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The Book Thief Audiobook

The Book Thief

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Publisher's Summary

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)2006 Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Producer Heather Steen.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.5 (224 )
5 star
 (149)
4 star
 (52)
3 star
 (14)
2 star
 (4)
1 star
 (5)
Overall
4.5 (208 )
5 star
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4 star
 (39)
3 star
 (18)
2 star
 (1)
1 star
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Story
4.5 (206 )
5 star
 (140)
4 star
 (41)
3 star
 (14)
2 star
 (5)
1 star
 (6)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Gracious 04/12/2015
    Gracious 04/12/2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    14
    12
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    Story
    "Creepy"

    I was more than half way through this book before I started to care about it. I even cried at the end. I think it was the creepy narration that got me hooked. I can barely believe I finished it.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amanda 08/04/2016
    Amanda 08/04/2016 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
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    8
    4
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    Story
    "Such a beautiful book"

    Markus Zusak writes in a style that is refreshingly different, and this is one of the most beautifully descriptive books I've read. He uses turns of phrase which are surprising, yet incredibly evocative, creating vivid pictures in your mind. Having listened to it now, I'd love to read a hard copy, highlighting these little jewels of phrases as I go so I can reread and savour them again and again.
    Of course any book written about the holocaust is going to be a sad one, and the narrator seems to almost revel in giving away spoilers about what's to come, but it's almost a gentle heartbreak. It was really interesting to read a book written from the German perspective also.
    Beautifully and sensitively narrated, definitely give this book a go!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    wiccachild 24/08/2015
    wiccachild 24/08/2015 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    4
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    "Brilliant book"

    This book was so well written and the narrator was excellent. I loved The Book Thief!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    amy 22/08/2015
    amy 22/08/2015 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    2
    1
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    0
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    Story
    "Beautiful and poetic."

    This was my first audio book experience and I think I now have impossibly high standards for any others. Absolutely loved it!!! Cried. PERFECT narrator. Poetic words.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 06/08/2015 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    1
    1
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    "Brilliant piece of work"

    Loved it. Great story, great narrator. I knew the characters and I felt their pain.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tara 20/07/2015
    Tara 20/07/2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    3
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    "Great narrator for a great story!"

    Loved loved loves this book and the narrator. I had read other reviews prior to listening and there were some bad reviews because of the accordion playing between chapters. Whilst I didn't find that it ruined it, the music could've been a little shorter between chapters and sometimes when there were several small chapters close together it got a little annoying. But it didn't ruin the book for me.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Judy Waenga 03/06/2015
    Judy Waenga 03/06/2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    6
    3
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    "a wonderfully written story and very well read"

    using death as the narrator gives you an unimaginable perspective with stunning descriptions of the sky and the human body. LOVED IT.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lisa 02/06/2015
    Lisa 02/06/2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    22
    6
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    "The accordion spoiled it"

    A great story, read well. But I hated the accordion for every chapter. I know it was related to the story, but it was loud and annoying and distracting.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amy 06/12/2016
    Amy 06/12/2016 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
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    Story
    "awesome "

    i had heard a lot about this book before I had read it, after seeing the movie I needed to know more

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    F 29/11/2016
    F 29/11/2016 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "It's not what you expect."

    I'd heard about the Book Thief and would often see it rated in the Top 100 books to read. So not really knowing what to expect and wanting to be part of the Top 100 crowd I downloaded it.

    It starts off, well, creepy. Then without spoilers here, the characters are introduced. The arc is heavily hinted at or just outright told to you in advance. That little story telling trick hooked me.

    The characters evolve, some you will cry for. The last fifteen minutes of the novel are a tough slog. If your driving or on a train have a tissue handy.

    By chapter 15 you will want to know how it ends and you will be pushing for the years to speed past faster for the main characters, as we all know how it ends.

    I throughly enjoyed it, all characters were well rounded and I'm thankful for the Top 100 guide.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • HDJ
    New Zealand
    13/11/12
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Michael
    Sydney, Australia
    20/12/12
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Beautiful"

    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.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Benbarian
    Johannesburg, South Africa
    4/09/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Jillian
    Warragul, Australia
    25/02/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Better through Audible"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    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.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Papa! He was such a lovely gentle man who had patience and a sense of humour, and wasn't afraid to love.


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

    for me, pronunciation of the german words and doing german accents.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No, it was one that was nice to think about and ponder.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Kim
    Karalee, Australia
    7/08/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Took a while!"
    What did you like best about The Book Thief? What did you like least?

    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.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I liked how it was narrated by death and how we saw his point of view.


    What about Dennis Olsen’s performance did you like?

    His voice was perfect for the voice of death.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    Yes I would.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Michael
    Nerrina, Australia
    29/01/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Deborah
    Hawthorn, Australia
    1/12/12
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Sleepy mother of two under two"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Book Thief to be better than the print version?

    Yes, the narrator gave more realism to the story teller.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Hans Hubermann, he represents the type of person we all want to be, loyal, loving and brave.


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

    Tone and expression that the author would want you to experience


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

    There were several moments in the book when I cried


    Any additional comments?

    A wonderful book, highly recommended

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • J. M. Allais
    Johannesburg, South Africa.
    8/10/12
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "moving and poignant story"
    What did you like best about this story?

    It was engrossing and about real people who had weaknesses and complexities.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • SM
    Melbourne, Vic, Australia
    13/05/15
    Overall
    "Brilliant! Absolutely Brilliant!!"

    It truly surpassed my expectations. It touched me, saddened me, made me laugh and yes, cry. My favourite person was papa - surely. How could he not be. I have recommended this audible book to many of my friends and family, not only because of the different perspective you get from the daily happenings in a street during WW2 but also because the narrator made the book come alive. Well done!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Una
    25/03/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "insight into human nature"

    Yes, Uncomplicated kindness for others. I liked the narrators slow voice but wondered why he often emphasised the final consonant.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Louise
    Dunton Green, United Kingdom
    19/12/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fabulous!"
    Would you listen to The Book Thief again? Why?

    This was such a riveting read. Beautifully written, very moving at times, had me holding my breath many times. Beautiful beautiful book.


    What did you like best about this story?

    That it was based around the real life experience of Nazi Germany.


    What about Dennis Olsen’s performance did you like?

    He has a lovely tone to his voice, and the characters really came to life. I always think the mark of a great narrator (inconjuction with a great author) is when you're not aware that someone is narrating, but rather you're just living the story. That was definitely the case with this book's narration. Loved it!


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No. I listen each night as I'm going off to sleep.


    Any additional comments?

    Highly recommend this book - you won't be disappointed. So so glad my friend recommended it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Joe
    melbourne, Australia
    7/03/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "First Rate"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • ISAAC
    Cheltenham, United Kingdom
    14/12/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Handkerchiefs at the ready..."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    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.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The narrator who struggles so hard to stay impartial but colours can only do so much.


    Have you listened to any of Dennis Olsen’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    I haven't but I would now.


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    "Please don't make me into a film- I'm perfect as I am."


    Any additional comments?

    You will cry at some point during this book but at least this way you won't get the pages soggy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mrs
    Bournemouth, United Kingdom
    17/11/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Unusual, thought provoking."

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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