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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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    12,325
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    3,798
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    1,253
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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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  • 3 Stars
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  • 2 Stars
    282
  • 1 Stars
    234
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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

The grim reaper as narrator. . .

What did you love best about The Book Thief?

I liked this book very much! I especially liked the vantage point of death and the connection he created with the little girl.

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Superior reading of a wonderful story.

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

I have encouraged all I know to listen to this book instead of reading it. The reader is terrific and I found I was always looking forward to listening every chance I got.

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

Perhaps All the Light We Cannot See because there were young female characters and it was narrated with great effect by each of the male readers.

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

I imagine the narrator as a living, breathing person with feelings.

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

I was just totally involved.

Any additional comments?

Probably the best read I've had. Thank you.

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Death is priceless.

My favorite novel--the Screwtape Letters by C. s. Lewis--is presented from the perspective of a demon. In a similar fashion, Zusak has completely mesmerized my imagination from his humorous, horrific, and equally beautiful tale of The Book Thief, as Death shares his perspective of Liesel Meminger's life as a little orphaned girl growing up in Nazi Germany during WWII. Death's wit and take on the events somehow makes the read smoother than if presented from a human's perspective. A bit of humility was presented, which only added to the depth of Liesel's story. One you will certainly never forget!

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Extraordinary book

Absolutely unique take on a painful subject and the reader is absolutely brilliant. I had procrastinated over this book for a while and now I am at a loss as to why. Would highly recommend

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a very wonderfully written book.

The author of The Book Theif is a master with words and imagry. It is a wonderful story and gives you a different look and perspective about life and death

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So Touched

I was so touched by the whole package. The words, the readers, the emotions ,good and bad. You travel to a part of our history that is truly ugly, and walk down the road with some wonderful souls.

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Outstanding

One of the best books I've ever read/heard. The narrator - Corduner - does a wonderful job with the characters.

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Strangely written, yet simply excellent.

I very much enjoyed this story and recommend it to everyone. It drifts along like death itself telling a horrific tale with loving kindness.

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Great book

Great book and great production. love the Reader. Deffinitly recommend this audio book. Give it a try.

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Full of Emotional Truth

An absolutely gorgeous story, full of sincerity and truth. Using "Death" as the narrator was an inspired choice. The voice actor also very successfully embodied the role as character and storyteller.