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Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
17,632
The Book Thief
Format: Paperback|Change
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on August 29, 2016
This book was incredible. The perspective was unique and interesting. I'm definitely curious to see the movie now. I highly recommend reading this first because the read was so great. It was quick to get through, but the story line was so in depth for being such a quick, short novel. The characters are well developed and the storyline, which takes place during WWII is so interesting. I've never read anything like it.

Overall, a great book. You will not regret purchasing and reading it yourself.
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on November 26, 2013
A refreshing account of similar stories we know and have read. A horrible part of history enlightened with happy tales told by a very unique narrator throughout. It's great to read about the love and hope intertwined with such a horrific part of history. My only wish would have been for a slightly mire developed ending. The story built up great all throughout but ending came on too suddenly. That is probably only because I became so attached to the characters. Job well done. I will definitely read more by this inspiring author.
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on July 23, 2015
This is one of my favorite novels ever. However, I am taking off a star for the "enhanced movie tie in" stuff. It was offered on sale so I bought it because I knew I wanted to read it before I saw the movie. Only the enhanced version was on sale. What that meant was that I couldn't read it on my chrome box. I read books on two computers (one is a windows machine and the other is a chrome box), my Kindle paperwhite, and, occasionally, on my Android phone. So I was very frustrated to realize I couldn't read this book on my chrome box. And really, when I'm reading a book, I don't want to stop and look at videos of the related movie. I don't want the pictures from the movie to infect my reading until I'm done with the book. So I never did use the links provided for that. They were just an encumbrance.

I don't want this to take away from the novel itself, though. The characters are complex. The are a wonderful mixture of thoughtless and compassionate, grumpy and unselfish. I believe that is what people are really like but it is so seldom that they are portrayed that way. This is a great book.
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on September 30, 2016
If you haven't read this book or seen the movie adaptation I definitely recommend it. It's written from the perspective of Death about a young girl growing up in Nazi Germany. And if the phrase "written from the perspective of Death" doesn't spark your interest then I'm not sure what will! The author's writing style is a bit unconventional I would say, but in a delightfully refreshing way. I don't want to spoil anything but this is a seriously good book so go read it!
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on February 27, 2016
The author uses words in creative and unusual ways. The book began slow as the foundational premise took some time to establish. By mid way I became comfortable with the story being told from an ethereal point of view and found many of the vignettes so rich that I would re-read them to allow the images and descriptions to take hold. As a World War II story of desperation and the understanding of the atrocities surrounding the characters I felt heavy and then uplifted by the tiniest glimmers of hope. The story is both sad and a challenge to not allow the worst of our humanness to overshadow the good that is possible when we make choices to uplift ourselves and others. As this story illustrates, children often are able to see and behave in ways that leaders and adults cannot. Not always an easy read, but well worth the opportunity to see how rich story telling can really be.
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on February 20, 2015
This is a very good book, made more relevant to me as I had just visited Dachu, the German prison camp for political prisoners near Munich, this past fall. It is good to see the story through the eyes of a child who loses her father, mother and brother, then is adopted by a German couple living in Munich. The years pass slowly. It is well written, and can actually give us insights today. We see people, regular people who mean well, but on't realize until too late that they are supporting prejudice and bigotry. Unfortunately we see it in those we know. We fear those who are different, whether in looks, philosophy and definitely circumstances from our own. it is so easy to blame others. I would like to think we have progressed, but unfortunately our world is still full of people hurting each other. So wish we had come farther.
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on April 17, 2017
This story absolutely has some of the most amazingly descriptive language. 'The Book Thief' definitely deserves all of the awards and accolades it has received. I'll watch the movie, just because of who is cast, but i have pretty much no hope they pulled it off.
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on November 4, 2013
This book was phenomenal, well written from an interesting point of view. Until now I have never found a book that can at both rip my heart into millions of pieces and yet make me smile. There are parts of it that are happier then others, like when Liesel and Max build the snow man, that part always makes me smile. Then there are the more numerous rip your heart out and stomp it on the ground parts, like the bombing and what happens to Werner - lets not get starter on Rudy Steiner kay? - while those parts are more numerous they are written just perfectly.

However the book did take me a very long time to finish it despite only being around 500 pages or so. Usually I could finish a book of that length in a weekend or less. The book isn't hard to read its just very heavy. I did find myself having to stop for several hours before reading it further. Of course the heaviness of the topic and the tone is to be expected from a book about a girl in Nazi Germany (Which isn't really what the book is about but that's the most basic description I can think of without spoilers) everyone's story ties in so perfectly.

Another thing I would recommend is maybe not being in public as you finish the book because it will make you sob. Not a lot of books make me cry (Marley and Me didn't and that makes plenty of people cry) but this one truly did. I was in Music Theory when I was finishing it up and my teacher - who for the record wasn't teaching at the time it was the very end of class and we had 2 minutes untill the bell - and at least 5 classmates asked why I was crying (Though the one who recommended the book only laughed she knew very well why) and then I had to proceed to explain through out the day why I looked like I'd been crying. So don't finish it in public especially if books make you cry.

I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a good read and am hoping to read it to my little sister when she gets a little older.
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on April 6, 2014
It's hard to think of superlative things to say for The Book Thief that hasn't already been covered in the many positive reviews this book has received. I will just say that the novel (narrated by death) about the life of a young girl and her poor German foster family/friends from 1939 to 1943 living in Munich is deserving of every 5 Star review it has been given. The book provides insight on what life must have been like for many poor Germans during that time along with an accurate description of the difficulty many Germans must have had in reconciling what was obvious atrocious treatment of the Jews vs. the loyalty demanded by Hitler and the Third Reich. The events and episodes depicted in this book are often heartwarming and gut wrenching at the same time. There is a lot in this book that will likely cause the reader to think of life changing or, at a minimum, important events in their own lives that end up being the memories we treasure forever and often make us who we are as individuals. I would be surprised if any reader of The Book Thief would not enjoy and appreciate the novel, regardless of their reading genre preference. As a result, I highly recommend this book for anyone as a must read.
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Top Contributor: Petson February 6, 2014
I've been teaching this book for 4 years (to 8th graders) and it remains one of my favorites of all time! Very different with "Death" narrating as a sympathetic, compassionate spirit. The prologue can be confusing but don't let it turn you off--it's Death being quirky and subtly sarcastic, and it's foreshadowing. Love all the characters: Rudy and Liesel's true friendship is unique and adorable. Hans is a good soul. Even Rosa makes me laugh. I always need a box of tissues toward the end. The movie doesn't do the book justice (although, it was pretty good). Read this book and pass it on to everyone you know!!
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