Beyond the Book: Background information when reading The Book Thief

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Book Thief

by Markus Zusak

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak X
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Mar 2006, 560 pages
    Paperback:
    Sep 2007, 576 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse Review Team

Buy This Book

About this Book

Beyond the Book

Print Review

Markus Zusak is the author of Fighting Ruben Wolfe, Getting The Girl, I Am The Messenger and The Book Thief.  He received the Children's Book Council of Australia's Book of the Year Award for I Am the Messenger. He lives in Sydney, where he "writes, occasionally works a real job, and plays on a soccer team that never wins". 

When asked about The Book Thief, he explains, "I wanted to write something very different than what I'd done before.  The idea of a book stealer was in my head when I was writing I Am The Messenger, but it wasn't ready to be written.  The original idea was set in the present in Sydney, which didn't feel quite right.  Then I thought about writing of the things my parents had seen while growing up in Nazi Germany and Austria, and when I brought the ideas together, it seemed to work, especially when I thought about the importance of words in that time, and what they were able to make people believe."

In his acknowledgements, Zusak mentions many people but ends with "special thanks to his parents, Lisa and Helmut Zusak - for the stories we find hard to believe, for laughter, and for showing me another side."

September 2007

This article was originally published in March 2006, and has been updated for the September 2007 paperback release. Click here to go to this issue.

This article is available to non-members for a limited time. You can also read these articles for free. For full access become a member today.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Award Winners

  • Book Jacket: La Belle Sauvage
    La Belle Sauvage
    by Philip Pullman
    Voted 2017 Best Young Adult Novel by BookBrowse's Subscribers

    I wasn't quite sure what to expect ...
  • Book Jacket: Killers of the Flower Moon
    Killers of the Flower Moon
    by David Grann
    Voted 2017 Best Nonfiction by BookBrowse's Subscribers

    The long, sorrowful list of injustices done ...
  • Book Jacket: The Dry
    The Dry
    by Jane Harper
    Voted 2017 Best Debut Novel by BookBrowse's Subscribers

    After receiving a letter from his childhood...
  • Book Jacket: Little Fires Everywhere
    Little Fires Everywhere
    by Celeste Ng
    Voted 2017 Best Fiction by BookBrowse's Subscribers

    Small towns, big drama. Acclaimed author ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Second Mrs. Hockaday by Susan Rivers

At once a love story, a history lesson and a beautifully written tale of forgiveness.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Strangers in Budapest
    by Jessica Keener

    Strong characters and a riveting plot combine in this psychological thriller set in Budapest.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win Autumn

Autumn by Ali Smith

One of the New York Times 10 Best Books of the Year, and a Man Booker Prize Finalist

Enter

Word Play

The Big Holiday Wordplay: $400+ in Prizes

Enter Now

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.