Bernhard Schlink’s The Reader is on lot of mustread lists, won few awards and was the first German book to top the New York Time’s Bestsellers list!
A coincidence that I read two books on holocaust in succession! Book thief followed by The Reader! I could not go beyond few tens of pages for Lolita. The Reader’s first half did the same to me but somehow I finished it maybe because I was carrying it with me on a flight!
Anyways, Michael is helped by Hanna when he falls ill, they fall in love and have a ‘disturbing-to-reader’ affair. Reader = ME!!! Their ages? 15 and 36 respectively! Their affair is unnatural and not so pleasant to read! It’s more of a selfish abuse of a teenage boy by a woman. They have a ritual of the boy reading to Hanna! One day, Hanna disappears.
In second part, the boy is a law student and attends a trial where Hanna is being punished. She doesn’t defend herself properly as she is hiding a fact more shameful than murder. The boy keeps on reading to her throughout her sentence and sends her lot of cassettes. That was kind of touching. The end.. I won’t spoil it for others, but I found it apt and satisfying.
It is supposed to be a love story but the love did not have any spark for me! I read it full,without actually liking it a lot at any time . There were some pleasant feelings but nothing very extraordinary for me!
“There’s no need to talk about it, because the truth of what one says lies in what one does.”
“Sometimes the memory of happiness cannot stay true because it ended unhappily..”
“When we open ourselves
you yourself to me and I myself to you,
when we submerge
you into me and I into you
when we vanish
into me you and into you I
am I me
and you are you.”