An exceptionally powerful novel exploring the themes of betrayal, guilt and memory against the background of the Holocaust. An international bestseller. For 15-year-old Michael Berg, a chance meeting with an older woman leads to far more than he ever imagined. The woman in question is Hanna, and before long they embark on a passionate, ...
An exceptionally powerful novel exploring the themes of betrayal, guilt and memory against the background of the Holocaust. An international bestseller. For 15-year-old Michael Berg, a chance meeting with an older woman leads to far more than he ever imagined. The woman in question is Hanna, and before long they embark on a passionate, clandestine love affair which leaves Michael both euphoric and confused. For Hanna is not all she seems. Years later, as a law student observing a trial in Germany, Michael is shocked to realize that the person in the dock is Hanna. The woman he had loved is a criminal. Much about her behaviour during the trial does not make sense. But then suddenly, and terribly, it does - Hanna is not only obliged to answer for a horrible crime, she is also desperately concealing an even deeper secret. 'A tender, horrifying novel that shows blazingly well how the Holocaust should be dealt with in fiction. A thriller, a love story and a deeply moving examination of a German conscience' INDEPENDENT SATURDAY MAGAZINE
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After seeing the movie with my friend and her husband, I ordered the book. It was amazing how closely the movie kept to the original. I would recommend it to all who like books with substance.
Mar 4, 2010
great afternoon read
I read this one afternoon. Each chapter took you more and more into these people?s lives. I love how the love story is intertwined with history. As soon as I read it I got a hold of a friend and had them read it. I saw the movie as reading the book and again the book is so much better than the movie
Jul 1, 2009
Simple and original
I read this book after watching the movie of the same name, expecting it to be longer and more sappy.
It surprised me that each chapter wasn't longer than a few pages, and it surprised me even more that each chapter, particularly near the end of the book, introduced a new idea that I hadn't thought of before.
I liked this book; it told an incredible story that touched me. I've never read a book with a similar plotline, which is super important nowadays, and I've never quite sympathised with an Auschwitz guard as I did while I was reading.
The Reader is worth the few dollars you spend on it.
Jun 5, 2009
Great book. Worth every penny. One of the best books I've
ever read. Sent one of the books to my sister!
Apr 2, 2009
This book I would recommend to anyone looking to read like a writer. The precision, the detail, and the imagery make a very powerful story. I loved this book. If you saw the movie and wanted to read the book you won't be disappointed.
Publishers Weekly, 2009-01-26 When Michael Berg began attending the Nazi war trials as part of a college class, he never expected to find Hanna-an older woman who had seduced him when he was a teenager-as one of the accused. Berg is himself paralyzed by a moral dilemma that may free her, but also destroy her. Schlink uses this intriguing and complex relationship to engage issues of identity, ego and freedom of choice that are emphasized within the backdrop of the Holocaust. Campbell Scott proves an excellent narrator, with an eloquent and precise tone that gives a reflective distance to this first-person account, emphasizing the Berg's evolution as he grows from youth into adult. Scott's deliberate delivery also emphasizes Berg's emerging maturity; initially, his deliberateness hints at insecurity while later on, Scott's steady reading indicates experience. A Vintage paperback. (Dec.) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.
Publishers Weekly, 1997-06-02 Another in the spate of soul-searching post-Holocaust German novels that have made their way here, this elegant if derivative triptych chronicles the relationship of narrator Michael Berg, a young bourgeois man who becomes a legal historian, with working-class Hanna Schmitz, 20 years his senior and (as it turns out) a former SS officer. They meet in the 1950s, when he is 15: she rescues him when he falls ill in the street from the effects of hepatitis. His thank-you visit results in months of trysts; the lovers develop a routine that involves Michael reading aloud from the German classics. Part Two opens at Hanna's trial 10 years later for war crimes: assigned by chance to observe the trial, Michael continues his strange role as her reader, sending her tapes in prison until, in Part Three, the two finally, and tragically, meet again. Some readers may object to Schlink's insistently withheld moral judgments: he never treats Hanna as just a villain. Yet this well-translated novel indisputably offers a philosophical look at the "numbness" that settled over German culture during the war and that (Schlink seems to say) infects it to this day. (July)
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