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The Reader
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Specific List Books > The Reader by Bernard Schlink

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Judith (jloucks) | 1203 comments
This was one of my favorite discoveries on "the list". I found it to be a straightforward search for the story of one complex woman's life. The facts that the one woman is a former lover to the narrator when he was a very young boy and also a former Nazi concentration camp guard make it also a study in personality, morals and history.

There are no heroes in this story. Both the narrator and the older woman at the center of the story are flawed and have done cowardly things for which they are not proud, but the former concentration camp guard sees the world through a profoundly different lens having been caught up in that earlier time of insanity that was Germany during WWII. But how much of her "different view" is owing to the fact that she is also ignorant? Coming from a very simple, rural and isolated town and never having learned to read sets her up to feel compelled to "do what she is told". And the shame of her illiteracy and her drive to know good books dominates her life after she leaves home. She does her cruel work in the camps during the day and has the weakest of the prisoners read to her at night with the rationale that she is providing extra rations to them and keeping them alive just a little longer for having been singled out for providing the service.

Was her life mostly a sad struggle for survival or an immoral, unnecessarily cruel and selfish one with no regard for anyone but herself? Could the education and self-esteem she craved have prevented her turn to a morally twisted life? And for one who has committed atrocities, does it matter? I, for one, think that it does and found this book another enlightening look into the human psyche.

Smarti | 46 comments Again, maybe I as a German am hypersensitive to this topic, but I did not like the book very much. Actually, while I was reading the novel, I did enjoy it. However, when I was reflecting about the themes and intentions, I grew to dislike it more and more.
Don't get me wrong: most Germans like this book, it got mostly favorable reviews when released in 1995 and it has even reached the status of school literature in some of Germany's federal states.

One critic though said something, which I agree very much with and I will try and translate it here:

"Schlink is eliminating the decisive motivs of guilt and accountability as well as the question about the relationship between personal and state power. He thus has simplified history and is urging people to identify with guilty actors of the Nazi-Regime"

I fully agree! It kind of bugs me that this book got so much attention and success, while a lot of other German books, dealing with these topic are forgotten. I would like to recommend Bruno Apitz'Naked Under Wolves (at least I think that's how it's translated), but unfortunately it is out of print. Maybe try Anna Seghers "The Seventh Cross" instead.

message 3: by Judith (last edited Mar 18, 2008 10:13AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Judith (jloucks) | 1203 comments Caution - Spoiler

I think I do understand your point of view, Smarti; and thank you for posting your excellent comments and book suggestions. I'll pursue them.

To clarify my remarks though -- I didn't in any way identify with or feel that the Nazi guard was "excused" or meant to be forgiven for her dedication to her duties for the regime or her other moral lapses. I looked at the author's treatment of her as an historical account of just one person's life and emotions. He leaves it to the reader to decide whether he/she should sympathize with her. In fact, he carefully crafts a scenario where it is never proven that she played other than a passive role in the church burning episode -- so she may or may not have been a murderess. And the narrator of the story never sympathizes with her to the point that he can even stand to be in her presence. He merely feeds-- only from a distance --the humanity in her that wants to learn.

She is not a sympathetic person. No one who played active roles in the Nazi regime were/are deserving of sympathy for what they did or became during the war, but every human's humanity deserves some sympathy from us. They all have personal stories -- influences in their lives that made them succumb or resist the madness of the time. I'm interested in these stories.

After all, most of the Germans of the time were just normal people. How do otherwise "normal people" adapt such views and play active, even if only compliant, roles in such an inhumane enterprise?! I think Schlink gives us just one story in his book that sheds a glimmer of light on that question and helps us look at that part of history as tragic for many Germans that were involved -- not just the Jews and other targeted groups.

As one example, most people today accept as reality the "cycle of abuse" that partially explains human beings acting in inhumane ways. Because the persecution of Jewish people was so horrible, should we not look for ways to see the humanity in the perpetrators -- if for no other reason than to help us understand ourselves?

Schlink's book allows his readers to connect just a little with the humanity in this one demonized participant in the concentration camps.
To believe that there WAS humanity in even these people helps me to sleep at night.

And one more thing I loved in the story -- the narrator, though unable to be around her, to forgive her or to understand her, still recognized her humanity -- and supported it-- demonstrating another way to be human and just perhaps suggesting those that followed have learned from history.

KHoopMan  (eliza_morgan) I read your posts on this book last night, found the book in the library this morning and finished it this afternoon. I liked this story, I really did- and I love that Hanna is always at arms length, even from the reader. Her simplicity makes it so hard to call her "evil," but then again we never really get to know her, so maybe that is exactly what she is.

How horrible it must be to forever be judged by the worst thing you ever did in your life.

Smarti | 46 comments True. On the other hand: if you are a mass-murderer, I guess you should cope with the fact! I think that Schlink made the Holocaust really easy and simplifying for him and the reader by just making that woman a simpleton.

Yelena Malcolm | 109 comments I started and finished this book on Tuesday, and I was really taken with it; one of the better books I've read off the list since joining the group. I hadn't read this thread before, but took a look at it now since finishing the book, and I think the positions of Judith and Smarti are really fascinating.

I didn't find the book to be simplifying or exonerating Hanna's criminal past; in fact, I didn't think the book was about Hanna at all. The struggle with her past crimes, I thought, were contributing factors to Michael's troubles. I found her life to be merely a prism through which he saw himself, and her nazi past created such conflict and self-abnegation in him, regardless of how she felt or behaved.

I also saw the illiteracy as more figurative and macrocosmic than Hanna herself. On the outside, we look at the actions of "ordinary" German people during World War 2 and ask ourselves how they could have participated or turned to look away, and I think Schlink was using the illiteracy partly as a metaphor; not to exonerate those who acted wrongly or didn't act at all, but to offer up an idea of helplessness in the face of what seems like an insurmountable obstacle. And much like I wouldn't commend a person for refusing to learn how to read even though learning how to read is hard, I wouldn't commend a bystander or minor participant in the crimes of WW2 because the alternative was difficult.

So that's what I derived from the book, but I must admit I found it very powerful.

Judith (jloucks) | 1203 comments Yelena, I would not disagree with any of your observations. The books was about Michael, not Hanna; and his reactions to her and her past were the focus. Hanna's illiteracy works so well on both the literal and symbolic levels, which makes the book all the more impressive. And Michael, representing the next generation after the war, sorting out his feelings about the participants in Germany's recent history works in this novel also.

Emily I hated this book. It was a long time before I realized the main character was actually a boy not a girl. There was never enough detail about any of the characters so I ended up not caring about them. I say don't waste your time with this one.

Smarti | 46 comments I think it's alright for people to like the book. For sure, Schlink is a good writer and I enjoyed the book while reading it also.
I just don't like the fact that it is one of best known books by a German writer in the United States or even around the world. For that, I think it is definetely surpassed in quality by a LOT of other German books, most of which are barely known ín the 'outside world'.
And then again I, personally, still find the plot and Schlink's intention with it to be morally ambiguous. Hannah is not a by-stander or a mildly involved person in the holocaust but she is a female guard in a concentration camp. Those guards normally applied for the job in the full awareness of what that meant and eager to take it on. Most of them, the females in particularily, where known for immense inhumanity and crimes towards the prisoners.

Because of that, I could not like the book. Again, it is ok if you do I just whished some other books would be equally as famous!

Dottie (oxymoronid) Smarti, name some books which you would like to see stand in the place of Schlink's The Reader (I have read it and I do see your objections but I will say that my memory -- though it may be faulty -- is that that very point is what gives the book its impact -- she is or was a guard).

By the way -- I like Maastricht -- very pleasant place to stroll about and have a nice dinner after some shopping and the Carnaval celebration is one fo the better ones I've encountered.

Judith (jloucks) | 1203 comments Yes, Smart. I'd love to get your recommendations for the best German authors too.

Yelena Malcolm | 109 comments Ditto! But if you suggest The Magic Mountain, well, them be fightin' words! :)

Smarti | 46 comments haven't read the magic mountain but I didn't hear too many good things about that novel though. However, I love Thomas Mann's "Buddenbrooks" for an insight into late 19th century Germany as well as the works of his more political brother Heinrich Mann, especially "loyal subject". And for Germany and WWII, I would read Anna Segher's "the seventh cross", Imre Kertesz (not a German but a czech) or Stefan Zweig's wonderful "chess novel" - I assume this to be the english title and I hope that it's translated. The last one is very short and definetely a favourite of mine!

Judith (jloucks) | 1203 comments Thanks, Smarti. I'll be on the lookout for each of these titles. I was already considering "Buddenbrooks" because of other comments and reviews I've encountered.

Read on!

Yelena Malcolm | 109 comments After many torturous years working through the Magic Mountain, I vowed never again to go near Thomas Mann. Years later, a friend of mine who is writing his PhD on early 20th century German culture and history, exhorted me to read Buddenbrooks, which I loved. I found it very Tolstoyan and am glad I put aside my Mann-phobia to read it.

Smarti, thanks for the recs!

Smarti | 46 comments I just looked at and it seems like most of Zweig's (he's really one of my favourits) are translated. I have read chess story as well as decisive moment's in history, which is a kind of short-story collection. both are HIGHLY reccommendable!
As for Hermann Hesse, I like "beneath the wheel" best but a lot of people adore Siddharta and Steppenwolf.
Yelena, did it seriously take you YEARS to get through Magic Mountain?? Oh my gosh!! For a fin-de-siecle impression of Thomas Mann I would also reccommend "Death in Venice". It is very short, very odd and ultimately very rewarding to have read.
I don't know if you all read plays as well (I don't but I like to watch them played out!). If you do so, you could read anything from Berthold Brecht (three-penny opera, for once!.
If you like movies, I'd say that you'll have to watch "Sophie Scholl", which was also nominated as best foreign picture at the oscars in 2006 (I think). It is about a resistance group called the White Rose during WWII and it is really impressive!

Sandra G. (nikte) | 1 comments This is one oh my favourite book too :)

Yelena Malcolm | 109 comments Smarti,
The Magic Mountain is actually a huge joke among my family and friends. My great uncle got the book for me at 13 and I spent the next 8 years reading about 100 pages per year because that was all of it I could stomach at one time. I guess at that rate, though, I could have learned German and read in the original. Ah, wasted youth...

message 19: by Apokripos (last edited Jan 18, 2009 07:26PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Apokripos (apokalypse) I'm sort of a newbie here and I think this the first post that I'd made in this group. Anyway here are my cents worth of thought on "The Reader" (by the way, this is the review I posted when I had read the book):

There are some books you know will stay with you forever, and Bernhard Schlink's The Reader is definitely one of them. It has been highly critically acclaimed, winning the Boston Book Review's Fisk Fiction Prize, and it deserves all the praise it has received.

The Holocaust is a difficult, though much covered, subject matter, and this novel has a sure touch and an appealing lack of judgment with it. The story begins in the world of almost-childhood of fifteen-year-old Michael Berg, recovering from a summer of hepatitis, begins a relationship with Hanna, a much older woman he meets by chance. The first part of the novel, untouched by the shadow of the recent war or Germany's disturbed and dangerous past, deals with Michael and Hanna's burgeoning relationship, and the little fears and worries that can make up one big problem. Eventually, as we know it must, their relationship ends and Hanna moves away.

When the book moves on to the second part, the tone has changed considerably. Michael, now a law student, attends the trial of female Nazi war criminals. To his shock, one of them is Hanna, who had been a camp guard at Auschwitz. I won't say more for fear of spoiling it for you, but the Holocaust is seriously considered in the light of philosophy and moral responsibility. There is an attitude that one becomes numb to the horror of it all if too exposed to it, and this book does not go into ghastly detail, but rather examines even more painful details: who was to blame, how do we live with the suffering, how can one atone, and most of all, what is the next generation to do?

It also looks at what it means to love someone, how much we can accept of them and how blind we can be to those we love. Love, guilt and betrayal feature prominently in this novel.

In many ways Hanna was innocent, and yet it becomes apparent that she lived every day with terrible guilt; Michael was a victim of her actions, and yet he too is guilty by association. The reader of the title is Michael, who read to Hanna during the early part of the relationship; the reader is Hanna, alone in prison occupying herself by learning about the experiences of camp inmates. The reader is selected individuals in the camps who read aloud to Hanna, and may have died because of it. But most of all, the reader is ourselves; the title points the finger at us, because now we have the knowledge, what should we do with it? If all it takes for evil to prevail is for the good to remain silent, then how innocent are any of us? And how can we deal with the subsequent guilt? There are so many layers to this subtly complex novel that having just finished it, I have to start it again. The transforming power of words is negated by their ultimate futility, and actions in this novel speak deafeningly loud.

If we have a responsibility towards the past, to learn from it, and I believe we do, then this book will help us to go some way towards fulfilling it.

Melissa (So Cal Gal) | 8 comments I thought i was a well written book. I will admit I was a little unimpressed by what Hannah's "problem" was, but the book itself was very good. I have recommended it to other people and am actually interested in seeing the movie.

Christina Stind | 183 comments It's interesting to read all the different comments on this book - I hope to pick it up soon. It sounds like it's worth reading!

On a different note - Smarti recommended a movie about WWII and I would just like to add to that one a movie called Der Untergang. I don't know how well known it is in the States but it's an amazing movie about Hitler. Very powerfull. I think it's based on a book written by a young woman working for Hitler as a typist.

message 22: by Tom (new) - rated it 3 stars

Tom (tommyro) Smarti wrote: "haven't read the magic mountain but I didn't hear too many good things about that novel though. However, I love Thomas Mann's "Buddenbrooks" for an insight into late 19th century Germany as well as..."

Zweig is a true marvel. Brilliant, innovative, imaginate writer. A great stylist. All of his work is worth reading. He is going through a revival in the US as one of the major publishing houses is reissuing his short stories and novellas.

message 23: by Tom (new) - rated it 3 stars

Tom (tommyro) jzhunagev wrote: "I'm sort of a newbie here and I think this the first post that I'd made in this group. Anyway here are my cents worth of thought on "The Reader" (by the way, this is the review I posted when I had ..."

I liked the book because the author was very skillful in presenting two characters who were not entirely likeable or admirable. The kid was a delightful study in thinking with the little head and then - once he came to understand what he had done and the consequences of his winning the teenage lottery - never being able to completely come to terms with reconciling his personal story (his love for her) with his country's history (Germans' love for Hitler). Could you love a Nazi? Could anyone knowingly make love to or even have sex with a Nazi? The woman was presented in the book as exactly what she was - not too bright, not well educated. The Reader is very good in its brutally honest depiction of 2 people who were at cross purposes because they could never be entirely honest with each other (or anyone else) or themselves out of shame. Question for everyone? Did the woman fully come to terms with what she had done? Really great Holocaust novels are Night by Elie Wiesel and The Last of the Just by Andre Schwartz-Bart. You can add Sophie's Choice, of course, to the list.

Apokripos (apokalypse) Tom wrote: "jzhunagev wrote: "I'm sort of a newbie here and I think this the first post that I'd made in this group. Anyway here are my cents worth of thought on "The Reader" (by the way, this is the review I ..."

I think Hanna did... Near the end she said that she was visited by the dead in her cell..

Sarah | 1 comments I thought this book was amazingly well written and I truly enjoyed reading it.

I also like Homecoming by Schlink and recommend it.

message 26: by Chel (new) - rated it 4 stars

Chel | 376 comments I really enjoyed this book.

message 27: by Tom (new) - rated it 3 stars

Tom (tommyro) Another German author worth reading is Gunther Grass, particularly The Tin Drum, which deals with Nazi Germany.

After reading all of your discussions about The Reader, I was struck by either an intentional irony by the author or a coincidence (which I doubt).

The female guard's name is Hannah, the same as Hannah Arendt, whose book on the Eichmann trial, the Banality of Evil, is the perfect description of the German peoples' willing seduction by Hitlter and their collective descent into madness, which was a culmination of 400 years of hating Jews, which began with one of history's great Jew haters, Martin Luther.

By the time Hitler rolled around, the Nuremberg Laws and the killing of Jews in the camps was not much of a reach for the average German - who knew exactly what was going on.

Pogroms were a national past time. The Nazis filled the theaters with repeated movies about ugly old Jews raping pretty little blonde Aryans. (Sort of what the US did in showing movies about Japanese soldiers raping women during WWII after Pearl Harbor - but hey, we won the war and history belongs to the victors.)

The easy way in which Hannah got the job and performed the bureaucratic horrors of genocide serve as a perfect illumination of the lowest point our species has ever sunk to.

Is The Reader about the banality of evil? The easy way in which the ignorant and uneducated so willingly conform to the manipulative evil pervasive in their immoral society - as if they were performing the myriad details of their jobs, much the way we will tomorrow when we return to work. Except, we won't be sending people to their deaths.

Clearly, that was the point here. It was difficult for me to read this book because I find it hard to muster any sympathy for anything German from that period. I won't even ride in a Mercedes Benz because they never paid a dime in war reparations for all the slave labor that kept the car company afloat during the war.

But once I learned that The Reader is so popular in Germany - more than 60 years after the discovery of the camps - it softened my view of the book.

Another good book to try is The Last of the Just by Andrew Scwartz-Bart or Night by Elie Weisel, and of course there's always Sophie's Choice to really bum you out.

message 28: by Ruth (new)

Ruth (miss_spookiness) | 12 comments I really liked "The Reader" - I liked the way that things were revealed as you read, you didn't realise at first that she had problems, but as you realised it and realised how she had dealt with it during her life, it just became so sad.

I don't think its making concentration camp guards seem nice, or trying to make you feel sympathy for them, as in my opinion thats not what the book is about. The book is about how she was ashamed of not being able to read, thats why she did it, not because she was evil. however she did realise how horrific her actions were - but I think she was just following orders, so people didn't find out that she couldn't read, not because she was evil.

message 29: by Tess (last edited Jul 20, 2010 06:17PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tess | 7 comments I sort of "cheated" and listened to the unabridged version of this book on cd. I had very low expectations for the book, I think perhaps because I thought it was another Lolita-type story (bleck!). I was surprised at how much I liked it. It was a tragic story with tragic characters, yet I found myself eager to hop in my car just to listen to more of it. It kept you at a distance which made you want more. Very well done. I hesitate to see the movie, I don't want to ruin my view of the book!

Kristi (kristilarson) | 266 comments Tess, I feel that in this case the movie is a really good compliment to the book. I really enjoyed both.

Felina I was always wishy washy about this book. I think I ended up giving it 3 stars simply because I didn't like Michael as a human being. I had a very difficult time relating to him because I saw him as a very selfish person and I could never understand his motivations.

This book was by no means a waste of time but it didn't change my life or leave an impression. It was simply a book I read one summer.

However, I have to comment on Yelena's comment : and I think Schlink was using the illiteracy partly as a metaphor; not to exonerate those who acted wrongly or didn't act at all, but to offer up an idea of helplessness in the face of what seems like an insurmountable obstacle. That was brilliant. I never noticed that and it brought a lot out of the book for me.

Stuart (asfus) | 46 comments Christine wrote: "I enjoyed this book immensely. I don't feel it inspires sympathy for Nazi's. The Nazi's were humans, and as all humans do, each one of them had a story. That doesn't make them sympathetic. We saw t..."

It makes sense to me, your analysis.

Geoffrey I thought the moral dilemma of the tale was so clearly defined by the other law student whose horror and anger as to how so many so-called ¨good Germans looked the other way¨. This is the moral question that the author poses the reader. How could a whole generation of Germans get swept up in their adulation for Nazism and Hitler and tolerate the evil perpetuated in their midst?
Social pressure has an undue affect on individual actions. Hanna was an uneducated woman whose resources were extremely limited. She fulfilled an easy role in the Nazi state-a better educated woman may have resisted the commands of the third Reich.
We see Michael, in an era of revulsion towards Germany´s past, taking the same steps of passivity in the overwhelming face of a united public clamor for justice that Hannah did in the Nazi era. His crime is similar to hers in that he hides the truth that would exonerate or mitigate her punishment.

message 34: by Ailsa (new) - added it

Ailsa | 3 comments This book left me thinking about it for days afterwards!.

Sophie (imsophiedavies) I really did not think I would enjoy this book quite so much as I did; I absolutely fell in love with it. Beautifully written, absolutely heart breaking.

I do not feel the "immoral" relationship that takes place is a shocking one, nor the scenes (of which none are explicit) depicted are perverse. I actually feel - despite the age difference - the choice was as much his as it was hers and therefore, such as in 'Lolita' by Vladimir Nabokov, this was more about the actual relationship than a moral debate. More-so the story was about them and their love than it was ever about an illicit companionship.

I felt sympathy for both Hanna and Michael for differing reasons; my heart ached for them both.

Coqueline | 28 comments I love this book tremendously. I have always loved books with flawed characters, but The Readers paints a very human story about these flawed characters and I feel a degree of relatedness to them that I don't think I have ever felt with any other literary characters.

I don't think it's got anything with sympathising with the Nazi. The two characters are products of their time and choices. And is asks the questions that resonates with many people that lives in Europe nowadays. How will you take the fact if you learned that your parents/uncle/grandparents/people you love actually took part in the Nazi? Will you be able to denounce them for what they did? Will you still love them as the human being that they are?

Ultimately I also ask the question that Hanna asked: "What would you have done?" I asked myself, if I were an illiterate working class woman living alone in Nazi Germany and the Nazi offered me a job, what would I have done myself?

Rusty | 26 comments Really enjoyed The Reader and was saddened by Hanna's trial. She was caught in a most difficult time. Who really knows what one might do in a similar situation and time?

Emily (mizparker) | 9 comments Looks like I'm in the minority here, but I really didn't like this one at all. I kept wondering whether the book would have been as well-received if the war criminal / older lover had been a man, and the seduced teen had been a young girl. I thought it was well-written, but as a whole it left a sour taste in my mouth. That said, it wasn't the relationship that bothered me, really. I didn't like the notion that somehow Hanna's illiteracy excused her from responsibility for the atrocities committed, and that she magically felt any worse about what she'd done after she learned to read.

Ellie (elliearcher) Well, it may be a minority, Emily, but you're not alone. I had problems with exactly the same things you spoke of. I wasn't thrilled with the relationship but I was far more uncomfortable with the idea that illiteracy = immorality.

After all, Germany has one of the greatest bodies of literature of all western Europe & the atrocities weren't planned or by and large carried out by people who couldn't read & who read incredibly beautiful, sensitive literature.

Emily (mizparker) | 9 comments Ellie, you put it more eloquently than I ever could have. Illiteracy equaling immorality is EXACTLY what bothered me about the story.

Anne (On semi-hiatus) (reachannereach) Hey Emily and Ellie,
it's been several years since I read the book. I don't remember that illiteracy excused her from responsibility for her crimes. Can someone fill me in on that? I vaguely remember that she used her time in jail to learn to read and that she felt good about this achievement. In whose eyes was she redeemed?

Also, she wasn't one of the people who planned the camps. She was just used as a guard. And the Nazis specifically chose criminals and sadists to do this job. The SS wasn't an elite group of educated people. There were a lot of working class people and low-lifes who had been unemployed for a long time before Hitler came along (they were the first to sign up). Good chance they were not well-schooled.

Emily (mizparker) | 9 comments As I recall, when she learned to read in prison, she read strictly accounts of holocaust survivors, and was "unaware" of the enormity of the atrocities until she had done so. Then she killed herself. It was kind of implied, to me, that her ignorance (in the form of illiteracy) translated directly into ignorance of knowing what she did was wrong. I didn't like that.

Anne (On semi-hiatus) (reachannereach) Wish I could remember the book. The movie keeps popping up in my head and that wasn't the same as the book. Well, since I can't remember, I'll take your word for it. I wouldn't like that message either.

Coqueline | 28 comments Same as Anne, I also never got the impression that her illiteracy excused her from responsibility. If anything, her illiteracy (and unwillingness to admit it) was the reason she signed the document admitting that she was the planner of the decision (of the burning church and locking the prisoners inside) and releasing the other women on her team.

I also didn't remember any part about her feeling worse about it after she learned how to read. Maybe it came across that way because the only time she actually opened up about it was when she had learned to write and had the chance to write it down.

Judith (jloucks) | 1203 comments Anne and Coqueline:

My memory is the same as yours, and I agree that she was never presented as "redeemed". I thought her suicide was the result of too many years of guilt and loneliness. I think we were to understand that her reading helped her to understand the enormity of the evil that she had played a part in, but the author did not present that as a redemption.

Anne (On semi-hiatus) (reachannereach) Judith,
that is my impression as well.

message 47: by Deb (new) - rated it 2 stars

Deb I read the book when it first came out yrs ago. I remember reading it but remember thinking it was a confusing read to me. Funny, I'm just now seeing this post because I happened to run into the movie on cable. I love it and cried! Did anyone else find the book confusing and the movie better? Maybe I should go back and re-read the book?

Julia (juliatruter) Debbie wrote: "I read the book when it first came out yrs ago. I remember reading it but remember thinking it was a confusing read to me. Funny, I'm just now seeing this post because I happened to run into the mo..." Yes Debbie - I agree with you. I usually like the book more than the movie, but with this one I actually liked the movie more.

message 49: by Deb (new) - rated it 2 stars

Deb Julia wrote: "Debbie wrote: "I read the book when it first came out yrs ago. I remember reading it but remember thinking it was a confusing read to me. Funny, I'm just now seeing this post because I happened to ..."

Why Julia? Why do you think we liked the movie more? I dont know that i remember the book enough to know why? lol

Julia (juliatruter) Interesting question ... it's the first time it happens to me. :) Maybe the translation wasn't that good - I'm also not a fan of translations, because things definitely get lost in translation. Maybe Kate Winslet's acting also contributed to the "oemf" of the movie.

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