The Reader

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9780753810293: The Reader
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A novel, a love story, translated from German. It's about guilt, justice, betrayal and shame.

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Review:

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. Ellis

From the Inside Flap:

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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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780375707971: The Reader

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  0375707972 ISBN 13:  9780375707971
Publisher: Vintage Books, 1997
Softcover

9780307454898: The Reader (Movie Tie-in Edition) (Vintage International)

Vintage, 2008
Softcover

9780613174671: The Reader (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition)

Tandem, 1999
Hardcover

9780307473462: The Reader (Movie Tie-in Edition) (Vintage International)

Vintage, 2008
Softcover

9781474603430: The Reader: 20th Anniversary Edition

Weiden..., 2017
Softcover

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Schlink, Bernhard; Translated from the G
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