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The Reader by Bernhard Schlink

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Has anyone read, or about to read this book? I'm in two minds, it looks compulsive reading and I might pick it up before seeing the film. The book has extremely mixed reviews on Amazon.

 

Interested in BCF members' views:)

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A friend I met with for lunch yesterday has just bought it but after she mentioned it I was contemplating buying it myself. i would like to read before I see the film

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I have the book on Mount TBR (got it for Xmas). I recently saqw the film and thought it excellent, so I'm hoping the book is as good, if not better...

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I've got it on my TBR pile. It's a lot shorter than I expected! I'm going to read it soon-ish. I am looking forward to it but I have heard mixed reviews on it.

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I have the book on Mount TBR (got it for Xmas). I recently saqw the film and thought it excellent, so I'm hoping the book is as good, if not better...

 

 

hahahahahaha so funny :eek:

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I've read it. See my review here. I thought it was good, but thought it could have been so much better!

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Excellent review Ceinwenn many thanks:) It sound like the sort of book I don't want to spend a lot of money on, if it comes my way via library or charity shop then I'll probably pick it up.

 

I too, had read that the premise was very good but that there were shortcomings (maybe it's what the author intended - who am I to judge:blush::eek:)

 

Thanks

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I really want to read it now after I've seen the film. Problem is I want to read it in German, so I'll have to look out for that. I asked my mum to send it in the parcel she just send me, but she said she wouldn't buy it :D

Maybe I'll get it in London. Or I'll ask some of my friends to send it over :)

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I thought it was good, but thought it could have been so much better!

 

I've just gotten to the point where she's disappeared, and I agree so far.. there's nothing wrong with it so far, but it feels as if there could be so much more. I'm interested to see how the rest compares.

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I finished reading this last night for my book group.

 

To be honest I found it slow going at first, did not like the characters much and thought the way the parts worked was a bit complicated as I was wondering what was going on. The ending of the book though, WOW!!! It was such a powerful ending! (I've not seen the film yet).

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I've just gotten to the point where she's disappeared, and I agree so far.. there's nothing wrong with it so far, but it feels as if there could be so much more. I'm interested to see how the rest compares.

 

That, unfortunately, is how I felt about the whole book. Even the ending. :irked:

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I've recently read it for a book group I am in, and I have to say it wasn't the best book ever. The translation wasn't that bad, I have read much worse translations, but I found it confusing how time jumped in the different parts of the book and was wondering what was happening now. I also couldn't warm up to the characters until part 3 of the book.

I liked how Michael sent Hanna the recordings, and also liked how much she had progressed with her reading and writing in prison. I did find Hanna's secret very obvious throughour part 1 of the book, but thought it was a little over the top when Michael left a note for her when they went away to say he was getting breakfast and would be back. Sure enough, she paniced because she didn't know where he was, but the minute he came back with a tray with food on it would have been obvious to her where he had been, and thought what she did was extremely harsh!

 

 

For the people who have read the book - Michaels dilemma -

would you have told the judge?

 

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In answer to your question: Yes.

Hannah deserved some sort of punishment for what happened, but she definately didn't deserve what happened because she was too ashamed to tell the truth.

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the-reader-jpg.jpeg?w=194

Synopsis from Amazon:

For 15-year-old Michael Berg, a chance meeting with an older woman leads to far more than he ever imagined. The woman in question is Hanna, and before long they embark on a passionate, clandestine love affair which leaves Michael both euphoric and confused. For Hanna is not all she seems. Years later, as a law student observing a trial in Germany, Michael is shocked to realize that the person in the dock is Hanna. The woman he had loved is a criminal. Much about her behaviour during the trial does not make sense. But then suddenly, and terribly, it does - Hanna is not only obliged to answer for a horrible crime, she is also desperately concealing an even deeper secret.

This is a brave book. It follows Michael, who after a long period of illness goes to thank the women who helped him when he was sick in the street. This second encounter leads to a love affair that will haunt Michael for the rest of his life. Suddenly Hanna disappears and Michael thinks that is the end - until he sees her in court answering to crimes committed under Hitler's reign. Yet as the trail proceeds Michael discovers something about Hanna that she is hiding, and which leads her to punishment.

This books looks at Germany, the aftermath of the war, the Holocaust and the guilt of a generation. It also looks at love and sex, and books. I thought this book was a good read. It isn't a long book and it didn't take me long to read. I did find the philosophy in the second part hard to grasp, and found it difficult to concentrate whilst reading those bits, but they are really my only complaints.

I liked Michael - he was a simple 15 year old who hadn't been in a proper relationship, then a man trying to work out how to condemn those who had been involved with the Holocaust, and ultimately he proved himself a good friend. I felt sorry for Hanna and the secret she felt she needed to keep however she had a mean streak that I didn't like.

As already said, this is a brave book. I think it addresses these sensitive issues well - I don't think people will be offended when reading this book. I would recommend this as a good book.

8/10

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I've recently read it for a book group I am in, and I have to say it wasn't the best book ever. The translation wasn't that bad, I have read much worse translations, but I found it confusing how time jumped in the different parts of the book and was wondering what was happening now. I also couldn't warm up to the characters until part 3 of the book.

I liked how Michael sent Hanna the recordings, and also liked how much she had progressed with her reading and writing in prison. I did find Hanna's secret very obvious throughour part 1 of the book, but thought it was a little over the top when Michael left a note for her when they went away to say he was getting breakfast and would be back. Sure enough, she paniced because she didn't know where he was, but the minute he came back with a tray with food on it would have been obvious to her where he had been, and thought what she did was extremely harsh!

 

 

For the people who have read the book - Michaels dilemma -

would you have told the judge?

 

 

I think she reacted like she did because she was so proud.

 

I would have told the judge. I thought it was awful that she took most of the blame :D

 

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I just found the German version of it in the library yesterday :)

Just reached the part

where Michael becomes a student

. It's quite nice but I think in the end I will like the film more...

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I'm hoping this will be selected as the October Reading Circle's book choice. It's on by bookshelves as we speak :)

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The problem with the 'Reader' is that it was written in German for a German audience. I'm currently reading it in German and the English translation. Sorry to say the english translation is at times clumsy - maybe why some people hate the novel, if they read the English translation.

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