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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
    12,298
  • 4 Stars
    3,795
  • 3 Stars
    1,252
  • 2 Stars
    334
  • 1 Stars
    303

Performance

  • 4.7 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    11,543
  • 4 Stars
    2,592
  • 3 Stars
    688
  • 2 Stars
    172
  • 1 Stars
    197

Story

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    10,732
  • 4 Stars
    2,947
  • 3 Stars
    1,043
  • 2 Stars
    282
  • 1 Stars
    234
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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Beautiful story, beautifully read.

Would you listen to The Book Thief again? Why?

Yes -- it was so well read, the characters really came alive.

What did you like best about this story?

The character development, and the relationships between the characters.

What about Allan Corduner’s performance did you like?

His ability to portray so many different characters so that they all stood apart from each other.

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

Death. He was actually a very sympathetic, thoughtful and gentle character; quite misunderstood by the general public!

Any additional comments?

Highly recommended audiobook.

  • Overall
  • Performance
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Fabulous reader makes enhances beautiful story

How can a tale of such tragedy be so lovely and so immensely funny and sweet. Between Zusak's incredible writing and Corduner's nuanced performance, I was stunned.

  • Overall
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  • Story

I LOVED this book . . . Especially LISTENING to it

What made the experience of listening to The Book Thief the most enjoyable?

The narrator of this book was AMAZING! Great story which was enhanced by the performer!

What about Allan Corduner’s performance did you like?

His voice, accent, German pronunciation; he made this book SO enjoyable for listening!

Any additional comments?

A MUST listen!

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a new view of history.

it took me awhile to get into the story but it is worth it. as told from the view of death, the story will grab and carry you thru the life of a young girl in WWII.

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The beauty of the book thief

Some of the best descriptions! The descriptions tell the story in a way that is brilliant and beautiful. Although this book is sad it is also real and shows love and beauty. How the view point of death is told is incredible and makes people think of what it is like to die. How death itself doesn't like taking people but has no other choice. Very well written and the narrator is one of my favourites!

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  • Performance
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Great book, beautifully performed

From the description, I didn't think I wanted to listen to this book. It sounded too depressing. I'm glad I did. It was beautiful.

  • Overall
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beautiful story beautifully read

stunning, striking, moving and honest. a gorgeous story written with bold artistic strokes. love the reader. love this book.

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  • Susan
  • Philadelphia, PA, United States
  • 05-30-15

The Book Thief's Attachments

What made the experience of listening to The Book Thief the most enjoyable?

I think that listening to a book like this is a richer experience than reading it. I probably won't go to the movie. It is a book like "The Book Thief" that makes you long for radio instead of movies. The personalities of each of the characters, even the minor ones, give a sense of what it was like to live through the reign of the "Furor". The sacrifices of the normal people(in the Nazi party or not) was similar to those experienced by the whole world at the time except for the few of privileged. It was very realistic including the harboring of a Jewish
"boarder" who had been related to a Jew who saved Lisel's adopted "papa's" life.

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

Maybe a little Anne Frankish?

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

His voices and even the enunciation of the German city names and the less than complimentary terms of endearment bandied about made the story real.

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

When a Jewish merchant's door was defaced, Hans Hubler was there to paint it the next morning.

Any additional comments?

I am not sure how this book was suggested, but it doesn't seem like something I normally would have picked I glad I listened. It gave me more perspective on the era.

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Absolutely Brilliant Work! I Loved it!

The Book Thief was a wonderful dance into the life of a little girl with such great determination, A willingness to love, accept and embrace life in a war torn Germany under Nazi rule. Under overwhelming hardships this story delivers and puts the reader directly alongside the little girl. brilliant! T

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Amazing and heartbreaking

This book was absolutely wonderful and devastating all in one. Well written, well executed and beautifully narrated. A must read!