The Reader

The Reader

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An exceptional novel by Bernhard Schlink about betrayal, guilt and the memory of the Holocaust. This is the story of the adolescent Michael Berg, rescued by Hanna. Both embark on a clandestine affair leading Michel in euphoric and confused times.

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What the community says about The Reader

  • Ruth Ellis
    Written on April 14, 2018
    "This solution does not seem to work. The book is unrelated to helping someone who is struggling with suicide and instead offers a story of a young man who is in a romantic relationship with an older woman. "
  • Michelle Young
    Written on April 23, 2018
    "This is definitely one of those books that haunts the memory. It stays with you days after you read it. It's philosophical in tone. I think Hanna was a victim of circumstances & that Michael was to harsh in his judgement of her. At the beginning of the book she shows great compassion as she helps a vomiting Michael & walks him back home. When it is later revealed that she picked the weaker children to read to her before they were put to death, I think she was trapped by the horrible circumstances & reality of the Nazi regime, & that making their lives a little more livable before their untimely deaths was the only thing she had in her power to do to show compassion. There is also a lot of symbolism in the book. For example: Hanna is illiterate at a time when Germany's average citizen had a Bachelor's degree. As for her anger toward a young Michael Berg during their vacation, I think this was do to a feeling of helplessness. Put yourself in her shoes for a moment & imagine not being able to read at all. You are 100% reliant on your lover to read the signs to get were your going & thus to get back from whence you came. You can't even order from a menu. You wake up miles from home & that lover you are reliant on to read signs & order food has vanished & left you a piece a paper with writing on it, & you can't read it. You must feel stranded & hopeless. Thus when the young Mr. Berg returns he is surprised by an understandably irate Frau Schmidt. She is innocent to an extent, & her more guilty ex-coworkers get much more lenient sentences by contrast."
  • Patricia Hawkins
    Written on April 23, 2018
    "I was a bit haunted by this book. I really can't say that I enjoyed it because it was too disturbing and seemed to want to make the reader feel guilty. I just wasn't crazy about the characters either and thought the whole book was a bit of a downer. I almost did not finish it, but I plowed through just so I could see how it ended. This was an Oprah's book club selection and I guess I just felt a little disappointed in it. "
  • Ryan Flores
    Written on May 6, 2018
    "A very intense and moving book. It makes you really think and moves you personally. Very interesting read."
    Liu Cao
    Written on May 1, 2018
    "a moving complex book that peels about the conscience of humanity"
  • Peter Barrett
    Written on May 5, 2018
    "This book is great!"
  • William Bishop
    Written on April 17, 2018
    "This novel tells the story of more love and secret, horror unfolding against the haunted landscape of postwar Germany. "
  • Jin Yi
    Written on May 2, 2018
    ""The Reader" was a very interesting read for me. I have always been interested in the history of WW2 and thee aftermath and reading this allowed me to understand what people went through after the war. This book was very different from other books about the war because it focused on German citizens after the was and how it effected future generations. I had not read many books that covered this viewpoint, so I never knew what to expect. I became so interested in the topic that I researched history about Germany post WW2 as I read. I would definitely recommend this book because of its quality and the awards it won prove it is worth your time. "
  • Crystal Barnett
    Written on May 10, 2018
    "The Reader is definitely an advanced book, but I do think it's one suitable for 20 year olds. Although I could think of other reads that I would consider more essential at that age, this is a worthy of your time."
    Joe Murray
    Written on May 20, 2018
    "I'm glad I was a reader of The Reader, a novel centered around the memory of the Holocaust and an adolescent. Definitely worth checking out."
  • Terry Jacobs
    Written on March 4, 2018
    "This was a great start for my Oprah Book Club endeavor. I was captivated from the first few pages as Schlink absolutely grabs you and doesn't let go. I hope the rest of Oprah's Book Club picks are as good as this one was!"
  • Susan Wells
    Written on April 26, 2018
    "Based on the topic, I expected a story that reflected the beauty of Germany. Instead, it reflected a piece of horrific history that happened in Germany, but in no way reflected Germany. I found the relationship between Michael and Hanna to be disturbing. I would not recommend this book.."
  • Hannah Snyder
    Written on April 14, 2018
    "Sometimes a short story really packs a huge punch. The shadow of the Holocaust hangs over this story, lending it a dark, painful air. Less is definitely more, here, and I enjoyed every word. If you're a fan of shorter stories that make every word count, this is a book to read."
  • Kyle Schneider
    Written on April 23, 2018
    "This is a touching and thought provoking book written with the back drop of the holocaust. Orignally written in german this smart and intregueing story takes on the perspective of the everyday citizens of germany during this terrible time period. This story grabs you from the beginning and you will have a hard time putting this book down! Highly recommened!"
  • Henry Rice
    Written on May 18, 2018
    "The 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 a parable, dealing with the difficulties post-war German generations have had comprehending the Holocaust; Ruth Franklin writes that it was aimed specifically at the generation Bertolt Brecht called the Nachgeborenen, those who came after. Like other novels in the genre of Vergangenheitsbewältigung, the struggle to come to terms with the past, The Reader explores how the post-war generations should approach the generation that took part in, or witnessed, the atrocities. These are the questions at the heart of Holocaust literature in the late 20th and early 21st century, as the victims and witnesses die and living memory fades."
  • Jose Moreno
    Written on April 20, 2018
    "Pretty erotic read,i loved it. This book is tough to put down. With Nazi Germany and the atrocities of the Holocaust as the backdrop,this can be an intense novel. Such a well written book that tackles morality and loving people who committed such terrible acts on human life,this book is a rollercoaster of emotions.A very complex book."
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  • Carol Scott
    Written on April 13, 2018
    "Interesting book I picked up in the local bookstore. Has some erotica that I was surprised about. It is set against the Holocaust as a back drop. This makes it a definite German book. A lot going on in the book it covers many emotions. Hard to get through but still a good read."
  • Shirley Cook
    Written on February 13, 2018
    "I haven't read any of Bernhard Schlink's other works, but this was a decent introduction to his writing style and narrative method. It's a very entertaining story with many twists and turns anyone interested in historical fiction would really enjoy. I found it listed under the thriller section at my local bookstore, but in my opinion it's definitely more of a drama."
  • Joe Weber
    Written on April 20, 2018
    "This a good book if you like stories about Jews and Nazis. The lead character is a child which is sort of unusual but makes a great story anyway. I could barely put it down once I started reading it."
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