Customer Reviews for

The Book Thief

Average Rating 4.5
( 4065 )
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5 Star

(2885)

4 Star

(666)

3 Star

(261)

2 Star

(100)

1 Star

(153)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

213 out of 234 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 April 4, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Great read for all ages

    The Book Thief was just the best book that took place during WWII that I've ever read. I am amazed at what this little orphan girl who loved to read would go through just to get some books that would change her life. Wether she was stealing from the trash of rich neighbors or from book burnings she would stop at nothing until she got her hands on a book that she could just pour into and would never let leave her side until she finished. With the help of her friend Rudy they will discover the wonderful majesty of books.

    7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 20, 2009

    The Book Thief

    The Book Thief is a story about a young girl who lives in poor Germany. She is not a Jew which is cool. The story is her life as a German. Her name is Liesel. She is a orphan because her mother and brother freeze to death. She is taken in by the Hubermans, a poor family. She now lives in a new beginning. This part of the book I thought was very kind. Liesel is lucky to have a new home. She is not that smart though when she goes to school. She never had the chance to get a good education so at first she is held back. She makes lots of friends. Her best friend is a boy named Rudy. He and Liesel have a few adventures stealing things, but the thing that Liesel likes to steal most are books. When she was able to read all the books that she had, she wanted more. This is why the book is called The Book Thief. She would practice all of the words that she did not know in her basement. I think the reason the title is what it is because she steals all of her books throughout the story and in the end it sort of helps her. I think that this was a good book because it was really precise in the life of Liesel Huberman.

    6 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 10, 2013

    My first ebook refund request.

    I don't really know what to say. It was like trying to a story from reading a large wall of badly done graffiti. It was utterly nonsensical. The more I tried to plod on, thinking 'it has to be me' the nuttier I felt. Finally I gasped like a beached whale. I threw in the towel.

    Feeling used and suckered in I made a half-hearted request for a refund, never thinking B&N would do so. But, bless 'em, they did, making me a life-long customer. I shall be far more careful about book purchases in the future.

    If you're curious about the book, stop by a B&N, read a few pages and make your own choice.

    5 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 1, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    WHY???

    So all my friend were raving about The Book Thief, so I read it, and was very disappointed. I really did not enjoy most of the book, and the ending was just atrocious.

    5 out of 25 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 8, 2011

    So difficult to get into and follow

    I wanted to like this book so much, but just couldn't get into it. I tried several different times and just could get past page 88. It had too many footnotes and German lingo to follow. I love historical fiction, but this book felt like a difficult lesson in German language and told by the narrator Death. Very strange and hard to follow. The story line is great and I am sure it could be a good read, but it just wasn't for me. :(

    4 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2011

    Not reccomended

    This story starts out very nice and I couldn't put the book down, it was very good, BUT the end was absolutely terrible! I was so disappointed, it seemed like the writer didn't know how to end the story so had no choice but to kill them all. This book had a potential to be a classic, if it wasn't for the atrocious ending.

    4 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 15, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Huh?

    After reading this book I am left feeling disappointed and wishing I could get both my time and my money back. Where were all the great reviews coming from? I guess I just don't see the hype. The writing was okay but the story and characters needed the help. I think when you write about WWII and the holocaust, you need to bring something new to the table (when it comes to fiction) and Markus Zusak did not deliver. It was as if no research went into this book. The characters (which were supposed to be the best part) were empty at best; and I felt I couldn't become emotionally attached to them or their actions. Although the story had a flow, the points of excitment were dry; the points of anticipation were empty. What could be more exciting than crawling through a window to steal a book? Apparently everything becuase those events were bland and dull.

    So why is this book getting so many great reviews? I think it is because of the topic, not the contents.

    Overall, the read was boring, boring, boring. I would not recommend it to a friend. If you really want to read it, borrow it from the library. In fact, just borrow a different book from the library.

    4 out of 34 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 3, 2013

    I even don't know where to start... Disappointed and can't wait

    I even don't know where to start... Disappointed and can't wait to finish reading it (I usually finish a book even if I don't like it). Now I am not sure if I even have patience to finish it. I was hoping to read something realistic and touching (I don't know how this book made to the llist of books that would make one cry!), but it is far from it. This is a Walt Disney version of Nazy Germany, where a girl talks like she is from the 21st century! The plot is not convincing at all, characters are far from being plausible. Just because the author uses few german words, I felt like I was reading a story happenning in the Midwest. I thought,I would finish reading the book before the movie came out. No way! I can't! Did I mention that the movie is not doing well in reviews either?

    3 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2012

    Not very good, too much "fluff"

    This was not a very good book. The book could have been around 100 pages shorter because of all the unnecesary text. It is not neccesary to have 20 paces dedicated to Liesel watching Max sleep. I do not reccomend this book.

    3 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 13, 2011

    No, NO

    This left me very depressed. I relied on the reviews and found myself despondasnt for a week. The author has a very clever use of words, using adjectives as nouns but to read for enjoyment - forget it!!!

    3 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 26, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Honestly...

    I did not like it, it was boring. I tried to continue reading, but it did not work out. Maybe ill try and finish later on but for now, i was disappointed because it had so many great reviews.

    3 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 25, 2011

    Slow!!!!!!!!

    "The Book Thief" has been on my library shelf for sometime now just waiting for me to peruse the pages. Finally, I chose to make it my selection and began reading yesterday. Today I made it to page 195. Very rarely do I not finish a book but this novel is so painfully slow that forcing myself to continue is out of the question. In reading the many reviews again, with an overall 4 1/2 star rating, I'm baffled by their positive comments. Most books have a least some redeeming value but the only one I can find for this book is the credit I will get at the used book store.

    3 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 17, 2010

    Great Read!!

    This book was actually better then I thought it was going to be. I really enjoyed reading it. The fact that death itself was the narrarator is fantastic. It was a very clever thing to come up with and definitely added some brilliance to the book. This was a story set in the WW2 era and so it featured the Holocaust, but unlike most Holocaust books I've read in the past it wasn't the sole purpose of the book. Reading it helped me understand more about Germany and what was going on at that time. It really opened up my eyes to Germans in general, and showed me that not all Germans were evil and behind Hitler. His writing was a little hard to read at times and could confuse me, but at discussion most things got cleared up. I wish that he had put more of a romance between Leisol and Rudy it would have put more interest in the book for me. Overall the book was pretty good. He is a brilliant writer and has taught me to try and think outside the box. I learned that even if an idea is unrealistic you can take that idea and add words and characters to make real to others when they read it. He taught me to definitely stretch my mind and look within for great ideas

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 13, 2010

    i do not recomend this book

    this book was very hard to get into and im a person who could read any book...but this book was insanly hard to get into.

    3 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 20, 2010

    Reality

    I was in the library one day, and the bell was just about to ring. (School library) I got up from my seat, since I was doing homework. Well, I saw a little book titled "The Book Thief". It was the very last book in the very last corner of the shelf, and I did not think much of it. I looked at my friends, who all seemed busy with homework. Pushing in my chair, I walked over to the book, picked it up, and checked it out. I mean, I am a huge book fan. Everyone says it all the time. So why not?

    One of the BEST books I have ever read. I love the way Marcus Zusak describes his point of view from not only DEATH itself, but just in a touching way! I loved all of the characters, and the way the swore in German all of the time. It amused me and brought more than one smile to my face.

    It also made me sad. It smacked me with the truth of reality, and the way he just says, 'THIS IS THE REAL WORLD'. I had never thought much of it.

    I love romances, and I love Rudy. My favorite character is Rudy, most certainly. I just loved the way him and Liesel are so different! It just it amazing.

    I never expected to be reading a book about World War II, since death scares me. But now that I know the truth, I am so immensely interested!

    Thank you Markus Zusak, you are a very talented author. I hope to be like you someday.

    OVERALL- READ THIS BOOK!!!!!!!!!!!!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 30, 2009

    This is a wonderful book!!

    I confess that I've been judgmental toward the everyday German citizen during the time of the Holocaust. How could they lead normal lives while people were being murdered in their back yards? This book opened my eyes. I loved all the characters. The writing is beautiful. The narrator is highly unusual, but I got used to that, also. My only problem is that none of my reading acquaintances will read it, because they refuse to read serious literature. I am a 62 year-old Southern lady, and I will read more books by this author.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 24, 2008

    Highly recommended

    When I first started this book, I thought it was rather unusual, but then I realized how innovative the concept is. I could not put the book down. The story of Liesel is very compelling and brought me to tears at the end. This was lent to me by a coworker and it is now circulating throughout the office. Everyone is loving it.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Thought provoking

    During World War II near Munich, Germany, nine years old Liesel Meminger finds a tome The Gravedigger's Handbook while attending her younger brother's funeral. Unable to resist she takes the book with her. However, she is unable to read the book until fate steps in. Her father is missing and her mother cannot afford her upkeep so she gives Liesel in care to foster parents, acerbic Rosa Hubermann and her kindhearted spouse Hans, who owes a Jew his life.---- Hans helps Liesel cope with her nightmares and teaches his ward to read. His chance to pay the war debt to the Jewish soldier who saved his life finally occurs when the man's son, the artist Max, arrives at his house seeking shelter. As Max paints over pages of the Mein Kampf, Leisel steals books from Nazi burnings and begins to write about living at a time of misery caused by fellow humans. If the Nazis catch either one, Death will be a welcome guest.----- This is a complex book in which the narrator Death tells the tale of Liesel and Max. Interestingly Death is a cynic when it comes to human behavior especially kindness towards others the apparition recognizes that his best suppliers of goods are people who in spite of their Golden Rule ramble contain homicidal tendencies rationalized by an ism of some sort. The fascinating asides to the readers are brilliant as they enable the audience to understand the cast he looks upon adding to his collection, but especially Death itself. Give yourself plenty of time, over a week or more, as Markus Zusak has written one of the most haunting tales of the human condition in several years.------ Harriet Klausner

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2014

    Wow

    Loved this book i heard people were looking for an age range am 12 and some of friends have read this too so i guess like 12 and up.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 18, 2014

    Unfortunately the B & N policy is not to accept returns of N

    Unfortunately the B & N policy is not to accept returns of Nook Books. So I won't even try. I have read a couple of chapters and I am thoroughly dissatisfied! Perhaps I am not in the mood to read a book narrated by Death itself!. I had considered not reading to the end so I searched for a summary and now my decision is final: I will not waste my time reading further! This book is boring and depressing. The same story could be told in more engaging manner. There are great books out there that touch the conflicts and tragedies of the same place and time setting in a far better style.

    2 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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