- Audio Download
- Listening Length: 14 hours
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Random House AudioBooks
- Audible.co.uk Release Date: 29 Dec. 2006
- Language: English
- ASIN: B002SQ677Y
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank:
The Book Thief Audio Download – Unabridged
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
However, I felt the characterisation altogether a little weak - there were very few characters I could care about; many of them appear to be cardboard cutouts of stereotypical personalities. The story meanders a lot in the middle of the book without much really happening and most of the events seem to have no purpose at all. All in all, I don't know what this book wants to be. It doesn't deliver the full atmosphere of what it was like living in Nazi Germany, as I had expected; nor is it a simple idyllic bildungsroman. It is neither happy nor depressing; its target audience appears to be neither for adults nor for children. Many would undoubtedly argue that it is precisely this ambiguity that makes the book so enjoyable; I believe it is a matter of taste whether you like those kinds of books or not.
If there is one word I would sum up the book with, it would be 'clever' - the structure certainly is ingenious and the narration with Death works very well in some parts. However, I do think that Zusak had tried a tad too hard; I felt the basics of a good book - the characters, the plot and writing style - had suffered as a result of pursuing style over content. While some people (as testified by the many positive reviews) would love this book, others will find it is not entirely up their street. Try it, and find out!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I finally got round to reading this and did so in two sittings. The characters, the plot, the writing all had me enthralled, and there's a god-like death figure narrating over the... Read morePublished 4 days ago by jaxbee
the book thief is a very emotional novel - you grow so close to leisel ( a young german girl ).Published 5 days ago by Amazon Customer
Loved this...so challenging, outstanding writing. Gripping storyline.Published 7 days ago by evelyn mitchell
This is so disappointing. The 'odd' style is irritating, and it's trying too hard to be a bit different. I'm reluctantly giving up, despite my interest in the 2nd WW.Published 8 days ago by Helen
A beautifully written book, a pleasure to read and an ease to imagine. So beautiful in fact I fear to watch the film, I might just read this again some day instead.Published 8 days ago by Amazon Customer
The voice of death is an almost melancholy narrator who entices you in to a story of a young girl growing up in Nazi Germany; secretly reading books in a country that rejoiced in... Read morePublished 9 days ago by Karen B.
This is an outstanding and heartfelt tale of a sweet and precious girl who must learn to forgive, forget and say goodbye over and over again. Read morePublished 14 days ago by SMcC