Hailed for its coiled eroticism and the moral claims it makes upon the reader, this mesmerizing novel is a story of love and secrets, horror and compassion, unfolding against the haunted landscape of postwar Germany.
When he falls ill on his way home from school, fifteen-year-old Michael Berg is rescued by Hanna, a woman twice his age. In time she becomes his lover—then she inexplicably disappears. When Michael next sees her, he is a young law student, and she is on trial for a hideous crime. As he watches her refuse to defend her innocence, Michael gradually realizes that Hanna may be guarding a secret she considers more shameful than murder.
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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. EllisFrom the Back Cover:
"A formally beautiful, disturbing and finally morally devastating novel." --Los Angeles Times
"Moving, suggestive and ultimately hopeful. . . . [The Reader] leaps national boundaries and speaks straight to the heart." --The New York Times Book Review
"Arresting, philosophically elegant, morally complex. . . . Mr. Schlink tells his story with marvelous directness and simplicity." --The New York Times
"Haunting. . . . What Schlink does best, what makes this novel most memorable, are the small moments of highly charged eroticism." --Francine Prose, Elle
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Book Description Vintage 2008-01-01, 2008. MASS MARKET PAPERBACK. Book Condition: New. 0307473465 Has slight shelf wear to dust jacket. A portion of your purchase of this book will be donated to non-profit organizations. Over 1,000,000 satisfied customers since 1997! We ship daily M-F. Choose expedited shipping (if available) for much faster delivery. Delivery confirmation on all US orders. Bookseller Inventory # Z0307473465ZN
Book Description Vintage, 2008. Mass Market Paperback. Book Condition: New. Mti. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0307473465
Book Description Vintage, 2008. Taschenbuch. Book Condition: Neu. 224 Seiten JW-WBUD-IS71 Sprache: Englisch Gewicht in Gramm: 113. Bookseller Inventory # 137845
Book Description Vintage, 2008. Mass Market Paperback. Book Condition: New. Mass Market Paperback in Bradn New condition. "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." ; Movie Tie-in Edition; 7.01 X 4.41 X 0.87 inches; 218 pages. Bookseller Inventory # 14813
Book Description Vintage, 2008. Mass Market Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0307473465
Book Description Vintage, 2008. Mass Market Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110307473465
Book Description Vintage, 2008. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # 9780307473462
Book Description New York: VIntage/Div. of Random House. 1997, SIGNED PAPERBACK, 1997. Soft cover. Book Condition: New. 1st Edition. Signed by Author(s). Bookseller Inventory # 520