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The Woman on the Stairs

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3.15  ·  Rating details ·  1,705 Ratings  ·  262 Reviews
A missing painting. A mysterious woman. Her husband and her lover. Here, the internationally acclaimed author delivers what his fans have been waiting for since "The Reader" a powerful new novel about obsession, creativity, and love.
A brilliant and naive young lawyer s life is changed forever when a painter and his subject a breathtakingly beautiful woman appear at his o
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Hardcover, 240 pages
Published March 14th 2017 by Pantheon Books (first published January 1st 2006)
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switterbug (Betsey)
A mergers and acquisitions lawyer in Frankfurt is asked by his firm, early in his career, to settle an odd dispute between an artist, Karl Schwind, and the wealthy businessman, Peter Gundlach, who bought Schwind’s painting, The Woman on the Stairs. This becomes an oscillating feud, with complaints that Gundlach defaced the painting and subsequently that Schwind cut it with a knife, as well as discord regarding the restoration. After we discover who the subject of the painting is, the plot progre ...more
Jeanette
For the first half I would have given it a 4. It's one of those "what's it all about Alfie?" puzzles or an allegory. I call these metaphysical and philosophy class fare with the usual Germanic cultural spins my "what's it all about Alfie" category. I'm sure some of you remember the song.

So the state of "human" here always carries the morose and linear "end" state forever in every second to minute stage of each individual's homo sapiens' cognition. Fatalistic spices are also heavily added by cup
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Jill
Once upon a time in Germany, three men begin an obsessive love with the elusive “woman on the stairs”, Irena – the business titan Gundlach, the famed painter Scwind, and our unnamed narrator, an M&A attorney who represents Schwind.

I’ve started this review in a fairy-tale fashion because for me, this book read somewhat like an allegory. The premise it spins on is developed in the first 25 pages: Schwind is commissioned as a painter for Gundlach, the subject being his much younger wife. The wi
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Isabella
May 02, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Meine Meinung

Für mich war „Die Frau auf der Treppe“ der erste Roman von Bernhard Schlink, ich bin durch eine begeisterte Rezension auf das Buch aufmerksam geworden und habe es sofort auf die Wunschliste gesetzt. Ein wiederaufgetauchtes Kunstwerk und eine tragische Liebesgeschichte - das klang nach einer reizvollen Mischung. Außerdem gehört Schlink seit seinem Bestseller „Der Vorleser“ ohne Zweifel zu den deutschen Autoren, die man zumindest einmal gelesen haben sollte.

Ich bin immer etwas zwieges
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Marisa Fernandes
Este é daqueles livros que eu tenho pena de não estar traduzido para língua portuguesa... Especialmente porque acredito que teria muitos leitores a gostar dele tanto como eu gostei.
Trata-se do penúltimo livro publicado por Bernhard Schlink, autor de "O Leitor", e contrariamente ao que é habitual na suas histórias, esta história não se centra na questão da culpa e do trauma alemão relativamente à Segunda Guerra Mundial e ao Holocausto.

"Die Frau auf der Treppe" ["A Mulher nas Escadas"] conta a h
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Coral
Mar 13, 2017 marked it as did-not-finish  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library
I'm half way through and I don't really care to finish. You could basically call this "There's Something About Irene". All of these dudes come after this woman because of how she makes them feel about themselves, not because they give a shit about her. The only satisfying conclusion I can come up with is if she burns down her house with all three of these douchebags inside.
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
Meh. Affairs and penis feels. Pass.
Vasileios
http://dreamersandco.com/2016/03/i-gy...

Η γυναίκα στη σκάλα (εκδόσεις Κριτική, 2016) του Bernhard Schlink είναι μια ιστορία έρωτα και συνεχούς διεκδίκησης του, πάνω απ’ όλα όμως είναι μια ιστορία ολοκλήρωσης.

Όλα περιτριγυρίζονται γύρω από έναν πίνακα, όπως και στο αριστουργηματικό Πορτραίτο του Ντόριαν Γκρέι (εκδόσεις Μίνωας, 2014) του Όσκαρ Ουάιλντ, αλλά και στο Απαραίτητο φως (εκδόσεις Ίκαρος, 2013) της Ντορίνας Παπαλιού, ένα από τα σύγχρονα ελληνικά μυθιστορήματα που είχα ξεχωρίσει για την πο
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Alena
Jun 10, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not quite sure what to make of this book. It was such an awkward start, with a young attorney involved in a ludicrous contract, falling immediately in love with a mysterious women. I had a very hard time buying into the storyline and never particularly liked the protagonist.

But there's something compelling about Schlink's simple and direct writing. I finished this in two sittings. And, in an unusual admission for me, this book finished stronger than it began.

Not sorry I read it, but I won't
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Luisa Marie
Meine Mutter übergab mir dieses Buch, nachdem sie es in der Mitte abgebrochen hatte. Genervt mistete sie es aus, denn sie wollte ihm keinen Platz in ihrem Bücherregal einräumen. Von ihrer Abwertung negativ beeinflusst, landete das Buch bei mir zunächst in einem hohen Bücherstapel und verstaubte dort. Ich kramte es Monate später für eine Urlaubsreise wieder hervor, weil ich auf der Suche nach einer leichten Zuglektüre war. Auch ein Rezensent der ZEIT beschreibt den Roman in mitleidigem Tonfall al ...more
Artak Aleksanyan
Սա Շլինկի առաջին գործն էր, որ կարդացի: Փոքր վեպ է, գերմանական կարգապահությամբ գրված գերմանական կարգապահության մասին: Եթե ճանապարհորդում եք, կամ եթե վաղուց չեք ընթերցել, բայց ցանկանում եք մի գրքից սկսել, ապա սկսեք Շլինկի այս գրքից: Այն սկսվում է որպես դեդեկտիվ, հետո դառնում թրիլլեր, հետո սիրավեպ, իսկ վերջում հոգեբանական դրամա: Այն մասին, թե երբ ապրում ես ըստ ժամկետների ու պարտավորությունների, ըստ պլանի ու հոգսերի, ապա ինչ կարող ես բաց թողնել: Շլինկեն ասում է` շատ բան ու վերջում էլ նկատում` ուղղել ...more
Greg Barron
Nov 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Woman on the Stairs is very easy to read, with short, sharp chapters and nary a loose word from start to finish. I was half way through before I realised that I wasn't just reading a fast and easy mystery, but a work of genius. My only negative was a slightly unconvincing portrayal of coastal NSW, though he managed Sydney quite well.

I'm still thinking about The Woman on the Stairs, twenty-four hours after I finished it.
Cindy
Mar 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mein erstes Buch von Bernhard Schlink und nicht mein letztes.
Kathy
Apr 25, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book starts with a generous measure of vague purpose or direction that almost led me to abandon the book. But, doggone it, I had just recently abandoned at least 4 books I didn't have enough patience to read. This one had me guessing as to who would be murdered and why and how since it centers on the love of one woman by three very different men and very different types of love. So I kept on reading, wanting to find where the author was going with this strange plot. There was no murder, but ...more
Deborah
Dec 01, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The early part of this novel by Schlink unfolds across two timeframes. We're there as our narrator comes across Woman on Staircase in the Art Gallery of New South Wales. The painting comes as a surprise as the last time the man saw it he was representing its painter and in love with its subject.

As a young lawyer in Germany, our unnamed narrator meets painter Karl Schwind and his mistress Irene Gundlach. Schwind's seeking access to the picture of Irene from Peter, Irene's estranged husband (who c
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Covadonga Mendoza
Oct 13, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
PUes no sé muy bien qué nota poner a esta obra... Está bien escrita, unas partes mejor que otras, y trata temas trascendentes, ejem... pero me ha recordado a otra del mismo autor (El lector), no en temática sino en estructura: un hombre se ilusiona con una mujer que lo utiliza para sus fines y luego en el futuro, cuando son viejos se vuelven a reencontrar y tal y cual. Dudo mucho sobre la nota, porque por un lado, como digo, sí, es una obra que se lee fácil, y tiene cosas que me han emocionado, ...more
Gaby Meares
Apr 22, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I found this latest book from Bernhard Schlink tedious. I had high expectations as I found The Reader so moving and profound. This is neither.
I did not warm to the un-named narrator, who was unappealing: self centred, pedantic, a borderline stalker and ultimately unbelievable.
The woman on the stairs, Irene, was never fleshed out as a real woman and was a barely veiled device to drive what little narrative this novel had. What was the point? If I want existential angst, I will return to a master
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Kirsty
May 03, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: may-2018
Like many readers, I very much enjoyed Bernhard Schlink's The Reader when I read it quite some time ago. For some reason, however, I had not picked up any of his other books in the intervening years. The Woman on the Stairs, first published in German in 2014 and in English translation by Joyce Hackett and Bradley Schmidt in 2016, is described as 'a tale of obsession, possession and a mystery painting', and its description certainly intrigued me enough to buy it.

Just as mysteriously as a painting
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Elianne van Elderen
Taal: oké, soms mooie vergelijkingen en metaforen maar nog steeds niet fantastisch, gewoon oké. En de rest? Tja, ik had gewoon het idee dat de schrijver niets te vertellen had. Dat er geen echt verhaal in zit, en dat hij het alleen geschreven heeft omdat hij mooi kan schrijven. Maar met mooi schrijven schrijf je nog geen goed boek, je moet ook een interessante verhaallijn kunnen bedenken. En voor zover hier überhaupt een verhaal in zat, was het van het niveau dat makkelijk zou kunnen worden over ...more
Annalie
Nov 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: xx2017-list
This was a strangely interesting novel; not at all what I expected.
Well translated and easy to read with many unexpected developments.
Charlotte Jones
I picked this up because of the synopsis before realising who the author was. A few years ago, I read Bernard Schlink's most well-known novel The Reader and enjoyed it, though some of the themes were a little out of my comfort zone at the time, so I was really excited to pick this one up. The synopsis contained several of my 'buzzwords', words that will automatically entice me to pick up a book: painting, mysteriously disappeared, isolated cottage, Australia, betrayal. 

This is one of the first b
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Andrew Reeves
Jun 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This novel took some getting used to. It is not as lyrical in prose as Toni Morrison or Simon Van Booy. There is nothing overly remarkable about the way the story begins, except that Schlink chooses to have the narrator speak directly to the reader (I wonder why?) about a painting, an imagine of a woman, nude, descending a staircase. Schlink uses the painting as a catalyst to delve deeper into the lives of the four people affected most by it. The husband, Gundlach, who commissioned it, his wife ...more
Chris Chapman
How comfortable are you with stereotypical characters? This appears to be the question Schlink is asking. The business magnate who can't accept that money can't buy everything, even the woman he is in love/obsession with. The controlling, ambitious artist, who can't let go of his pieces. The enigmatic, beautiful woman, drawn to these men who radiate power, and yet not allowing herself to be possessed. And most stereotypical of all, the love triangle that these people inhabit.

It might not matter
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Mary Keen
Mar 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio-overdrive
Translated from the German, Excellent Reader
Interesting story --maybe more so bc I've been in several locations mentioned.

I think much could have been cut out--perhaps the author is so well-known in Germany that an editor wouldn't want to insult him.

Had to pay attention to the time gaps --and also the fantasy history the "narrator" made up near the end to entertain Irene.

imo, "the Narrator" treated Irene much better than she deserved.--and from his memories, better than how he'd treated his wi
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JMacDonald
An interesting read from the author of The Reader - a book I recall that I loved. This was about a woman from a painting called the Woman on the Stairs and her relationship with the painter, the owner, and the lawyer - a triangle of strange connections between her and these three men. It didn’t enthral me but I was curious about the plot and its eventual resolution when the painting appears after many years have passed.
Israel Montoya Baquero
Normalmente, cualquier libro que toque el tema del arte, aunque sea tangencialmente, tiene muchas papeletas para gustarme.
En este caso, ni eso, ni el tono dulcemente intimista que alcanza la novela en su ultima parte (y lo unico que la salva del desastre mas absoluto) consiguen realzar un libro que me ha dejado completamente frio.
Becky
Apr 09, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
It had a lot of potential in the first part of the book - a missing painting, a mysterious woman involved with three different men for varying reasons...but it never reached its full potential. Once into the second and third parts, I struggled to see the point of continuing the book.
Nguyên Trang
Cuốn Người đọc thì ít nhiều còn xúc động chứ cuốn này kiểu ngôn tình Pháp. Đọc rất chán nản
Maru Ruzicka
¡Excelente de principio a fin!
Gail Thurston
Mar 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was a sweet and sad story about a woman in a painting and the three men that were obsessed with her. They all had something to learn from her. I didn’t feel like I knew her very well but that was the intent I think.
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Bernhard Schlink is a German jurist and writer. He became a judge at the Constitutional Court of the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia in 1988 and has been a professor of public law and the philosophy of law at Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany since January 2006.

His career as a writer began with several detective novels with a main character named Selb--a play on the German word for "sel
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More about Bernhard Schlink
“Dass man, wenn man sehr müde ist, sagt, man sei todmüde, fiel mir ein, und dass man, wenn man todmüde ist, doch voller Leben ist, und wenn man lebensmüde ist, schon dem Tod nahe.” 0 likes
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