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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Audiobook Review: The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Unabridged, 13hr. 56 min.
Listening Library
Allan Corduner (Narrator)
September 14, 2006
goodreads button

Genre: Historical Fiction

Source: Downloaded from my local library
“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.”
Going into this book I had no idea what I was getting into. A book club I belong to had chosen this book and I decided I was going to get in on it. I hadn’t read anything set during World War II and I loved the book blurb – which was great because that style was carried throughout the novel.

This isn’t your typical World War II novel – you really don’t see any of the war efforts and battles. You instead get more of the air raids and bombings, hiding of Jews, and the economic effects on the community. And all of this is seen from the perspective of Death and a little girl.

I loved how the book was narrated by Death. He became a multi-layered character with thoughts and emotions and compassion for the job that he does. He speaks directly to the reader and tells you how it is. He is also quite hilarious. He will periodically break away from the main story and tell you a tangent. And while this can be confusing in some books it was not distracting here – it actually added to the story. The author was awesome at creating characters that you could love and connect with their stories. There were times when tears were brought to my eyes and other where I was angry.

This was an unexpectedly great read and I would highly recommend this to all. Especially on the audiobook.


The narrator of this book was fantastic. It was great to have a narrator in this story because there is a large amount of German words and I liked hearing how they sounded. He also had a great range of voices for the different characters. It really felt like you were listening to a man tell his story - not someone read a novel to you.

Here is an excerpt of the first chapter for your reading pleasure.  You can also listen to the prologue below, which is one of my favorite parts!

You can watch this interview with the author below:

Reviews of this book by other bloggers:

Buy the Book: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | RJ Julia

Also by Markus Zusak:

i am the messenger
I Am the Messenger

Find Markus Zusak: Website | Facebook | Twitter

Copyright © 2011 by The Maiden’s Court


  1. I LOVED this book too! One of the few books that made me go teary-eyed. I think it will be interesting to try the audiobook, especially for the German words.

  2. This has been one of my favorite reads so far this year! It's such a unique book!

  3. I think it was last year that I read this one and really loved it. Read the whole thing in a day :)

  4. This is such a fabulous read as a book, having a great narrator could only enhance it even more! One of these days I will read more from this author!

    Book clubs are great for encouraging you to read books you might not regularly read!

  5. This sounds a marvellous book. Thank you for the excerpts as well.

  6. Misha - it really added to it because I can't pronounce German words even though my family is German!

    Meg - It is such a unique book!

    Holly - I would listen to it while I was at the gym so it took a few weeks, but that was ok.

    Marg - I have to agree about the book clubs - they really help you to stretch your horizon.

    Mystica - you're welcome!

  7. I hope our library has this one. It is one I think my husband will enjoy too. He has little time to read, so audiobooks are best. It is the only way we ever get to discuss books. Unfortunately, the everyday lives of ordinary people and the effect the war had on them is no brought out often enough.

    Thank you for the review and bringing this book to our attention.

  8. Librarypat - It really is such an interesting read as it is one of the few books I have read about the ordinary lives of those not fighting in the war.


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