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Novel by Bernhard Schlink

Blurb

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

First Published

1995

Member Reviews Write your own review

jewel.bonney

Jewel.bonney

Such a treasure each one of these books. If you have some great stories like this one, you can publish them on NovelStar, just email our editors [email protected], [email protected] or [email protected] The link is the details about the competition happening this April to end of May. https://author.starlight.ink/essay/index.html

0 Responses posted 19 hours ago
lua.anne.hearts

Lua.anne.hearts

I am truly hoping there will be another book to this one. I look forward to reading more. If you have some great stories like this one, you can publish it on Novel Star, just submit your story to [email protected] or [email protected]

1 Response posted yesterday
sana.dinalang

Sana.dinalang

The story is powerful; I like how it was presented. Good job writer! If you have some great stories like this one, you can publish it on Novel Star, just submit your story to [email protected] or jo

0 Responses posted yesterday
princess.gomez

Princess.gomez

Wow, this book was a great read. If you have some great stories like this one, you can publish it on Novel Star, just submit your story to [email protected] or [email protected]

0 Responses posted yesterday
joshuamantillagmailcom

Joshuamantillagmailcom

Great job author, I really like your writing style. I suggest you join Novel Star’s writing competition on April.

0 Responses posted 2 days ago
angel.mayumi

Angel.mayumi

Author’s way of storytelling is so good; I suggest you join Novel Star’s writing competition on April.

0 Responses posted 2 days ago
vincent.camero

Vincent.camero

I really enjoyed reading your book. I read enthusiastically and understood the story. If you have some great stories like this one, you can publish it on Novel star, just submit your story to [email protected] or [email protected]

0 Responses posted 5 days ago
catrina.yap

Catrina.yap

I really enjoyed reading your book. I read enthusiastically and understood the story. ... If you have some great stories like this one, you can publish it on Novel Star, just submit your story to [email protected] or [email protected]

0 Responses posted 6 days ago
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