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The Reader
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Archive: Other Books > The Reader by Bernhard Schlink

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Diane Zwang | 485 comments 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.


Barbara M (barbara-m) | 2300 comments What is your star rating?


message 3: by Susie (new) - added it

Susie | 4488 comments I’ve meant to read this for the longest time. Thanks for your review.


Diane Zwang | 485 comments Barbara wrote: "What is your star rating?"

Five stars.


message 5: by Karin (last edited Jun 16, 2018 05:23PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Karin | 7472 comments My mother really liked this novel and recommended it to me, but I didn't like it at all. Tastes vary! I don't plan on seeing the movie, either. (view spoiler)


message 6: by Amy (new) - added it

Amy | 9371 comments This book had a most unforgettable quality. I think I gave it five stars too.


Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 6405 comments I rated it 5 stars as well.


message 8: by KateNZ (new) - added it

KateNZ | 2671 comments This book was in my life before Goodreads ratings, but it would have been a 5 star for me too. Disturbing book, but so beautifully written


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