Customer Reviews for

The Reader

Average Rating 4
( 461 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(170)

4 Star

(141)

3 Star

(86)

2 Star

(36)

1 Star

(28)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

Excellent

This is possibly one of the most entrhalling translated pieces I've read. It bypasses The Stranger by miles. Very hartwarming and, yet, disturbing. If you have ever taken the simple skill of reading for granted this novel will force you to think upon it.

posted by Anonymous on May 5, 2003

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Most Helpful Critical Review

3 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

Why all the hooplaa?

The way everyone ranted and raved about this book lead me to believe it would be fantastic! What a let down. Oprah, why such great reviews on this book? I've read much more interesting books than this. I give it a low one star rating.

posted by Anonymous on January 21, 2000

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2009

    Do we forgive? Should we forgive?

    I don't read Holocaust novels or see Holocaust movies, but wanted to read this novel written by a German. Cool as to how it handles the Holocaust, it is a remarkable tale, asking how long guilt should last (from our point of view), and how much sympathy one is entitled to expect (from the perpertrator's point of view).

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2009

    A surprising twist . . .

    When I chose this book, my choice was based on the movie ads running. While it looked good, I was somewhat suspicious that it was another older woman/ younger man story. While it was, the secret caught me by surprise. The translation was well done and it left as many clues as I could ask for, but I remained surprised in the courtroom when her now adult young lover sat listening to her testimony.<BR/>How much we give up to keep our secrets is where this book left me. In the end, her decision seemed logical as it relates to how she lived her life. The reader was a great book that I had finished in record time.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 31, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    The Reader....

    The Reader is an award-winning novel by German law professor and judge Bernhard Schlink. It was published in Germany in 1995 and in the United States (translated into English by Carol Brown Janeway) in 1997. It deals with the difficulties of subsequent generations to comprehend the Holocaust.<BR/><BR/>The first part of the book begins in West Germany in 1958.The main character Micheal Berg who is 15 years old, becomes ill on his way home and meets a lady name Hanna Schmitz who is 36 years old. Hanna takes Micheal under wing and gets him clean up before he heads home to his parents.<BR/><BR/>That's when the love affair begins. I found this book very interesting, its like when you begin to read you can't put it down. Its so much that goes on in this book, that its mind-blowing. <BR/><BR/>It took me a day and half to read this book, and during the time that I was reading. Nothing else matter lol. Everything else just dissipates. If your looking for a book for a gift, or a book club read. This is it...YOU HAVE FOUND WHAT YOUR LOOKING FOR!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 20, 2009

    Emotionally stirring novel that brings more to the surface than the war

    This is the most thought provoking and emotional novel I have ever read. Yes, it is a novel that deals with what happened to former Nazis after the war, but there is a much deeper meaning that deals with whether one should keep their dignity, or be seen as a criminal. One of the best novels I have ever read!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 21, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    hmmmm...

    I wasn's sure how to feel about this book. There was a combination of good and bad writing in the book. I felt like the characters did't connect as much as I had hoped they would. The author went on about to many subjects that were boring or weren't relevant. He should have gone into great depth about the relationship.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 12, 2008

    Moving

    Before reading, I thought I had seen this plot before...older woman, young boy, forbidden and taboo love...but this novel is a story so far beyond what I expected. Such a fantastic read. I would recommend to all.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 23, 2008

    Very Good

    I really liked the book! But I didn't like how in the beginning, about the relationship with the woman and boy was not explained well. In the end, when he said he was about to cry, I couldn't believe it because I didn't think he was that emotionally attached to her because the beginning I didn't think the relationship was like that. But overall I really liked the book and would recommend it to anyone.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 7, 2006

    Interesting read!

    I found this book very interesting because it offers a look at German as a nation tried to rebuild after WW11. The issue of dealing with generational guilt is one that is rarely dealt with in contemporary literature about the war. I don't necessarily agree with all of the authors conclusions but it definitely gave me a lot to think about!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2006

    a very slow book

    It was difficult to get through the book because to me the characters were extremely shallow...i was completley indifferent to them...so it was really hard for me to like this book when i didnt like the characters....very boring!Not to mention predictable.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2005

    Read between the lines

    I found this book to be boring the first time I read it, only finishing part one. Now I just read the whole things in one day. It's an easy read and very interesting if you read between the lines. Hanna's illiteracy represents her lack of knowledge while being an SS officer. What I didn't like was the narrator going to in depth with stupid things and not enough to areas that were crucial to the plot.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 12, 2005

    very interesting

    this book is good until its understood how someone could fall in love in such of a spare the moment type of thing if you like to read love novels you should try this one.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2005

    A Waste of Time

    I had to read this book for my book club. That is the one thing I dislike about book clubs, reading books i would never waste time reading.The first part of this book did nothing to improve my mind with it's sexual relations between boy and whore. I was not aware the young generation of germans after world war 11 was so filled with angst. It was news to me.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2004

    Make a Huge Impact on Me

    I love this book. It is so deep and thought-provoking. I was thinking for days about the story and what would I do if I were in her shoes? I rarely want to reread a book, but this is one I will read again. I thought the characters were well-developed and multidimensional. It gave a true picture of a life at a time in history. You must read this book!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 15, 2004

    Just Give It a Try!

    I think that part of the beauty in the writing of The Reader was in its simplicity. It is bold and streamlined with no frills, as love stories should be. I also noticed that when the protagonist grows up and the affair is behind him, his character seems wiser and comprehensive of his dizzying experience with Hannah. I was very impressed by the plot, the enduring message of forgiveness and its compelling characters.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2004

    A TRULY SYMBOLIC BOOK

    i had to read this book for an english class and i found it , honestly, a little bland in the beginning. my professor opened our minds to symbolic writing in this book and Schlink seemed to have stuck with it the entire time. People must take in mind that this book WAS translated from German so some of it may not create the same emotion as it would have in its original language. I found this book absolutely fantastic and i agree that it is not a one-time read. it really takes a lot of thinking and imagination to enjoy. if you dont think the love scenes are descriptive enough, read a sappy love novel, not a book about the Second World War! i loved it...

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2004

    What was Oprah thinking!

    This book was a HUGE disappointment. I have found most books on Oprah's list to be a safe choice, but she really missed the boat with this one. This book was lacking so much! Like detail and depth. And the ending! Please! I want my money back. You had better believe this one will be in a used bookstore soon.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2004

    Wierd

    I'm not sure what I expected, but at any rate I was disappointed. The characters seemed undeveloped and even the supposed romantic scenes were lacking description. I very rarely am disappointed in a book, and I have to say I was this time.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2004

    Extremely Moving

    I don't understand how some people could've commented that the characters in this book didn't have enough 'depth'. I truly beg to differ. I thought that it was an extremely moving novel; I didn't agree with a grown woman seducing a teenage boy half her age, however, Hanna Schmitz's character could be deemed neither evil nor innocent, but she still managed to evoke sympathy from me as an audience. The younster Michael, who we as the audience follows into adulthood-his inability to get over this woman and to sustain proper relationships harbors on the harm which Hanna caused when she seduced him when he was a mere child. I guess she had her faults, then, on top of being a Nazi. Anyway, this should be made into a movie, as a matter of fact, while reading this, I felt as if I were watching one of those old Euro flicks that I love so much. This would make a great film adaption; I can just see it on the Sundance Channel. You're either going to love the book or hate it. I thought it was well written and well detailed without being overly so, so I do recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good book with a dark undertone.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 25, 2003

    EMOTIONALLY AND INTELLECTUALLY STIMULATING

    THIS IS ABSOLUTELY THE BEST BOOK I HAVE EVER READ!! WHEN I WAS FINISHED I WANTED TO DISCUSS THE BOOK WITH SOMEONE...IT WAS THAT STIMULATING TO ME... I HAVE NEVER FELT THAT WAY BEFORE AFTER READING A BOOK!!!! I READ IT LAST YEAR AND WHEN I LOOKED ON THE INTERNET FOR SOME REVIEWS ON IT, THEY WERE NOT VERY POSITIVE AND I FELT THAT THEY DID NOT REALLY UNDERSTAND THE BOOK. WHILE READING IT I KEPT REREADING SEVERAL PARTS OF IT AND EACH TIME I WOULD READ IT I WOULD UNDERSTAND THE CHARACTERS SO MUCH BETTER. IN MY OPINION THIS IS NOT A BOOK THAT YOU CAN JUST READ QUICKLY AND PUT DOWN BECAUSE YOU ARE MISSING OUT ON THE BEAUTY OF THIS STORY.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 8, 2003

    Okay, but not great!

    This book has a nice story, but I feel Schlink told it wrong. I had to literally force myself to finish it. I'm glad I did, though, because it had a shocking and good ending.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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