Saturday, March 28, 2009

Book Review- The Reader by Bernard Schlink

The Reader The Reader by Bernhard Schlink

I have had a hard time writing this review for some reason. It was not a difficult read. Very straightforward writing and telling of the story. It is a very matter of fact recounting of what happened to Michael Berg after the day Hannah Schmitz helped him when he got sick walking home at the age of fifteen. You never really get into the head of Michael as he commences an affair with 30-something Hannah. And even when he finds her again years later while she is on trial for war crimes she committed as a guard at a concentration camp during WWII, he seems to have no feelings or emotions. He is numb.

There are so many parts to this book. So many different things to think about. The affair between an adult and teen. Illiteracy and its affects on those who try to hide it. The coming to terms of the actions of family and friends during WWII by the younger generation of Germans. I think the lack of emotion and judgement allows for the reader to have their own unique reactions to the story. Just reading through reviews on GoodReads you can see such a difference in opinion and reactions to the story.



  1. Your 4 of 5 — given, in the end, for the language, the story, the themes, or all of this? I feel your thoughtfulness here, your mind still churning.

  2. I need to get a copy of this book.. and see the movie. I just want to experience it. Nice review.

  3. Beth- For all of it. This is definitely a book I will have to reread to get my thoughts on it fully realized. I am still thinking about it. You are so right about that. This was one of those books where I didn't want to give it a rating just yet.

    Toni- I really want to see the movie now.

  4. I had the same problem after reading it. It's short, but it throws up a lot of moral dilemmas that need thinking about. It's left me thinking that humanity really does know how to destroy itself on so many different levels.

  5. I really enjoyed reading this, I reviewed it last week, I think. I would definitely like to see the movie now.

  6. I does seem like there's a lot going on in this one. I posted this on the challenge site here.

    Diary of an Eccentric


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