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The Reader by Bernhard Schlink
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The Reader (original 1995; edition 2008)

by Bernhard Schlink, Campbell Scott (Reader), Carol Janeway (Translator)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
9,405302312 (3.71)322
Member:realbigcat
Title:The Reader
Authors:Bernhard Schlink
Other authors:Campbell Scott (Reader), Carol Janeway (Translator)
Info:Random House Audio (2008), Edition: Abridged, Audio CD
Collections:Your library
Rating:***1/2
Tags:Library Audio

Work details

The Reader by Bernhard Schlink (1995)

Recently added byfreyytag, Urban_Forsum, Vada1307, Zeff, sarafwilliams, rosecothren, margen, e-zReader, private library
Legacy LibrariesJuice Leskinen
  1. 82
    The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (bookcrazyblog, lucyknows)
    bookcrazyblog: Though book thief is understood to be Teen-read, it is deep and enthralling. If you liked The Reader for anything beyond its sensuality in the first part, you will love Book Thief
    lucyknows: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak may linked with The Reader by Bernhard Schlink using the themes of reading, Nazi Germany and death. You could also pair it with the graphic novel Maus by Art Spiegelman. Atonement by Ian McEwan could work as well because of the young protagonists, war, and reading.… (more)
  2. 20
    In My Brother's Shadow: A Life and Death in the SS by Uwe Timm (Tinwara)
    Tinwara: Autobiographical account that also deals with the post war generation in Germany, trying to come to an understanding of how loved persons can make the wrong decisions.
  3. 10
    Without Blood by Alessandro Baricco (2810michael)
  4. 10
    Let Me Go by Helga Schneider (Booksloth)
  5. 00
    Before I Knew Him by Anna Ralph (1Owlette)
  6. 00
    Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton (1Owlette)
  7. 00
    Those Who Save Us by Jenna Blum (bnbookgirl)
    bnbookgirl: One of my top ten fav's.
  8. 01
    Berlin by Pierre Frei (Johanna11)
    Johanna11: Although the books are very different in many respects, both are about Berlin after WWII and about Germans during WWII and after.
  9. 01
    Beatrice and Virgil by Yann Martel (Cecilturtle)
  10. 12
    Close Range by Annie Proulx (1Owlette)
    1Owlette: Although very different in many ways, [The Reader] and [Brokeback Mountain] are both similarly devastating and concentrated in their impact.
  11. 01
    Enduring Love by Ian McEwan (lucyknows)
    lucyknows: The Reader could be successfully paired with Enduring Love for English Studies. In addition either book could also be be paired with the film The Talented Mr Ripley under the theme of obsession
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» See also 322 mentions

English (260)  Spanish (10)  Dutch (8)  German (5)  French (3)  Finnish (3)  Swedish (2)  Italian (2)  Catalan (2)  Norwegian (1)  Danish (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Hebrew (1)  Korean (1)  All languages (300)
Showing 1-5 of 260 (next | show all)
The Reader by Bernhard Schlink is above all, a story that warms your heart in a peculiar way, because it makes you feel compassion for characters who perhaps didn't give as much of themselves to the story as they could have.
The book is a perfect example on how concise storytelling can be, and still, contain so much information. It is a very quick read (about 1 hour) but it reaches deep into you. The subjects range from teenage love with an older woman to concentration camps.
I have however, watched the movie adaptation before getting into the book and despite not being my favourite ever, I was touched by the fantastic performance from all actors, especially Kate Winslet, and how raw the contents were delivered. I remember starting it at 5am, planning only to watch 15 minutes or so and going to sleep after 7am because of how much I needed to know what happened next. The book does the same, only in words and not pictures. It doesn't give you any crap, basically.
I thought the story very honest, and, as I was reading it, I kept getting frustrated just thinking about the scene at the court of law - which could have changed everything for both our main characters - but due to their behavior, it didn't.
Still, a very enjoyable read. ( )
  sarafwilliams | Sep 13, 2014 |
The Reader by Bernhard Schlink is above all, a story that warms your heart in a peculiar way, because it makes you feel compassion for characters who perhaps didn't give as much of themselves to the story as they could have.
The book is a perfect example on how concise storytelling can be, and still, contain so much information. It is a very quick read (about 1 hour) but it reaches deep into you. The subjects range from teenage love with an older woman to concentration camps.
I have however, watched the movie adaptation before getting into the book and despite not being my favourite ever, I was touched by the fantastic performance from all actors, especially Kate Winslet, and how raw the contents were delivered. I remember starting it at 5am, planning only to watch 15 minutes or so and going to sleep after 7am because of how much I needed to know what happened next. The book does the same, only in words and not pictures. It doesn't give you any crap, basically.
I thought the story very honest, and, as I was reading it, I kept getting frustrated just thinking about the scene at the court of law - which could have changed everything for both our main characters - but due to their behavior, it didn't.
Still, a very enjoyable read. ( )
  sarafwilliams | Sep 13, 2014 |
Reading this book, the second time around, and in the context of class, I got a lot more out of it. Knowing the storyline and the "twist" while reading the book allowed me to pick up on more hints and keys to Hanna's behavior. The narrator is still hard for me to get close to (I think that is intentional), and I'm not sure if I feel he was a victim or not.

The second time around, I looked at this book and at how Hanna's lack of ability to read influenced her life choices, and ultimately led to some drastic consequences. It made me wish a little bit that I would be able to use this book as a teacher. This book has the sex and scandal that students would be drawn to, but then could also bring up the importance of literacy...would this ever be an approved book though?

Glad I read it again. ( )
  csweder | Jul 8, 2014 |
Reading this book, the second time around, and in the context of class, I got a lot more out of it. Knowing the storyline and the "twist" while reading the book allowed me to pick up on more hints and keys to Hanna's behavior. The narrator is still hard for me to get close to (I think that is intentional), and I'm not sure if I feel he was a victim or not.

The second time around, I looked at this book and at how Hanna's lack of ability to read influenced her life choices, and ultimately led to some drastic consequences. It made me wish a little bit that I would be able to use this book as a teacher. This book has the sex and scandal that students would be drawn to, but then could also bring up the importance of literacy...would this ever be an approved book though?

Glad I read it again. ( )
  csweder | Jul 8, 2014 |
I really wanted to like this book. But I was not impressed, and I was left thinking at the end, "Oh, is that it?"

I mean, I guess I can see why so many people like it, and why Oprah picked it for her book club (even though that in no way informs my decision on whether or not to read a book), but [The Reader] just didn't do anything for me. The relationship between Michael and Hanna was creepy and emotionally abusive, and I thought adult Michael was annoying; I really had to slog through the second part of the novel. Michael briefly touches on the people in his generation demanding answers and apologies from the generation previous (the ones who were involved in all of the terrible SS/Nazi business), which I thought would have made a much more compelling story, rather than framing it around a creepy relationship that Michael just can't get over (seriously, dude, make like Elsa and let it go).

And actually, I found the character of older Hanna to be way more intriguing, so if the novel focused more on her maybe I would have liked it better. But, it is called The Reader, so there's no getting around that Michael is the main focus.

Anyway, it's not like I completely hated the book. It was well-written (or should I say, well-translated, since the book was originally written in German). I appreciated the author's/Michael's observations on the reactions of the people during the trial of the horrible events at Auschwitz, and his description of what it felt like to walk through a concentration camp (and how we can never truly grasp what is what like to be there). But, like I said, I was expecting something more, and I was disappointed. ( )
  kaylaraeintheway | Jul 1, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 260 (next | show all)
What starts out as a story of sexual awakening, something that Colette might have written, a ''Cherie and the Last of Cherie'' set in Germany after the war, is suddenly darkened by history and tragic secrets. In the end, one is both moved and disturbed, saddened and confused, and, above all, powerfully affected by a tale that seems to bear with it the weight of truth.
 
Schlink's daring fusion of 19th-century post-romantic, post-fairy-tale models with the awful history of the 20th century makes for a moving, suggestive and ultimately hopeful work, an original contribution to the impossible genre with the questionable name of Vergangenheitsbewaltigung, ''coming to terms with the past.''
 

» Add other authors (33 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Bernhard Schlinkprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Janeway, Carol BrownTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kirchner, Ernst LudwigCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lien, ToroddTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Epigraph
Dedication
First words
When I was fifteen, I got hepatitis. [Als ich fünfzehn war, hatte ich Gelbsucht.]
Quotations
Being ill when you are a child or growing up is such an enchanted interlude!
When rescue came, it was almost an assault. The woman seized my arm and pulled me through the dark entryway into the courtyard.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
A parable of German guilt and atonement and a love story of stunning power.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0375707972, Paperback)

Oprah Book Club® Selection, February 1999: Originally published in Switzerland, and gracefully translated into English by Carol Brown Janeway, The Reader is a brief tale about sex, love, reading, and shame in postwar Germany. Michael Berg is 15 when he begins a long, obsessive affair with Hanna, an enigmatic older woman. He never learns very much about her, and when she disappears one day, he expects never to see her again. But, to his horror, he does. Hanna is a defendant in a trial related to Germany's Nazi past, and it soon becomes clear that she is guilty of an unspeakable crime. As Michael follows the trial, he struggles with an overwhelming question: What should his generation do with its knowledge of the Holocaust? "We should not believe we can comprehend the incomprehensible, we may not compare the incomparable.... Should we only fall silent in revulsion, shame, and guilt? To what purpose?"

The Reader, which won the Boston Book Review's Fisk Fiction Prize, wrestles with many more demons in its few, remarkably lucid pages. What does it mean to love those people--parents, grandparents, even lovers--who committed the worst atrocities the world has ever known? And is any atonement possible through literature? Schlink's prose is clean and pared down, stripped of unnecessary imagery, dialogue, and excess in any form. What remains is an austerely beautiful narrative of the attempt to breach the gap between Germany's pre- and postwar generations, between the guilty and the innocent, and between words and silence. --R. Ellis

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:42:56 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

Schoolboy Michael Berg, 15, meets an older woman and they have an affair, which she breaks off and disappears. Seven years later Berg, now a law student attending a trial, sees her in the dock, accused in a crime dating back to World War II and the death camp at Auschwitz.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 14 descriptions

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