I finished The Book Thief on Saturday, and I've been trying to figure out how to write about it ever since. I enjoyed the audiobook immensely. Allan Corduner's performance is fantastic, and listening to his performance may actually have made me more emotional than had I read the paper version of the book.
I wanted to include some quotations from the book in my review, because Markus Zusak's writing is very lyrical. Some could argue that it's overly-flowery, but I think it works, especially considering our narrator. However, since I listened to the audiobook, it's hard to actually remember the quotes I liked, since it's not like I can just bookmark the page and come back to it later. I tried googling for quotes, but most of the good quotes I found were all super spoilery. So you'll just have to live without examples of Zusak's prose.
The Book Thief is told from the perspective of Death. An appropriate narrator for a book that takes place in Germany during World War II. Death is a compassionate and actually quite witty narrator. Death tells the story of Leisel Meminger, the titular book thief. The first book Leisel steals is The Gravedigger's Handbook, which she finds in the snow next to her little brother's grave. She later goes on to steal a book out of a fire at a Nazi book burning, and a bunch of books from the wealthy mayor. Books are the most important things in Leisel's life, next to her best friend and next-door-neighbor Rudy, and her foster parents Hans and Rosa.
I don't want to spoil any of the plot of the book, but should you choose to read The Book Thief, I would recommend keeping a box of kleenex nearby. I'm just saying. I know it's hard to believe, but a book narrated by Death in Nazi Germany has some sad parts.