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The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
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The Book Thief (original 2005; edition 2007)

by Markus Zusak

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
24,273146445 (4.38)4 / 1736
Member:Roblynn_
Title:The Book Thief
Authors:Markus Zusak
Info:Alfred A. Knopf (2007), Paperback, 576 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:
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Work details

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (2005)

Recently added byDoxieLibrarian, nannersmom, ladypembroke, beckdg, private library, kateminasian, olegalCA
Unread books (1,017)
  1. 559
    The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank (alalba, PghDragonMan, Anonymous user)
    PghDragonMan: Both side of hiding during the Holocaust
    Anonymous user: Both are about Holocaust. The Book Thief is from German girl's perspective whereas The Diary of a Young Girl is from a Jewish girl's perspective.
  2. 402
    To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (paulkid, Anonymous user)
    paulkid: There are many similarities between these books. For example, a strong father-daughter relationship, where the father teaches by example by taking the moral high ground in protecting a persecuted minority - also kids that break down the barriers between secluded and socially awkward neighbors through books and sundry shenanigans.… (more)
  3. 301
    The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne (Booksloth, frsantos)
  4. 231
    Night by Elie Wiesel (Smellsbooks)
  5. 236
    Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut (weener)
  6. 160
    The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom (PghDragonMan, avidmom, rhshelver)
  7. 182
    I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak (whymaggiemay, RosyLibrarian)
  8. 100
    Everything is illuminated : a novel by Jonathan Safran Foer (TessaSlingerland)
  9. 90
    The Chosen by Chaim Potok (avidmom)
  10. 80
    Maus II: A Survivor's Tale: And Here My Troubles Began by Art Spiegelman (kaipakartik)
  11. 91
    Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Greene (bethielouwho)
  12. 71
    The Devil's Arithmetic by Jane Yolen (whoot, booklove2)
  13. 71
    Those Who Save Us by Jenna Blum (loriephillips)
  14. 71
    Number the Stars by Lois Lowry (sleepykid00)
    sleepykid00: Both taken place during WWII, but in different perspectives.
  15. 61
    The History of Love by Nicole Krauss (Ciruelo, heidialice)
  16. 63
    The Reader by Bernhard Schlink (lucyknows)
    lucyknows: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak may linked with The Reader by Bernhard Schlink using the themes of reading, Nazi Germany and death. You could also pair it with the graphic novel Maus by Art Spiegelman. Atonement by Ian McEwan could work as well because of the young protagonists, war, and reading.… (more)
  17. 20
    The Girl in the Green Sweater: A Life in Holocaust's Shadow by Krystyna Chiger (elwren75)
  18. 20
    City of Thieves by David Benioff (avalon_today)
    avalon_today: Kolya reminds me of Rudy, a bit older but none wiser, with his self-assurance and confidence, ok maybe he has lost some of his sweetness, but I still see the humor and zest for life.
  19. 75
    The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley (BookGirlVL)
    BookGirlVL: The story is told from the point of view of a precocious eleven year old with a passion for poisons and death. Her favourite places to think are in the cemetery and in the old chemistry lab in the country house, she shares with her annoying sisters and preoccupied father. The witty, lively and whimsical narrative voice immediately reminded me of Zusak's "The Book Thief".… (more)
  20. 20
    Daniel Half-Human: and the Good Nazi by David Chotjewitz (fountainoverflows)

(see all 43 recommendations)

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Showing 1-5 of 1367 (next | show all)
I could not finish this book. Got half way through it. Must be the only person on earth that did not take to it. I know I am the only person left on earth who has not read a Harry Potter book. ( )
  Alphawoman | Nov 17, 2014 |
One of the most emotional and moving books I've ever read. ( )
  nicholsm | Nov 17, 2014 |
I remember picking this book up in a store once or twice, reading the blurb on the back, and putting it down again. There was just something about it that didn’t appeal. Maybe I was being picky, so many people had raved about it, and the film was due out. So when it was my book club’s pick for May, I greeted it positively.

It is the story of a girl, Liesel,who is fostered with a family in Monching, Hitler’s birthplace, just before world war 2. It is a finely detailed adventure through the impacts of anti-semitism, Hitler’s economic and social policies and their impact on the general population, and growing up in impoverished circumstances. I started out intrigued, and slightly wrong-footed, by the point of view, since the story is told by Death, but it focuses almost entirely on Liesel’s perspective. It’s quirky and strange, with odd interjections in bold face, explaining certain vernacular details, or providing some extra scene-setting or character information in a format like a text box.

The quirkiness lost its charm as the tale progressed, and I’m afraid I was finding it a duty to read, rather than an enjoyment. Yes, I was ‘somewhat interested’ in what happened to Liesel, but on the whole, I didn’t enjoy it, and spent many days wishing I didn’t have to read it. It became tedious. I jumped over to another book, and then another before I dragged myself back to it. But I did drag myself back to it. It had just enough fascination not to be abandoned. I can’t imagine how they made it into a film, though. I don’t intend to find out.

A unique perspective on a well-thumbed period of history. ( )
  Jemima_Pett | Nov 11, 2014 |
65. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (2005, 564 page Paperback, Read November 1-9)

This was a pleasant place to pass some time. I know that pleasant is an odd word for a book about Nazi Germany, even if it's Young Adult, but Zusak really doesn't ever reach what I would consider reality. He hovers about in an artificial feeling world.

There are a zillion reviews, but, for those who haven't read it or the reviews, Zusak is an Australian author whose parents spent WWII in Germany and Austria. He took something from their stories, although I didn't find what exactly he took, to create a story around a bombed out street in a small town near Munich. There is a long lead up, following a young girl named Liesel Meminger who begins the book as a 9-year-old orphan, and early on befriends a young boy so inspired by Jesse Owens 1936 Berlin Olympic heroics, that he paints himself black and takes to a track to imitate Owens.

Probably you shouldn't take the book too seriously, although it has it's complexities. But if you can hang out with it, Zusak will do a good job of keeping you entertained with his narrator, a wistful personification of Death, and give you plenty of stuff to build around and to mull over what it might have actually been like in Nazi Germany. A successful entertaining book. ( )
2 vote dchaikin | Nov 10, 2014 |
Amazing what children can do ( )
  jayney576 | Nov 7, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 1367 (next | show all)
This over-praised, overlong novel is in trouble before it starts. The acknowledgments open with a tribute to someone “who is as warm as she is knowledgeable” and continue in the same saccharine manner.
 
Unsettling, thought-provoking, life-affirming, triumphant and tragic, this is a novel of breathtaking scope, masterfully told. It is an important piece of work, but also a wonderful page-turner. I cannot recommend it highly enough.
 
This is a moving work which will make many eyes brim. Zusak shows us how small defiances and unexpectedly courageous acts remind us of our humanity. It isn't only Death who is touched. Liesel steals our hearts too.
 
The Australian writer Markus Zusak's brilliant and hugely ambitious new young-adult novel is startling in many ways, but the first thing many teenagers will notice is its length: 552 pages! It's one thing to write a long book about, say, a boy who happens across a dragon's egg; it's quite another to write a long, achingly sad, intricately structured book about Nazi Germany narrated by Death itself.
 
This is never an easy read, never a glide. But, in Zusak's ability to imagine and execute, he has achieved a very personal vision that grabs the reader and does not let go.
 

» Add other authors (15 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Zusak, Markusprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
White, TrudyIllustratormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Corduner, AllanNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lodewijk, AnnemarieTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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People/Characters
Important places
Important events
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Epigraph
Dedication
For Elisabeth and Helmut Zusak,
with love and admiration
First words
First the colors.
Quotations
Five hundred souls, I carried them in my fingers, like suitcases; or I'd throw them over my shoulder. It was only the children I carried in my arms. For some reason, dying men always ask questions they know the answer to. Perhaps it's so they can die being right.
In Liesel's mind, the moon was sewn into the sky that night. Clouds were stitched around it.
When the train pulled into the Bahnhof in Munich, the passengers slid out as if from a torn package.
A bathrobe answered the door. Inside it, a woman with startled eyes, hair like fluff and the posture of defeat stood in front of her.
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Information from the Catalan Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to the English one.
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Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to the English one.
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Book description
Unforgettable story about the ability of books to feed the soul ... With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, Liesel learns to read ... Sharing her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids ... Plus, sharing with the Jewish a man hidden in her basement before he is marched to Dachau

(Charles Duff description below)
This terrifically engaging book takes place during World War II in Nazi Germany.  An angel of sorts who collects souls once they die, narrates this story in which the angel talks about the book thief herself, young Liesel Meminger.  After losing her brother on the train to their foster home, Liesel comes across a book dropped by one of the grave diggers, The Grave Diggers Handbook.  She becomes immersed in books from there on out, but has to steal to get them because they are banned.  This is a great independent reading book for those in high school.  It has many direct elements associated with the Holocaust and Nazi Germany.  Here is a link to the authors wonderfully interactive website: http://www.randomhouse.com/features/m...
Haiku summary
Words become life to
girl in Nazi Germany -
Narrated by Death.
(elbakerone)
An accordion

There was once a strange, small man

Liesel Meminger

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0375842209, Paperback)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:53:44 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

Trying to make sense of the horrors of World War II, Death relates the story of Liesel--a young German girl whose book-stealing and story-telling talents help sustain her family and the Jewish man they are hiding, as well as their neighbors. Includes readers' guide.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 15 descriptions

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