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The Reader
The Reader
Author: Bernhard Schlink, Carol Brown Janeway (Translator)
Hailed for its coiled eroticism and the moral claims it makes upon the reader, this mesmerizing novel is a story of love and secrets, horror and compassion, unfolding against the haunted landscape of postwar Germany. — When he falls ill on his way home from school, fifteen-year-old Michael Berg is rescued by Hanna, a woman twice his age. In time ...  more »
ISBN-13: 9780307473462
ISBN-10: 0307473465
Publication Date: 12/30/2008
Pages: 224
Edition: Mti
  • Currently 3.3/5 Stars.

3.3 stars, based on 149 ratings
Publisher: Vintage
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio Cassette, Audio CD
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed The Reader on + 4 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 16
I just finished this book, and thoroughly enjoyed it. It is about a 15 year old boy who had an affair with a woman in her mid-30's. Later, years after the affair ended, he runs across her again while he is a law student. He is observing a trial for which she is the defendant charged with Nazi war crimes. The book brings up a lot of ethical questions - not just about the affair, but about the crimes for which she is accused. It would be a great book club read. Wish I had read it that way, as I'd love to have someone to discuss it with. I think it would be a good book to read in tandem with Lolita for a book club and then discuss the comparisons of the affiar the boy has with the woman and the obsession Humbert has with Lolita. The ending was a surprise to me!
reviewed The Reader on + 133 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 11
Couldn't put this one down. Read it in one day. I was totally thrown for what she was in court for, and what her secrete was, though I did figure it out before it was written in the book. Great read, but definately a sad tale.
reviewed The Reader on + 2 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 9
Shocking relationship, shocking turn of events. Very captivating. Simple and compelling. Makes one think. Recommend if you can deal with descriptions of intimacy.
reviewed The Reader on + 2 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 8
I LOVED this book, couldn't put it down. One of the best books I have read in a long, long time. A short read, but very fulfilling. The writing is excellent and so insightful. This book reminded me that there is always more than one way to look at a situation and that things are not always what they seem (don't be quick to judge). I thought about the book long after I finished reading it.
reviewed The Reader on + 82 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 8
A quick read that was very well written. You develop a relationship with the charecters. It starts off with some fairly blatent erotic parts, but develops into a fully story. I'd recommend it.
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reviewed The Reader on + 504 more book reviews
One day fifteen year old Michael is on his way home from school when he becomes violently ill. A 36 year old woman named Hanna spots his distress, cleans him up and walks him home. Michael lands in bed with hepatitis for several weeks and when he recovers his mom asks him to personally thank Hannah for her kindness. And boy does she ever . . .

The two become bed-mates for a time and she enjoys listening to Michael read to her. Michael fancies himself a little in love with Hanna despite her odd, aloof behavior. He also struggles with keeping the affair a secret and behaving like a normal teenager. The affair comes to an end when Hanna spots Michael swimming with friends and doesn't acknowledge her. Hanna then disappears.

Years later Michael is a law student sitting in a courtroom and learns that Hanna is on trial for murder and that she spent time as a concentration camp guard for the Nazi's. As the trial continues Michael realizes he knows a secret that can significantly reduce her sentence. But it's a secret that Hanna has kept to herself entire life and he's unsure if he should speak out when she refuses to defend herself.

This is a story with some heavy moral dilemma's but it's ultimately a story of regret of wasted lives. It's a quick read but not one, I think, I will easily forget.
reviewed The Reader on + 70 more book reviews
Surprisingly a very good book. I had seen the film before hand so I knew the outcome but even still the author had me turning the pages to finish. It was that good!
reviewed The Reader on + 36 more book reviews
"When young Michael Berg falls ill on his way home fro school, he is rescued by Hanna, a woman twice his age. In time she becomes his lover, entralling him with her passion, but puzzling him with her odd silences. Then she disappears. Michael next sees Hanna when she is on trial for a hideous crime, refusing to defend herself. As he watches, he begins to realize that Hanna may be guarding a secret she considers more shamful than murder."

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