Book Title: The Reader
Author: Bernhard Schlink
Published By: Vintage International
Date Published: 1997
Genre: Historical Fiction, Literature
Recommended Age: Adults, Mature adults
This book is from my personal collection.
Fifteen-year-old Michael Berg falls ill on his way home from school one day and is rescued by Hanna, a woman twice his age. Over time she becomes is lover, but she eventually she just disappears from Michael’s life without a goodbye. When he sees her again years later he is a law student and she is on trial for a Nazi war crime. Michael learns of the secret she holds. A secret she believes to be a hundred times worse than the crime she is on trial for.
I was compelled to acquire this book after watching the movie The Reader. The book was originally written in German and translated in English two years after it was originally published and became an international bestseller, and I can read why. It’s well written and evokes the reader to make moral judgments against the characters, a very disturbing read. I for one was morally outraged at the woman for having an affair with a fifteen year old boy. I even went to bed dreaming I had yelled at the woman for what I felt was a disgusting immoral act. The Reader truly pulls the reader into the story and wants to make a difference.
For all these reasons, I gave The Reader four stars and a grade of B. If you want to read an international bestseller and a novel that is part of Oprah’s book club, I recommend The Reader by Bernhard Schlink.
Adult Content: Some sexual content and adult subject matter
Violence: Talk of Nazi war crimes