Customer Reviews for

The Book Thief

Average Rating 4.5
( 4226 )
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(2996)

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(269)

2 Star

(104)

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(160)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

225 out of 248 people found this review helpful.

Great Book! The Book Thief Steals Your Attention and Keeps It!

This is probably one of the most unique books I've read in like¿forever!

The story is narrated by Death and centers around the events of Nazi Germany in the 1940's.

I rarely give a book five stars. In that same token, I try to steer away from reco...
This is probably one of the most unique books I've read in like¿forever!

The story is narrated by Death and centers around the events of Nazi Germany in the 1940's.

I rarely give a book five stars. In that same token, I try to steer away from recommending books that have a morose tone, but this is a true exception. As much as you hope for, long for, and pray for a happy event to occur, you need to keep reminding yourself that the story is being told by Death, so chances of that happening are slim-to-none.

The main character of the story, Liesel Meminger, captured my heart. I loved the way the author, Markus Zusak, developed Liesel's character throughout the story and by a slight-of-hand, he added a side kick to the story, Rudy, who out of no where comes be one of the favored characters of the story. Great technique Zusak!

The premise of the story is unique and captivating. The narrator, Death, is much like Liesel where he/she has a way with words. Both of them recognize words for what they really are¿they can be used to stimulate good or evil. Through the power of words, we see how Hitler was able to control a country and persecute people.

Great book, awesome character development, insightful recount of Nazi Germany, and a life-long lesson¿what else can you ask for in a book?

posted by AvidBookworm on January 8, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

40 out of 45 people found this review helpful.

Download The Book Thief For Free

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posted by 9114493 on August 5, 2011

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  • Posted January 8, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Great Book! The Book Thief Steals Your Attention and Keeps It!

    This is probably one of the most unique books I've read in like¿forever! <BR/><BR/>The story is narrated by Death and centers around the events of Nazi Germany in the 1940's. <BR/><BR/>I rarely give a book five stars. In that same token, I try to steer away from recommending books that have a morose tone, but this is a true exception. As much as you hope for, long for, and pray for a happy event to occur, you need to keep reminding yourself that the story is being told by Death, so chances of that happening are slim-to-none. <BR/><BR/>The main character of the story, Liesel Meminger, captured my heart. I loved the way the author, Markus Zusak, developed Liesel's character throughout the story and by a slight-of-hand, he added a side kick to the story, Rudy, who out of no where comes be one of the favored characters of the story. Great technique Zusak!<BR/><BR/>The premise of the story is unique and captivating. The narrator, Death, is much like Liesel where he/she has a way with words. Both of them recognize words for what they really are¿they can be used to stimulate good or evil. Through the power of words, we see how Hitler was able to control a country and persecute people.<BR/><BR/>Great book, awesome character development, insightful recount of Nazi Germany, and a life-long lesson¿what else can you ask for in a book?

    225 out of 248 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 18, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Amazing! Deeply moving! Insightful!

    I was hooked right away by the unique narrator, Death, who provides a running commentary. Every character in this story was endearing and I fell in love with them, Liesel, Rudy, Hans, Max and Rosa. The story of Leisel, a small, young German girl who watches her brother die and her mother disappears, then lives with a foster family that barely manages to survive. In the process of scrounging for a living, Liesel begins stealing books in Nazi territory. She and her friend, Rudy discover the power and excitement that words and language provide. A book begins the story. Daily chores of survival, Liesel experiences her fragile childhood under oppressive and endless horrors of war. There is so much hopelessness, suffering and despair. She bonds quickly with her foster father and slowly with her strict foster mother. He helps her to trust and teaches her to read a souvenir she steals at her brother's funeral. This story is an inspiring display of how something as small as a book and reading can be the last life line in a young girls life. This beautifully written, complex book is a haunting revelation and once read will not be soon forgotten!

    111 out of 120 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 29, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Excellent Read!

    I loved reading this wonderful book! It is a story that keeps you entertained for hours.

    91 out of 104 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Not to miss!

    This one may go down as a classic. The way the story is told is so compelling, and it handles a topic that has done in so many ways before in a way that is fresh and young but will appeal to everyone. It is of course dark but I couldn't put it down. Loved it!

    72 out of 77 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 19, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Most Emotional Book About the Holocaust You'll Read and REREAD

    This book was very good, but a little confusing. It is best if you try to not take breaks inbetween, and reread it again to better comprehend the story. The beginning talks about the end, and i only realized once i looked again. The vocabulary was extremely high, but self-explanatory. The ending was so emotional that i cried 3 times!
    I SUGGEST THIS BOOK HIGHLY!!

    57 out of 63 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 11, 2010

    Keeps you at the edge of your seat!

    Ok, I loved this book so much! At first, I thought it was going to be dull, but I was way off. Zusak's story is unforgettable, making you feel as if I really lived through the holocaust through the life of, not a jew, but a little German girl. Liesel and Rudy, along with the rest of the book's characters will warm your heart until the very end. Death is narrating the entire story through his point of view of the young book thief who changed her entire town's life, along with her own. This is truly one of my new favorite books for 2010! It just goes to show you, that when death tells a story, you just HAVE to listen!

    49 out of 52 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 31, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Death as Narrator

    "The Book Thief" is the story of Liesel a German girl living near Munich during World War II. It is also the story of an orphan, a boy, a Jew, a family, a street and a nation told from the detached but enormously intrigued perspective of Death itself. Poignant and sad, yet uplifting and joyful, this novel covers the full spectrum of human emotion. Liesel is precocious and likable as is Rudy, her neighbor and friend. Zusak gives a hauntingly accurate portrayal of life for both Germans and Jews under Hitler¿s regime. This is one of the best books I have read in a long time and would recommend to any reader ready to face the horrors, joys, trials and triumphs of one of history¿s most world changing events.

    31 out of 35 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 20, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    The Most Confusing Book I Ever Read

    Not because I didn't understand what was going on-I got that just fine. A nine-year-old girl in Nazi Germany whose communist father was probably sent to one of the earliest concentration camps, who was given to another German family to be raised an "Aryan." Liesel Meminger then finds herself stealing books, partly as an act of rebellion to the dictator she hates, partly because the books-the words, really-provide her an escape from a desperate reality. The characters are well-written. The relationship between Liesel and Max, the Jew her family was hiding in their basement, their connection through shared experience, was real to me. But mostly, it makes a person see both points of view. It was heart-wrenching because even though I knew what was happening to the Jews at the very same time, things that the characters in the book were in essence facilitating, I couldn't help but feel sorry for them. I cried for them, even the most devoted Nazi woman, who lost two children to war. What could you do, in a situation like that? How could you protest, knowing the consequences for yourself, your family? You couldn't. Liesel's and her family's small acts of defiance were enough. It doesn't make the Holocaust okay, or make excuses for what went on. It just says, "Here it is. This is what happened. Take it or leave it." They were all human beings, every single one.

    29 out of 39 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 25, 2008

    Review

    Mark Zusak's novel 'The Book Thief' is the powerful tale of Liesel Meminger, a young German girl who must learn to deal with the hardships and realities living in Nazi Germany. Before coming to stay with a foster family in Molching, everything near and dear to Liesel Meminger is taken away from her. Liesel is robbed of a brother, and is given up by a mother who cannot afford to take care of her. To settle the score, Liesel steals books and earns the title of The Book Thief. The story is narrated by death, better known as the grim reaper, but Zusak does not play into the stereotypical ideas of how death thinks, sees, or feels. Zusak adds his own whimsical twists to the story by contradicting everything that people believe about the grim reaper. To begin with, Zusak does not outright introduce the narrator. Instead the reader must come to the realization of who their narrator is by themselves. The largest hint you are given as to who exactly the narrator is comes from the part where the narrator describes his 'job'. 'It suffices to say that at some point in time, I will be standing over you as genially as possible. Your soul will be in my arms. A color will be perched on my shoulder. I will carry you gently away.' An unexpected pleasure of the grim reaper is observing the colors of the sky at the time of each person's death. Each time that death claims another soul, the sky turns a different shade of blue, gray, or brown. The narrator does not enjoy dragging the souls out from the dead. The grim reaper uses the colors of the sky to distract him from the task at hand he is sorry for what he must do. One aspect of Zusak's personal writing style that I enjoyed, though I am certain many people would not, is that pieces of information are given away so as to let the reader know what happens at the end of each section or chapter. Some may consider this ruining the ending, but I believe it makes the reader all the more curious and eager to read quickly and discover how the 'ruined ending' comes about. ¿The Book Thief¿ was outside the type of book I would normally read, but it has become on of my favorite books and I highly recommend it.

    28 out of 32 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 7, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Lose yourself in this book

    My 14 yr old daughter is reading this book for a summer reading book list for school. She absolutely loves it. She found it very emotional at times but relates to the love of books the main character shows and how all of us book lovers use books from time to time to escape the harsh realities of life. She highly recommends it. My 11 year old son is reading an action adventure book called, Smitty's Cave Adventures.He loves it!! Great recommendation too!

    22 out of 28 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 13, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    On a level of it's own

    Without really intending to, I tend to veer away from books about the Holocaust because quite frankly, they're depressing. Important material of course, but depressing.

    The Book Thief, however, is a gem the likes of which I have not seen for a very long time. In writing this novel, Markus Zusak did something extraordinary. Nearly everything about this novel has the stamp of original written all over it--from Death and his musings, to Rosa Hubermann's brutal affection, to Rudy's Jesse Owens run, to even the focus of the novel: books in the Holocaust. Certainly not the typical subject matter for a Holocaust book. Yet within all of these extraordinary things, Zusak never loses his reader in complexity nor loses the focus of the novel. He never forgets his audience, but doesn't belittle what he thinks his younger readers can handle. He does something only the best authors can do: writes a depth that old readers will pick up on and enjoy, but that will not hinder new readers.

    The Book Thief is a study in which we find that even some of the most covered subjects can become new in the right hands. It's literary worth cannot be overstated, but the reality of the harsh living conditions in the Holocaust which Zusak paints cannot either. If other authors are merely copying the great elements and styles of the masters like Shakespeare, than even the best of them is just a quartet doing a rendition of Beethoven. Zusak is creating his own symphony of sound to be emulated by generations to come.

    Bravo.

    17 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2009

    WOW.. AMAZING BOOK!!

    This book is a page turner! It took me four days to read only because I had to work Monday and Tuesday (finished it Tuesday night), it would have taken me less time if I didn't have to work! With that said, the writing and readability is easy to read and understand but the content of the book is very emotional - to the point, where I would find most "Young Adults" not mature enough to read a book like this.<BR/>The story is amazing and touching. This book would be re-read multiple of times. I have already recommended this book to some friends and family. And now, I am recommending this book to you. It is a must read. This book is a page turner and will tug at your heart's strings. And I promis you, you will love this book!

    17 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 3, 2012

    I am so confused. How are there 83 one-star reviews? What is wr

    I am so confused.
    How are there 83 one-star reviews? What is wrong with you people. This book is a creative, fascinating piece of historical fiction. I love Death's narration. The characters are memorable. The time period is both interesting and devastating. It's a coming-of-age story, it's a tragedy, it's a Holocaust book worth reading. I will be scanning book stores for other works by Markus Zusak :)

    14 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 20, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Best Book I've Read This Year!

    The Book Thief was SOOOO good. This is a book for those of us who value books. This story is very well written, with great characterization and some surprises. It is a very different story because the point of view is from "Death". Many things are inferred, so it is best to have some background of knowledge of WWII. No concentration camp horrors here, even though the setting is WWII Germany. The main characters are good Germans and a good Jew. Lesser characters are Nazis.

    A family takes in an illiterate little girl, the father teaches her to read, and she becomes a book thief. This is the story of their life and their small town during the war. The family also shelters a Jewish man who makes a huge impact on the book thief. The book thief little girl loses everything, but still has her words.

    12 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 6, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    amazing book

    My book club just read this book and we all thought it was amazing. I was surpised that it was considered young adult. The writing is quite unique and poetic and the story compelling. The characters were well developed. I dont want to give away too much about this story- just read it - you wont be dissapointed

    12 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 7, 2009

    HATED THIS BOOK

    I bought this book based on the reviews. Big mistake! I am an avid reader and can usually find something interesting in just about any book, but this was just plain BAD. The writing was HORRIBLE and the story sadly missing.

    11 out of 88 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 6, 2009

    A definite read!

    This moving novel, based in Nazi Germany, is uniquely written. I would highly recommend it for mature teens and for adults alike. Truly a remarkable, thought-provoking novel.

    10 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 16, 2012

    I did not like this book at all! It was confusing and odd. The a

    I did not like this book at all! It was confusing and odd. The author is great at writing descriptively, just not the best at writing stories! It could have been WAY shorter. I feel that the author just added parts because he got bored. If some parts of the story weren't there, it would have been a fairly good book.

    9 out of 42 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 28, 2011

    I wanted this book to be great

    I really thought the idea of the book was brilliant, and that the narrator (death) was a brilliant idea, but this book was really slow moving and way too long. Maybe I missed the whole point, but it just took forever to get through it.

    9 out of 37 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2008

    A very Good Book

    This book is great. Well written and just great. But it was a little tough to get into. It seems to drag on a little bit to much but besides that it's great!

    9 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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