Saturday, March 28, 2009

The Reader, cont.

From the comments of my review post for The Reader:

Beth Kephart said...
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.

Mari said...
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.

I was thinking about this a bit more and realized that my review didn't really match my rating of 4/5, so I wanted to explain it a bit. As mentioned above, I was torn on whether or not to rate it but in the end 4/5 is the rating I think it deserves. Here is why.

I like books that make you think. That leave you pondering what you have read days after closing the book. The writing in The Reader may seem distant but it serves a purpose. Michael can't seem to react to his own story, so it is left up to the reader. He never judges Hannah for what she did. Never questions her actions. He just states the facts of what happened and shares her recollections during the trials. The question she asks of the judge is the same question being asked of the reader, "What would you have done?"

This book grabbed a hold of me from the first page and I haven't been able to stop thinking about it since finishing it. It has some difficult subject matter, and yes, it was hard to feel sympathy for Hannah after you hear her history and role during the Holocaust and her affect on Michael's life, but the fact that this book was able to elicit feelings of anger, guilt and sympathy within me makes this a really great book in my eyes.


  1. Hey, thanks. I read The Reader, too, but awhile ago. You are always so considered in your responses to books (and we share a lot of favorites), so I was curious.

  2. Your question got me thinking more about it...which was great. Thanks so much. :)

  3. I have not read the book, but saw the movie and felt the same after. It has a lingering affect.


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