heart wrenching but hopeful story of strength and love in a terrible time in our history.

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Not for young children

I think this is an amazing book. It is extremely touching, and it is told from a very unique perspective! I do think it is not for children, although I think it's meant to be that way.