The award-winning novel that established Markus Zusak as an international brand.
It is 1939, Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still. By her brother's graveside, Liesel's life is changed when she picks up a single object, partially hidden in the snow. It is The Gravedigger's Handbook, left there by accident, and it is her first act of book thievery.
So begins a love affair with books and words, as Liesel, with the help of her accordion-playing foster father, learns to read. Soon she is stealing books from Nazi book-burnings, the mayor's wife's library, and wherever there are books to be found. But these are dangerous times. When Liesel's foster family hides a Jewish fist-fighter in their basement, Liesel's world is both opened up, and closed down.
©2005 Markus Zusak (P)2012 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd
Jane and Joe Mac. Audible is a great way to find and access quality books.
What an amazing story! The weaving together of stories from the author's family history into a thoroughly engaging account of death, war and the human experience is entrancing.
Only if they liked seriously sad books- don't get me wrong 'The Book Thief' is fantastic but it is one you must choose to read for yourself.
The narrator who struggles so hard to stay impartial but colours can only do so much.
I haven't but I would now.
"Please don't make me into a film- I'm perfect as I am."
You will cry at some point during this book but at least this way you won't get the pages soggy.
A complex story narrated by death itself. This story is complex and thought provoking throughtout. It plays about with chronology, but the narrator allows you to always know where you are. I loved this.
"Ignore the teen classification!"
This is an adult story about the power of words. It is also about children growing up and trying to live a normal life in a time of unbelievable horror. The Book Thief is moving and personal and wonderfully written. I often found myself going back listening to passages a second and even a third time immersing myself in the language. So beautiful and at times so sad. The narration by Dennis Olsen is outstanding. I highly recommend this book and hope it won't get lost in the teen section.
Listen to this book, read this book, own this book. This book a nothing but a work of art. It is lovely and a joy to read. My mother put me onto this book and I think Markus Zusak is possibly one of the great writers of this century. The story is on par with 'To Kill a Mocking Bird' and the style so interesting. This book will make you laugh, make you cry, it will change your life. Okay it is a good read and Dennis Olsen is fantastic at narrating it. Loved it and will want to read it for years to come. It don't get much better than this.
"The most beautiful book I've ever read."
Not something I say lightly. But I've never been as deeply touched by a story, by a grouping of words. Simple, beautiful, thought provoking. Zusak is a wordsmith of the highest calibre. Each sentence lingers in my ears, my heart. Mayne tears where shed, mayne giggles escaped my lips, and so much was caught in my throat. Read it, read it again, pass it on, and read it to them.
Thanks you Mr Zusak. Thank you
"Better through Audible"
I tried to get into this book with an actual book. It was very heavy to start and I kept putting it aside. Listening to it though was a pleasure! Dennis Olsen did a lovely job and the story is wonderful. It kept me captivated and when it was finished, I had that sad feeling when you wonder what you will possibly read next and enjoy as much. The Book Thief Is a must listen.
Papa! He was such a lovely gentle man who had patience and a sense of humour, and wasn't afraid to love.
for me, pronunciation of the german words and doing german accents.
No, it was one that was nice to think about and ponder.
"It's Better than This"
I very infrequently listen to something I have read that suffers from the reading. Unfortunately, I thought this was one of those occasions. Fortunately the substance of the book is good enough to rise above the let-down I felt on listening to it.
The plot is really not that complex. Liesel is an orphan. She is relocated to the outskirts of Munich at the outset of WWII and billeted with Hans and Rosa Hubermann. She grows up playing soccer with her close friend Rudy Steiner and other boys and girls. She learns to steal food and necessities. She is a survivor. And she has one special vice; she steals books. When she begins, she can't read, but slowly she becomes the voice for the small community, reading in the air-raid shelters whilst the bombs fall tragically on Munich. In all of this she is supported by her step-father (Geoffrey Rush in the film version), an extraordinary man in a very ordinary way, and step-mother (Emily Watson in the film), the disciplinarian with a soft centre.
However, it is the telling of this beautiful story that makes it. The little asides, Death as the narrator and the fun that does just enough to break the appalling mantle of loss and destruction. I surmise that this is why I didn't enjoy Denis Olsen's reading. It is not how I had read it, many times aloud, to myself.
I am an admirer of Olsen's. He has long been a statesman of the Australian theatre, especially in Gilbert and Sullivan and Shakespearean roles; his King Lear is something to queue for. So, he has a classically trained voice which is very apt for some versions of Death, but is a bit sing-songy for me almost in every other way. This is made more so because he reads the parts (with feeling), he does not assume the characters (except Death).
I struggled through the title because I knew how powerful the ending is. If you don't have the same reaction to the reading, you will no doubt love the title, because it is a wonderful story. Hopefully you pre-reading expectation will not get in the way of your enjoyment.
"Took a while!"
I loved the richness of the story and the depth of the heroine. It took me several chapters to decide if i was enjoying the story or not. It took some time for me to get used to the story being narrated by death, although in the end this was one of the things I liked most. I found the accordion music between chapters very irritating.
I liked how it was narrated by death and how we saw his point of view.
His voice was perfect for the voice of death.
Yes I would.
"Great storytelling from a different viewpoint."
Really enjoyed this story from the perspective of a young girl fostered into a Munich home during WWII. There are many great stories from the war and this one stands out for it's authentic feel and the less commonly explored perspective of the German townsfolk. An amusing, moving and fascinating work. The narration was wonderful and I enjoyed the snatches of accordion music (relevant to the story) played prior to each chapter.
Well worth a credit.
"Sleepy mother of two under two"
Yes, the narrator gave more realism to the story teller.
Hans Hubermann, he represents the type of person we all want to be, loyal, loving and brave.
Tone and expression that the author would want you to experience
There were several moments in the book when I cried
A wonderful book, highly recommended
"moving and poignant story"
It was engrossing and about real people who had weaknesses and complexities.
The problem with the reading of this book is that the narrator speaks his 'asides' sotto voce. My elderly father, who is hard of hearing, could often not hear these particular sections.
"Brilliant book - Frustrating narrator performance"
The words and the story of The Book Thief makes this a book I will recommend to many. Markus Zusak's prose is brilliantly crafted.
BUT THE NARRATION!!
The large majority of the audio books I have are performed. I get it. But this narrator has interpreted the story according to his mindset rather than allowing me to 'read' it and make up my own mind.
The 'sotto' voice used for Death is incredibly irritating when you listen to books while travelling as you cannot hear what is said.
That said I love Dennis Olsen's voice - a voice that is truly a gift. I wish he had chosen to read the book and not interpret it. I have borrowed a hard copy so I can honour the writing better.
There are no listener reviews for this title yet.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.