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The book thief by Markus Zusak
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The book thief (original 2005; edition 2006)

by Markus Zusak

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
27,606169036 (4.37)4 / 1842
Member:Citizenjoyce
Title:The book thief
Authors:Markus Zusak
Info:New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2006.
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:Holocaust, Germany, 2010, Judaism

Work details

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (2005)

  1. 599
    Anne Frank: 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. 425
    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. 341
    The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne (Booksloth, frsantos)
  4. 252
    Night by Elie Wiesel (Smellsbooks, Morteana)
  5. 170
    The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom (PghDragonMan, avidmom, rhshelver)
  6. 258
    Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut (weener)
  7. 193
    I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak (whymaggiemay, rosylibrarian)
  8. 100
    Maus II: A Survivor's Tale: And Here My Troubles Began by Art Spiegelman (kaipakartik)
  9. 100
    Everything Is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer (TessaSlingerland)
  10. 90
    The Chosen by Chaim Potok (avidmom)
  11. 91
    Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Greene (bethielouwho)
  12. 91
    Those Who Save Us by Jenna Blum (loriephillips)
  13. 71
    Number the Stars by Lois Lowry (sleepykid00)
    sleepykid00: Both taken place during WWII, but in different perspectives.
  14. 71
    The Devil's Arithmetic by Jane Yolen (whoot, booklove2)
  15. 83
    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)
  16. 61
    The History of Love: A Novel by Nicole Krauss (Ciruelo, heidialice)
  17. 40
    Edelweiss Pirates, Operation Einstein by Mark A. Cooper (davidparsons, jacobwilliams007)
  18. 41
    The Cellist of Sarajevo by Steven Galloway (mrstreme)
  19. 20
    The Girl in the Green Sweater: A Life in Holocaust's Shadow by Krystyna Chiger (elwren75)
  20. 53
    Starring Sally J. Freedman as Herself by Judy Blume (Runa)

(see all 48 recommendations)

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Showing 1-5 of 1586 (next | show all)
Al principio encontré el libro un poco lento, pero la historia de la chica que robaba libros me ha capturado. ( )
  cloentrelibros | Aug 23, 2016 |
This is, without a doubt, one of the best books I've ever read. Here's what I knew about it going in: it takes place during WWII and has Nazis in it. Not a lot to go on. It had been on my TBR list for a long time but I kept passing it by, just not sure what it was about or if I was in the right frame of mind. If you've been doing the same thing, I urge you to stop doing that! Pick it next.

Did I cry? Yes, but not in the way I expected. Instead of one or two big sob sessions, I experienced many small heartbreaks. Some were larger than others but there was no individual scene or occurrence that devastated me. The cumulative effect, however, is that I felt a larger, deeper sense of loss and sadness and hope.

And the writing - gorgeous. I've not highlighted or shared so many passages from a single book in years - maybe ever. There were passages that required that I read them over and over until they had a chance to really sink in and become a part of me.

This book made me want to review every other book I've given five stars to and reduce most of them just to ensure that this one stands above the rest. As soon as I read the final word, I was so tempted to start all over again. Not only to experience it again but to see what nuances I'd missed the first time.

I can't recommend this book enough. ( )
  amcheri | Aug 22, 2016 |
Review first posted on BookLikes: http://brokentune.booklikes.com/post/771971/the-book-thief

The Book Thief will be coming to the cinemas next month. I am eagerly waiting to see it. I am an admirer of both Geoffrey Rush and Roger Allam and maybe, just maybe, they can salvage the story for me.

It’s not that it is a particularly bad story: It begins with the heroine, Liesel and her brother, being sent to live with foster parents during the second world war and describes her life in a small town near Munich, how she grows fond of books, how she adapts to her new family and friends, and how Hitler’s regime marks the lives of the people around her. The premise of the book is promising.

However, the problems I have with the book are so manifold that they outweigh any of the potential I might have seen in Zusak’s work within the first 30 pages. In fact, the first half of the book annoyed me so much that I needed to vent to a friend and ask for some reassurance that there are any good points to the story at all.

So, despite its flaws, I struggled on to finish the book - only to form a clearer picture of why the book was so underwhelming:

The Narrator: I dig the idea of Death being the narrator of the story, I really do. It’s not novel but it does give the story a potentially interesting vantage point. You know with Death being the great leveller – unbiased, somewhat detached from the bickering of mortals, etc. Except, Death’s narration is so inconsistent that apart from the odd interjections of pointing out that the story is narrated by Death, it is not clear whether the story is told by death or by a child. But it is clear that Death is not a child, if that makes sense, because the narration – especially in the forst half of the book changes from between childlike and all-knowing and patronizing. That inconsistency really irked me.

Max Vandenburg: I like the character of Max. What I didn’t get was that his character was so anxious and feeling undeserving of the help he receives from the Hubermanns. I mean, Max was a fist fighter, and yet for much of his introduction to the family he is totally without fight or any sense of self-worth. This could have done with some more background in order to make the character work. But as it was, Max’ role in the book was not much more than a cliché.

Atmosphere: Was there any? The story says it is set in a small town near Munich, and yet it does not feel like it. I didn’t get any sense of where the story was set. It could have been anywhere, any time. There was a distinct lack of detail and description of anything. Even though, by nature of the setting – Bavarian small town – there would have been a lot to write about which could have transferred a sense of setting to the reader. Trust me, if you find yourself in Bavaria you will know about it.

Authenticity: This is of course closely related to the missing sense of atmosphere, but what really, really irked me was the incessant use of the Hubermann’s favourite terms of endearment: “Saumensch” and “Saukerl”. Not that they are particularly harsh but they do seem a peculiar choice when looking at the plethora of Bavarian expressions.

Language: Maybe it was just the Kindle edition but the book really could have done with some proofreading – come on either go for the German street names or the English but mixing both throughout just was another inconsistency that did my head in. As for the general language used – was there a point to all the clichés, metaphors, oxymorons and other linguistic devices? Was it a bet of how many Zusak could fit in? Or was it just the author’s intention to come across as pretentious?

Lastly, I just simply have no idea what the book’s intention is. Or for that matter, who it is written for. Is it meant to be read by young adults or adults? Is it about the holocaust? Is it about a childhood story? I don’t know. Zusak touches on both but doesn’t follow through with either. Could he not make up his mind? Was he just too ambitious?
Or did he actually intend to write a story that to me reads as no more than insincere twaddle. Kitsch at best.

So, Geoffrey and Roger, there is quite a task upon you. Please make up for the book’s faults and make it work on screen. ( )
  BrokenTune | Aug 21, 2016 |
In an interview the author, Markus Zusak, described taking a number of risks while writing The Book Thief, a novel that may very well turn out to be the one by which he's remembered for. The narrative is unconventional that you get an immediate sense of those risks, but you also get a story that comes alive in surprising ways.

The Book Thief came highly recommended in a manner I don't usually see. Browsing the internet for nothing in particular, I started seeing random, brief plugs like "If you haven't done so already, read The Book Thief" or the shorter "Just read it." ( )
  Daniel.Estes | Aug 17, 2016 |
I listened to the audio version of this book.I enjoyed the audio version so much more than I think I would have enjoyed the book itself.The narrator has an accent that that lends itself very well to the characters,story and german exclamations used in the book.This is a bittersweet story of of Liesel growing up in Hitler era Germany. "Death" is a powerful and sympathetic,soulful ,story teller.At the end of the story,if you are not in tears,you wil be when you hear the accordion playing in the background. I recommend this book highly! ( )
  LauGal | Aug 16, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 1586 (next | show all)
Amazing the way something so beautiful can be written about such a dark period. Involving and completely addictive.
added by claudialima | editPortugal (Mar 30, 2012)
 
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.
 
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 (13 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Zusak, Markusprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
White, TrudyIllustratormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Corduner, AllanNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ernst, AlexandraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Giughese, Gian M.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lodewijk, AnnemarieTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
For Elisabeth and Helmut Zusak,
with love and admiration
First words
First the colors. Then the humans. That's how I see things. Or at least how I try.
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.
The reply floated from his mouth, then moulded itself like a stain to the ceiling.
Last words
Disambiguation notice
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References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (3)

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.
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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:42 -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 18 descriptions

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