The Reader by Bernhard Schlink

The Reader

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 s...


Details The Reader

TitleThe Reader
ISBN9780375408267
Author
Release DateJun 26th, 1997
PublisherPantheon
LanguageEnglish
GenreFiction, Historical, Historical Fiction, European Literature, German Literature, World War II, Holocaust
Rating

Reviews The Reader

  • BlackOxford
    2017-04-12
    What About the Children?The Reader is a profound exposition of the 'second generation' issues concerning moral guilt for the Holocaust. But it is, I think, also relevant more generally to the way in which human beings get ensnared incrementally into the evils of their society. We are all inevitably involved in this larger problem. And, like the SS guards at a Nazi death camp, we are unaware of the moral peril of our situation, and unwilling to re...
  • karen
    2007-04-08
    booring. is that a review?? this was just very flat to me. i wasn't offended by the subject matter - i could care less about the "scandalous" elements. but the writing was so clinical and thin. at one point, i blamed the translation, but c'mon - its not that hard to translate german to english (i can't do it, of course, but it's supposed to be one of the easiest translations) i have nothing helpful to say about this except i was bored bored bored...
  • Lavinia
    2008-11-03
    I have the feeling there's more than one way of looking at this book. On one hand it can be viewed as a bildungsroman, it follows Michael Berg since the age of 15 till full maturity. On the other hand, it's the post-war German generation coming to terms with their past, the Nazi crimes and their parents' guilt. Guilt, actually, is a recurring theme in the novel: Hanna is guilty of war crimes, Michael is guilty for betrayal (plus he feels guilty f...
  • Whitney Atkinson
    2016-01-17
    This is the deep character development and type of writing that i've been craving. A book that made me think and ask so many questions. Sometimes I felt like I was struggling through really heavy writing, but the actual story itself and the moral questions that arise from its telling were really, really interesting and I surprised myself with how much I found myself contemplating this novel. Someone told me there's a movie with Kate Winslet and s...
  • Emily May
    2012-08-19
    I'm not really sure why this book is considered one of the best books of all time and managed to make into the big 1001 list. Most of the time, even if I don't like a book, I tend to understand why someone else picked it. In this case, I'm rather clueless. Is it, perhaps, that people see in it some message about humanity when Hanna won't purchase her freedom with the secret she has kept hidden for years? Is it the vivid sexual tale of a teenage b...
  • Hirdesh
    2017-01-28
    Great book.Wonderful piece and remotely expressed Words flowing like water in oceans.I'd Miss someone with that book.As the Young Lady entangled with teen.Which flows the flawless love between them even when she got life imprisonment, She was turned to old. And Teen was turned to Man.Time had changed, but their love sustained as he gave her recordings of stories.Lovely Book.Also, Watch movie based on this novel, My one of favourite actress, the d...
  • Apokripos
    2008-12-05
    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-childho...
  • İntellecta
    2017-06-10
    The book is clearly structured. Also the choice of words is at a normal level and therefore also suitable for beginners in classical, great literature.
  • Ahmad Sharabiani
    2017-02-18
    Der Vorleser = The reader, Bernhard SchlinkThe Reader (Der Vorleser) is a novel by German law professor and judge Bernhard Schlink, published in Germany in 1995 and in the United States in 1997. The story is told in three parts by the main character, Michael Berg. Each part takes place in a different time period in the past. Part I begins in a West German city in 1958. After 15-year-old Michael becomes ill on his way home, 36-year-old tram conduc...
  • Anne
    2018-09-14
    The biggest problem I had with this book was the fact that it made me feel...nothing. I didn't feel connected to the characters or to any part of the plot. This is quite a bummer, as it deals with a pretty heavy topic. I feel like the author intended to write the story this way though, because the writing style in general has a certain type of "coldness" to it, and the true feelings of a character are never really explored. Some people might not ...
  • Lisa
    2014-06-25
    This novel breaks so many taboos, it is hard to know where to start reflecting on it. And yet, its plot is not unrealistic or uncommon.It is about a sexual relationship between a young man and an older woman.It is about illiteracy and shame.It is about crimes against humanity, committed out of helplessness and an egocentric wish to hide one's own weakness.It is about the Holocaust weighing on the shoulders of post-1945 Germany's population.It is ...
  • PirateSteve
    2017-01-23
    " " I ... I mean ... so what would you have done? " Hanna meant it as a serious question. She did not know what she should or could have done differently, and therefore wanted to hear from the judge, who seemed to know everything, what he would have done. " This same question is posed in other situations throughout this book. Should Michael, being the only other person to know Hanna's secret, have exposed this secret in order to help her during t...
  • Matt
    2010-06-09
    It's too simple to say I read any single book because I want to read it. There are dozens of reasons I'll pick up a particular title: I like the author; I like the subject matter; the book is an award winner; the book comes with many trusted recommendations; I was supposed to read the book in high school and I feel guilty because I played Goldeneye on my N64 instead. I will freely admit that I read War and Peace simply to say I read War and Peace...
  • Steven Godin
    2018-08-25
    There have been many ways over the years in which literature has found a path to deal with the Holocaust and its consequences, but a book about the inability to be able to read might not seem the most obvious. Yet in terms of attracting a mass audience, something that Schlink has clearly done, this German novel with illiteracy at its heart published back in the mid-90's, has been a phenomenon amongst readers. Bernhard Schlink's forth and easily m...
  • Maria Clara
    2017-07-23
    Hace unos días una compañera de GR me recomendó esta lectura, y no dudé ni un segundo en ir a la biblioteca para ver si tenían este libro. Es más, como sé que más o menos nos gustan las mismas lecturas, ni tan siquiera perdí el tiempo en leer la sinopsis. ¿Para qué lo iba hacer? Además, ¿no es más interesante abrir un libro sin saber lo que te vas a encontrar en su interior? ¿Dejarte llevar hacia donde él quiera conducirte? Pues b...
  • Nandakishore Varma
    2012-06-24
    There are certain books which have an impact on one, without one being able to put one's finger exactly on the reason why. 'The Reader' by Bernhard Schlink is such a book.The experience of reading this book was like taking a train ride through a pleasant landscape: you mosey along comfortably, enjoying the view and the climate, settled and relaxed. The journey is comfortable enough without being anything out of the ordinary. Then suddenly, the tr...
  • Firdevs
    2018-03-23
    Kitabı'n çok akıcı bir dili var, betimlemeler, duygusal ve psikolojik tahliller çok iyiydi..Keşke Hanna nın ne düşündüğünü kendi ağzından öğrenebilseydim..Okunası..
  • F
    2012-07-30
    Just not for me.Hated both characters.I didn't feel sorry for either of them.
  • Jennifer
    2008-03-14
    This book just fell short with me, on oh so many levels. One thing that did intrigue me and that I have not yet seen much of is the perspective of Germans after the Holocaust and their views on the Third Reich and Hitler's agenda, especially of the younger generation of that time. That was really the only thing that struck me about this book. The rest was just not enough. For one, the affair between MIchael and Hanna was deplorable. Is it suppose...
  • Britany
    2013-07-25
    An Intensely powerful story and I'm still thinking "What do I do with this one??" 15 year old Michael Berg becomes sick and suddenly meets Hanna Schmitz, a much older woman who lives in his neighborhood. She helps him and they begin a relationship. He reads to her, and the intimacy is so strong that I'm not even sure how I should feel about it. It feels real and raw, and dripping in lust, while at the same time, it feels wrong, and I'm left feeli...
  • Maxwell
    2017-09-18
    I thought this was an interesting (if not somewhat disturbing) story, but not one that particularly blew me away. The questions of morality and complicity are intriguing as well; probably my favorite parts of the story where Michael's recollections of his experiences and trying to make sense of which were good, how he should feel about them in hindsight, etc. Glad I finally read this because it is so famous but not one that I'm in love with.
  • Elina
    2016-12-24
    Μια συγκλονιστική ιστορία ενηλικίωσης μέσα από μια ερωτική σχέση με φόντο τη ναζιστική γερμανία. Με μια ήρεμη δύναμη η αφήγηση απογειώνει το συναίσθημα. Κλείνω την αναγνωστική χρονιά μου με ένα ίσως από τα καλύτερα βιβλία που έχω διαβάσει!
  • Manny
    2009-02-05
    [Before reading: posted late 2009]Haven't read it, but was completely blown away by the movie. Masterpiece! Kate Winslet was even better than I'd expected, and that's saying quite a bit.Maybe I'll finally get serious about improving my German... no question about the appropriateness of the book._______________________[After reading: posted early 2019]It's funny how all the books you read link up inside you and start talking to each other. I finis...
  • Lau
    2014-12-21
    «Quería tener sitio en mi interior para ambas cosas: la comprensión y la condena. Pero las dos cosas al mismo tiempo no podían ser.» Es muy interesante este libro. Está ambientado en Alemania, pocos años después del fin de la Segunda Guerra Mundial y tiene un ritmo que va variando durante las tres partes en las que está dividido. Si bien al principio puede no parecer más que una historia juvenil de descubrimiento sexual, al ir transcurr...
  • Chloe
    2009-07-25
    This is not a book that I wanted to read. So many times while reading books about the Holocaust, I feel a disconnectedness from the events. It's a mixture of two things. The first is that the sheer scope of events is just too large, too horrific, for one person's words to do justice to it. The second, and this could partly be due to the first problem, is that I detest being manipulated by my books. With a lot of Holocaust literature the villains ...
  • Priscila Jordão
    2013-12-08
    If Hanna’s illiteracy was used by the author as a metaphor to portray the ignorance that allowed an entire generation to perpetrate, or, at least, to comply with the crimes of WWII? I’m not so sure about it. After all, the germans were not more ignorant than other people at the time. Far from it. My hypothesis is that Hanna’s illiteracy represents the inability of reading behind daily events and interpreting their possible consequences, whi...
  • Stewart
    2008-12-04
    Whenever a film is coming out that is based on an acclaimed book, I try to read the book first (knowing that the reverse order almost never happens for me). The Reader is the latest such circumstance, and I'm glad I made the time for this quick read. The book centers on the reflections of a man who, as a teenager in post WW-II Germany, had a passionate love affair with a reticent and mysterious older woman. Mere months later, she disappears from ...
  • Monika Singh
    2018-12-14
    There will always be some substantial gaps among peoples. This gap, however, is not of caste or class or gender. It is the gap of shallowed empathetic experience. The Reader is about this gap. It is about the mystery of what something must have felt like and this 'something' in the book is Holocaust. Michael Berg, the narrator, is the 'second generation' of the Holocaust. His relationship with an older woman, one of the SS guards at the Nazi camp...
  • Darlene
    2017-07-12
    **This review contains spoilers since what I have to say about this book can't be expressed without revealing details. If you haven't read this book and wish to, you should stop reading now...**If I had read this book, 'The Reader' by Bernhard Schlink a decade ago, I would have felt much differently about it than I do reading it now. This book, a thin volume at just 218 pages, presents moral situations or dilemmas which invite the reader to consi...
  • Arun Divakar
    2012-03-31
    The concept of love never ceases to amaze. From the cradle to the grave, a human being is guided,driven, motivated or annihilated because of it. Even when the presence of this feeling is what makes life tick for all humanity, we tend to call the romantic variant as 'falling in' love. This has always seemed ironical to me for if this feeling was as spiritually uplifting as it is believed to be, why don't we call it 'rising in' love ?Ah ! But I dig...