What readers think of The Reader, plus links to write your own review.

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The Reader

by Bernhard Schlink

The Reader by Bernhard Schlink X
The Reader by Bernhard Schlink
  • Critics' Opinion:

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  • First Published:
    Mar 1999, 218 pages

    Paperback:
    Mar 1999, 218 pages

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There are currently 30 reader reviews for The Reader
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lynn

Fire Survivors
I just wanted to answer the question posed by a previous reviewer who asked how the two women survived when there was no visible escape route from the inferno in the church. They climbed up into the gallery where they hid until the fire was extinguished and they could leave surreptitiously . They fled through the village without being noticed by the guards who thought everyone inside the church had burned to death.
Chuck

One question that loses me
Thought it was excellent. Kept my attention but still needs a question to be answered. Woman who talked to the Judges told of the church. Beams on fire and doors locked. All died except her. How did she escape? Was she really in church or outside an telling what she believed to be true?


Michael Berg has been diagnosed with hepatitis, it began in the fall and lasted until spring. Once he finally decided to go for a walk he ended up throwing up outside an apartment building (as shown on page 1). A woman who looked the age of 20 something helped him and brought him up to her apartment. After that day nothing was the same between them, they became lovers.
   They begin to learn more about each other but Hanna is more resistant to let him know about her. He does however find out where she works and tries to talk to her there yet she ignores him. He then finds out that she is 36 years old and has children older than he is. They still continue to see each other secretly, but when he goes over to her place after school she pushes him to do his homework and to read to her.
   All of the sudden out of nowhere she is gone he goes to her place after school and she is not there, so he waits. He ended up leaving that day thinking he would never see her again.
   After he had grown and left Blumenstrasse where they were originally from, he saw her. This time she was on trial and at first she did not recognize him. Although he knew why she was on trial he could not understand why she was letting herself go under that easily. His only thoughts were that she had done something far worse.
It turns out that Hanna did not know how to read or write. That shows why she had had Michael read to her. She now works in a prison she walks around keeping the prisoners in check.
Michael ended up meeting another woman named Gertrud, he did not tell her about Hanna. He continued to live his life he ended up living in New York pretty much happily ever after.

I rated this a 4 because of it's vivid description of all of the buildings, towns and people. Bernhard Schlink is a great author.
October 25, 2001
Hi Mr. Diaz!
Ronnie King

The Reader
Whilst one cannot deny that the content of The Reader by Bernhard Schlink is certainly emotive and tragic, I find myself still asking the question - is it really a good book? I feel it lacks both the descriptive detail and the atmosphere which should go with such a harrowing story. I find the style too disruptive to its intentions. The sentences and content are far to stripped and the story lacks any real imagination. It reports too much and it is this which hinders any developed notion of post war Germany. Sorry, I just didn't buy it. Too much style too little content.
mal

i like this book because it was easy for me to understand. It was sorta hard because i have to write an essay on a major theme that what i think schlink is telling us and stuff like that. I was hoping i reach at least 6 pages but i barely have 3pages. Could not really find any good quotes to use and i wrote about illiterate and how it affects relationship.. i can finish the book in one day and when i read the first chapter it makes me want to read more and know what happen next.
JMona

This would make a good audio book, because it's written as if the author is verbally telling you a memory he had, leaving lots of detail out and focusing on the plot revelations (again, leaving out descriptions). The story was good but underdeveloped and somewhat rushed. The main characters could have used a lot more development. For such a short piece of work the author received an overly abundant amount of critical praise, but Styron's work, Sophie's Choice, blows The Reader away with its much more intricate third party telling of a woman's torment. The Reader seemed like the first draft of a short story to me, not a finished piece.
mark k

unfortunate display of bad writing and inaccurate exposure
ive read the reviews of several people swooning over this book. i really would like to be able to say that there was part of this item that i enjoyed or found useful, but sadly, i am here writing this review without many merits to it.

the story is absurd and perhaps idiomatic in context. people like joe niswonger are clueless as to the treachery this book is bound to cause by giving elementary level readers an unrealistic mockery of the german language, in both written form and in dialogue.

many of the people that i know that were impressed by this book in their foreign studies were many of the same people that did not perform to maximum potential.

statistically, this is a book for the casualties.
erin

this book sucked the big one. it just drags on and i felt no sympathy for these characters. this guy talks way too much and it is very hard to finish the book. BORING!!

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