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The Reader
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1001 book reviews > The Reader by Bernhard Schlink

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Diane Zwang | 1315 comments Mod
The Reader by Bernhard Schlink
5/5 stars

I have had this book on my shelf for far too long. I am glad to have finally got around to reading it. I remember when the book became a movie, my mother-in-law was watching it at my house while baby sitting our son. I ended up seeing the ending of the movie but at that time I was not reading and wasn't worried about spoilers. My impression of the book before I started reading was that it took place around World War II and involved a trial.

After finishing part one of the book I was surprised that it was all about the relationship between Hanna and Michael, nothing about World War II. The age difference is prominent in the story; Michael is 15 and Hanna is stated as twice his age. Of course this is an inappropriate relationship but somehow in this story it works. As a reader I feel conflicted.

“Imagine someone is racing intentionally towards his own destruction and you can save him – do you go ahead and save him?”

Wow, part three of the book is gut wrenching. I had forgotten one of the main plot twits at the end and I was in tears. I thought this book was about many things; history, holocaust, coming-of-age but ultimately it was about relationships. At first very uncomfortable about the relationship between Hanna and Michael but by the end I thought is the most beautiful but complex relationship I have read about. I think this is one of those rare books that pack quite a punch in a mere 200 pages. I know this is a book and story that will stay with me for a long time.

I am so looking forward to the movie as I love Kate Winslet and Ralph Fieness.


Kristel (kristelh) | 4258 comments Mod
I read this in 2010 and did not right good reviews or they didn't come over from Shelfari. I know this book impacted me when I read it but I did not review it. It is German literature with a whole different perspective on WWII than I have previously read. I can't believe that I did not review this at the time I read it. It does involve a trial of a woman who participated in WWII and how a person might come to that point in life where they do the unspeakable.


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