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The Book Thief Kindle Edition

4,189 customer reviews

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Length: 560 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product Description

Amazon Review

The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak was the best-selling debut literary novel of the year 2007, selling over 400,000 copies. The author is a prize-winning writer of children's books, and this, his first novel for adults, proved to be a triumphant success. The book is extraordinary on many levels: moving, yet restrained, angry yet balanced -- and written with the kind of elegance found all too rarely in fiction these days. The book's narrator is nothing less than Death itself, regaling us with a remarkable tale of book burnings, treachery and theft. The book never forgets the primary purpose of compelling the reader's attention, yet which nevertheless is able to impart a cogent message about the importance of words, particularly in those societies which regard the word as dangerous (the book is set during the Nazi regime, but this message is all too relevant in many places in the world today).

Nine-year-old Liesel lives with her foster family on Himmel Street during the dark days of the Third Reich. Her Communist parents have been transported to a concentration camp, and during the funeral for her brother, she manages to steal a macabre book: it is, in fact, a gravediggers’ instruction manual. This is the first of many books which will pass through her hands as the carnage of the Second World War begins to hungrily claim lives. Both Liesel and her fellow inhabitants of Himmel Street will find themselves changed by both words on the printed page and the horrendous events happening around them.

Despite its grim narrator, The Book Thief is, in fact, a life-affirming book, celebrating the power of words and their ability to provide sustenance to the soul. Interestingly, the Second World War setting of the novel does not limit its relevance: in the 20th century, totalitarian censorship throughout the world is as keen as ever at suppressing books (notably in countries where the suppression of human beings is also par for the course) and that other assault on words represented by the increasing dumbing-down of Western society as cheap celebrity replaces the appeal of books for many people, ensures that the message of Marcus Zusak’s book could not be more timely. It is, in fact, required reading -- or should be in any civilised country. --Barry Forshaw


"Extraordinary, resonant and relevant, beautiful and angry." (Sunday Telegraph)

"...a beautifully balanced piece of storytelling...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." (Guardian)

"A moving work which will make many eyes brim." (Independent on Sunday)

"This is a weighty novel worthy of universal acclaim. A sense of dread prevades this beautifully written novel. As The Book Thief draws to a close, Death says: "There's a multitude of stories that i allow to distract me as I work." The story of the Book Thief, who tried to change the world in her own small way, proves one formidable and inspiring distraction." (The Daily Express)

"Brilliant and hugely ambitious ... the kind of book that could be life-changing" (New York Times Book Review)

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 4918 KB
  • Print Length: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Transworld Digital; Film Tie-In edition (4 Sept. 2008)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0552773891
  • ISBN-13: 978-0552773898
  • ASIN: B0031R5K72
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4,189 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #775 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

390 of 405 people found the following review helpful By Peter Steward TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 14 Mar. 2008
Format: Paperback
I really can't believe that in the first three months of the year I have come across three gems in "A Thousand Splendid Suns," "A Quiet Belief in Angels" and now "The Book Thief." Each of these books is different but they are all stunning in their own individual way.

The Book Thief is highly original, although it did remind me somewhat of my book of the year for 2007 "The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas." The subject matter for both books is the Nazification of Germany. Both books look at things from the perspective of a child growing up in the most turbulent of times and both have a child-like simplicity that just adds to their powers.

The Book Thief is a beautiful book from start to finish. Indeed at times it is more of a scrapbook of a life than a novel. It has a strangeness that only enhances the subject matter. For a start it is narrated by death. But this never detracts from the shape or power of the novel as young lives are slowly ripped apart in a German Town where poverty is rife.

The central character Liesel has a beautiful calmness of spirit. She always seems to be on the verge of re-alisation whilst still retaining the fragility of childhood. Slowly and gradually the evil unfolds before her as she becomes aware of the fate of the Jews in a town where she is thrust as an unwilling refugee.

In her adopted father Hans Hubermann, Zusak has created one of those unforgettable men of strength and kindness. At first when Liesel is thrust into the Hubermann household I was expecting a hard-hearted couple keen to take the small amount of money that Lisel brings with her but not so keen to give her the love that she craves. Nothing could be more from the truth.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Ingaborga on 1 Jun. 2008
Format: Paperback
The eponymous book thief is Liesel Meminger, a young girl whose mother takes her to Munich to live with a foster family on the eve of the Second World War. On the journey to Munich, two things happen. First, her brother dies. Second, Liesel steals a book at his graveside - a manual for grave diggers. Not the most appropriate of texts for a twelve year old girl, but it awakens in Liesel a love of books - and perhaps more importantly, a skill for stealing books.

The Book Thief is narrated by Death, who tells the story of Liesel, her family and her friends. The narrative style has a lightness of touch that is pleasantly surprising given the weight of the subject matter. The characters are vividly drawn, rough and occasionally brutal yet each of them capable of acts of great tenderness, generosity and love.

If I had to find fault with this, it would be the occasionally clunky use of a German phrase followed by an English translation, but overall, this is a wonderful book, and I defy anyone not to be moved by it.
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286 of 305 people found the following review helpful By A. Hope on 22 Feb. 2008
Format: Paperback
I am not sure how to describe this book - without either giving too much away - or making it sound depressing and grisely which it is not at all. Suffice to say this is a novel narrated by death. It is the story of a young girl living in Nazi Germany, who goes to live with a foster family,and learns to read, and falls in love with: books, her new Papa, a boy called Rudy, and a Jew hiding in a basement. It is also a story of WW2 - from a persepective we don't often see - ordinaary Germans - some of whom were members of "The Party."

Death takes the reader by the hand, and leads us through the lives and deaths of people in Liesel's world, he kind of "gives the game away" a few times - and yet that never spoils it - it prepares the reader for what's ahead.
This is an astonishing book - the writing is great - an unusual style - but one that fits perfectly somehow with the voice of Death - and that of the unforgettable Liesel.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Carrie Adams on 17 Sept. 2007
Format: Hardcover
i was surprised to see some of the reviews posted here about the books thief, but then i realised it is all about how you read it, and of course, who you are. i was tired of books that were written prettily, full of ornate language yes, and wonderful prose that poured out little metaphors and cute similies, but they all blended into one, they were barely distinguishable. i walked into waterstones, alone one sunday morning, and i was only drawn to the book because their was a brightly cloured stand erected for it to sit on, after scanning the blurb i made a snap decision to buy it, because something felt right. the sheer heaviness of the book intrigued me, literally as well as metaphorically, yet the issue of ww2, the holocaust, is one i have seen done well a thousand times. but none have done it, i believe, with the same sheer bluntness yet beauty as the book thief does, the book manages to be incredibly to the point, so open yet the phrasing, the writing so different to anything i have ever seen before. my memories of the book are slightly blurred, it has been a while since i visited liesel and her books, but a few moments have entrenched themselves in my memory- the snow and her first book, the colours of the sky, the library, papa and his accordion, and the falling ashes like snowflakes that make my eyes prick and my skin ripple with emotion still. the author i believe is not purposefully trying to be overly clever, i just think this style of writing is just so different, the short phrases and sentences, the odd facts, they just make the picture the author is painting a more vivid one. so, if you love books,if you love books about loving books, then please, i ask you, buy the book thief, and let it steal you.
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