Posted by: michelle @ books my kids read | April 6, 2009

The Reader

The Reader The Reader by Bernhard Schlink

My review

rating: 3 of 5 stars
This was a good book, but overall it was lacking. The Reader is the story of Michael Berg, a 15 year old boy who winds up in an obsessive affair with a much older woman, Hanna. She disappears and he figures he will never see her again, but than winds up watching her trial for Nazi war crimes.

The book was broken down into 3 parts – the love affair, her trial, and their interactions after her trial. I think that it is important to remember that while this has become an Oscar winning movie (for Kate Winslet), that the actual book was written for the young adult market. I have nothing against YA books, they are often quite wonderful, but this book does tend to use more simplisitic langauge.

I also felt that the first part and the third part were quite compelling, but got bored quickly with the trial. Years after Hanna had mysteriously disappeared from Michael’s life, he sees her again while viewing a trial for a law seminar focused on Germany’s Nazi past. The problem is that this section is quite long and focuses less on their relationship – the highly compelling part of the novel – and more on German guilt and condemnation and also Hanna’s secret which will do her in. If this section of the book had been shorter, I might have been more inclined to give it 4 stars.

All in all, this was a good book. I would like to see the movie since I think parts of it have a better chance of captivating an audience in movie form.


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