BookBrowse Reviews The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

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

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse Review Team
Buy This Book

About this Book

Reviews

BookBrowse:


An exceptionally readable, highly memorable novel. Older Teens & Adults

The Book Thief is an extraordinary, heartbreaking book.  Like The Curious Incident of the Dog in The Night-Time, which was initially targeted at young adults in Britain but to adults in the USA, The Book Thief is one of those rare books that really does speak to both young and old alike. 

The excerpt that you can read at BookBrowse doesn't do this exceptionally readable, highly memorable book justice.  It's not so much that it's not representative of the book, but more that the style of writing grows on one to the point that the prose ends up reading almost like poetry.  Take, for example, this single sentence from the middle of the book when Liesel is reading aloud in the shelter during an air-raid:

"She didn't dare to look up, but she could feel their frightened eyes hanging on to her as she hauled the words in and breathed them out.  A voice played the notes inside her.  This, it said, is your accordion."

The Book Thief was one of the first two books offered to members as part of our First Impressions program.  Fifteen of the twenty members given a copy have submitted reviews so far.  13 rated it 5 out of 5, two gave it a 4 out of 5.  Here are a handful of the many excellent reviews we received:

"Exceptional, captivating, heartwarming... so many words to describe how excellent I found The Book Thief. One needs Liesel's "words" to describe the many emotions provoked by this wonderful story. The characterizations are outstanding. Each character has their own special quality to regard. I highly recommend The Book Thief. And have already done so! " - Lisa.

"The Book Thief challenges our humanity & inhumanity. This is a must read for book clubs!" - Ann.

"Fabulous. Insightful. Heartbreaking. Full of hope for the future of that era. A testimonial for the indestructible human spirit. Quite truthful historically as well as in terms of human suffering during that war. I know this because I was there." - Gunta.

"I have read the book twice and enjoyed it even more the second time. I was originally a little concerned as to how I would feel about Death as the narrator but found him to be a compassionate, likable character. Instead of spoiling the story, his telling of events in advance seemed to soften the impact, resulting in a thoughtful, powerful and sweet story rather than a thriller. I continue to recommend this book to everyone I know." - Joe.

More member reviews of The Book Thief

Reviewed Sept 2007

This review was originally published in The BookBrowse Review in March 2006, and has been updated for the September 2007 edition. Click here to go to this issue.

This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access become a member today.
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • 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 $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Join BookBrowse

and discover exceptional books
for just $3.75 per month.

Find out more


Top Picks

  • Book Jacket
    The War Librarian
    by Addison Armstrong
    Emmaline Balakin believes in the power of the written word — books have changed her life. When...
  • Book Jacket: The Book of Goose
    The Book of Goose
    by Yiyun Li
    Yiyun Li's The Book of Goose is a story of childhood friendship between narrator Agnès, a one-...
  • Book Jacket: Big Red
    Big Red
    by Jerome Charyn
    Jerome Charyn made his name as an author of detective novels, and over the years he has taken his ...
  • Book Jacket: If I Survive You
    If I Survive You
    by Jonathan Escoffery
    In If I Survive You, author Jonathan Escoffery portrays a family falling apart with grace. Main ...

Book Club Discussion

Book Jacket
The Bell in the Lake
by Lars Mytting
The engrossing epic novel - a #1 bestseller in Norway - of a young woman whose fate plays out against her village's mystical church bells.

Members Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Our Missing Hearts
    by Celeste Ng

    From the author of Little Fires Everywhere, the inspiring new novel about a mother’s unbreakable love in a world consumed by fear.

Book Club Giveaway!
Win A Minor Chorus

A Minor Chorus

A debut novel from a rising literary star that brings the modern queer and Indigenous experience into sharp relief.

Enter

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

G R T Bad R

and be entered to win..

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.