Title: The Reader
Author: Bernhard Schlink
Original Publication Date: February 28th, 1998
Original Price: $13.95 (paperback)
Number of Pages: 216
Starkiller Rating: ★★★★★
Quick Synopsis: In the aftermath of World War II, Michael falls in love and carries on an affair with an older woman, Hanna. Only later in his life does Michael find out her deepest darkest secrets.
I would say that synopsis wasn’t half bad.
I had to read this for a Film and Literature class I have. I probably wouldn’t have read it if it weren’t for that class and let me tell you. I’d be missing out on one of the most beautifully tragic stories since Shakespeare. It was originally written in German so, of course, some things would be lost. However, I don’t know what’s lost.
The translator was amazing. It read so simply. Not pretentious as some translations can be. I know you’re probably thinking, “Pretentious, really? Do you have examples?” and no, no I don’t. I do know that there are some.
But let’s carry on.
The story is so amazing. It has some twists and turns. It’s something to marvel at. Obviously it’s well-translated (as earlier stated) but it’s just so well-written.
As for the characters, they’re great. Michael is highly relate-able. He’s a tragic young boy, lost in a world that he was not old enough to understand. I have a love/hate relationship with Hanna, however. Hanna makes so many stupid mistakes that involve so many other peoples lives and it legitimately makes me, as a reader, so angry.
I highly recommend this book to everyone. But, if you don’t like depressingly tragic tales of love, don’t read it.
I definitely cried at the end…