The Book Thief Paperback – 1 November 2013
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- Paperback : 600 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1743515863
- ISBN-13 : 978-1743515860
- Product Dimensions : 12.9 x 3.7 x 19.8 cm
- Publisher : Picador Australia (1 November 2013)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: 292 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the Author
Markus Zusak is the international bestselling author of six novels, including The Book Thief and most recently, Bridge of Clay. His work is translated into more than forty languages, and has spent more than a decade on the New York Times bestseller list, establishing Zusak as one of the most successful authors to come out of Australia.
All of Zusak's books - including earlier titles, The Underdog, Fighting Ruben Wolfe, When Dogs Cry (also titled Getting the Girl), The Messenger (or I am the Messenger) - have been awarded numerous honours around the world, ranging from literary prizes to readers choice awards to prizes voted on by booksellers.
In 2013, The Book Thief was made into a major motion picture, and in 2018 was voted one of America's all-time favourite books, achieving 14th position on the PBS Great American Read. Also in 2018, Bridge of Clay was selected as a best book of the year in publications ranging from Entertainment Weekly to the Wall Street Journal.
Markus Zusak grew up in Sydney, Australia, and still lives there with his wife and two children.
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Top reviews from Australia
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We have all heard so much about WW11 but very rarely from the point of view of Death. He is a major character in the book.
I have not previously known much about Germans living life under war conditions. This wonderful book gives an insight into a family trying to be inconspicuous as they live the best life they can during war. They aid a Jewish friend because it was the right thing to do. They offer a home to a young girl who is orphaned because of her parents' communist beliefs. She hungers for books at a time books are being burnt. There are many people in this story who are complete characters. The good, the bad, the cruel, the helpful, the mix of traits in normal flawed human beings makes this book linger in my mind. it would be a perfect book for students of literature or history or human psychology as it presents all three. I can't rave enough!
Sometimes I felt like I should be worried for a characters life, but no, that was spoilt.
Sometimes I wanted to like a character, but no, he dies in x amount of chapters ha ha
It's a great story don't get me wrong, I just don't like the writing style and using death as a narrator.
It is a story, with an unusual narrator, of a family in Nazi Germany who take in an orphaned young girl. Because of a promise the "papa" made to the son of a Jewish friend who gave his life for him in the WW1, he also hid the now grown son in his basement. And how the girl becomes fascinated with words as her papa teaches her to read. And how therefore she couldn't live without books ...
The content, as you would imagine in a book of his genre, was devastating, even so I couldn't put it down. Time stopped as I read it and as I went through almost a box of tissues toward the end, i still don't know if i was relieved or so very disappointed when it came to an end.
I can't recommend the book highly enough and am now a devoted fan of Makus Zusak.
I would recommend this book to anyone brave enough to expose their emotions
Top reviews from other countries
This beautiful book, surprisingly (and cleverly) narrated by 'death', provides an interesting and poignant perspective on the power of friendship, hope and love, set against the horrific backdrop of the atrocious Nazi regime in Germany from 1939 to 1945.
You cannot help but come to admire 'death' for his or her pragmatic and objective yet sympathetic and inherently wise attitude towards human life through the myriad circumstances that lead up to a person's demise, and how it is prepared for and dealt with (or not as the case may be). I love the way Markus has captured the idea of 'death' recovering souls and taking them gently to the place they are meant to be, and the way he defines the embodiment of a young soul as being unaware of his presence, or, as with more wise and accepting souls, as sitting up to greet him knowingly when their time has come.
This is a very powerful and popular book which comes with high praise for good reason. Written with such pathos, gentle humour and a deep understanding of human capabilities, flaws and potential, the words will not fail to move you, and lead you to spare a thought for the suffering, hardship and loss experienced in times of war, and the colossal power of every small kindness when it comes to human survival, endurance and faith.
The central story of Liesel - the Book Thief - who is fostered following the heartbreaking loss of her mother and sudden death of her little brother at the start of the war, follows her delightful friendship with her new 'papa', a kind, humble and musically gifted former German soldier who is there for her at every turn; her stowaway friend, Max, who writes the aforementioned story of a tree grown from a seed in a forest of cruel words - for her; her step mother, Rosa, whose kindness shines through a battery of sharp-tongued, often abrasive words; and her friends who help her through.
The book is set out in short but powerful chapters, each headed brilliantly with the key themes covered on those pages. A wonderful, compelling and thought-provoking read, and highly recommended.
In fact, saying I 'loved' it almost seems wrong because reading this novel was so impactful and such an experience that... that I don't have the proper words.
This is the story of a girl, Liesel, set in Nazi Germany. She's a book thief. And the story is narrated by Death. That's all you need to know. I, personally, was sold when I heard about the narrator. Didn't even need to know anything else.
This is a beautifully written novel about the life of a young girl, the life of people, during war. And it really hits you, the amount of loss caused by war. And for what? Power? Some misconception? It seems such a waste of so many lives, simply because of one man's crusade and a nation of people at his disposal, whether it be by fear or manipulation. The book brings you closer to something that you usually recount only distantly. And it does a wonderful job of it.
This book was amazing. I love the character, the story, the narrator and everything it had to show and tell. This is one novel that I will not soon forget and I very much think that you should read it.
I am not a fan of war books as a sort of general rule; and yet there have been war related novels which have come along and proved the exception. This book, while set in Nazi Germany, is unlike any other World War II book in existence. First of all, the narrator is none other than Death himself. Such a fantastical host provides a unique introduction to the characters of the book and their individual plights. Zusak has created a cast of palpably deep individuals, rich unto their depths, and cleverly juxtaposed them with a wryly observant, mythological presence. I must state that this makes for a truly magnificant combination.
Some characters will stay with me forever; like distant friends viewed through the foggy lens of memory. Liesel and her dear foster father, Hans, are two of these extremely special, fictional creations.
As a pacifist, I hold in high esteem those who dare to defy crimes against humanity; often at extreme risk to themselves. There were many “Hans Hubermanns” during the war; people that aided Jews and refused to keep irrational prejudices alive in their hearts. Zusak has really given life and breath to Hans. He is the embodiment of a “good neighbor”. He would make an excellent dinner guest, but not because of lofty conversation. Hans is steadfast, and quite critical to Liesel’s development of character.
As for Liesel, I found myself instantly aligned with someone who could take such joy from books. Even before she knew how to read, Liesel fell in love with reading. Liesel may have been unable to escape the war and its shocking atrocities, but she took her escape and her comfort from the books that she collected. Liesel’s story feels so real it makes me wonder at Zusak’s inspiration for her. As with all underdogs, the reader cannot help but yearn for Liesel’s survival. More than that, however, I loved being able to treasure every one of her new books with her. I rejoiced in her turn to writing, and I cried beside her more than once. She was intriguing enough to stir the curious interests of the infamous Reaper; and that fanciful conception actually serves to balance an otherwise painfully human construction. We want realism, but we respond to brief reprieves of levity in equal measure.