Saturday, October 24

Book Review: The Reader by Bernhard Schlink

Author: Bernhard Schlink
Title: The Reader
Genre: Historical Fiction & Classic
Pages: ebook
First Published: 1995
Where I Got It: Borrowed from friend

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 she becomes his lover—then she inexplicably disappears. When Michael next sees her, he is a young law student, and she is on trial for a hideous crime. As he watches her refuse to defend her innocence, Michael gradually realizes that Hanna may be guarding a secret she considers more shameful than murder.

This was this month's book club choice, but I've always been curious, but never gave it a go. I regret not reading this in the past. For this review, we'll divide and conquer. 

The Good
-I could hardly put it down after the honeymoon stage between Michael and Hanna. I had to know what would happen next.

-Hanna intrigued me...I wanted to understand. Yes, it was creepy that she was sleeping around the 15 year-old. Also, I felt bad about her one secret which, to her, is more shameful then being a Nazi guard in the past. 

-This book made me feel and it's that not common to have a book make me feel as much as this one.

- There was one part at court that was so intense and Hanna made an excellent question to ask the judge and everyone there.

-I had a love hate-relationship with the ending. It was good, realistic, and it broke my heart a little bit.

The Bad and the Ugly
- Michael's decision to not let the court know Hanna's big secret. I understand how ashamed she was, but Michael could had subtly hinted to the judge or defense lawyer. It was such crap that she got the worse, because all the guards were equally as at fault as Hanna.

-It was kinda creepy Hanna being in her 30s and hooking up with someone younger then her son. >__<

-The beginning was slow until Hanna and Michael began hooking up. 

-The ending. Again, it was a love-hated relationship. Uuuuugggghhhhhhhhh - the feels.

Overall, this was a good read. I was very involved in the story and characters. It made me feel many emotions and that is always a plus! The beginning was a wee bit slow, but it picked up and I could hardly put it down. And then there was the ending.....loved it, but also hated it. I highly recommend this if someone is looking for an interesting and quick classic read. It's an interesting look at Germany post Nazism and an odd love story that had a touch of realism. In the end, I stamp this with....5 stars.


Blodeuedd said...

Never seen the movie either

Melliane said...

It sounds like a good read! I heard a lo about it but I confess that I haven't tried it yet

Carole Rae said...

B, we watched the movie at book club. I'll have to review it.

Melliane, its worth it. Its quick and a good story.

Anachronist said...

I'll have to read it. Or watch it. Or both.

Carole Rae said...

hehe, I'll let you know how the movie went. I think the review will either this week or next week. I'm getting behind on my list of movies to actually type up a review for. 0_0