This book review is submitted by Chetan maheshwari. Chetan is an avid book reader and a follower of GingerChai.
by Bernhard Schlink
The Reader is a story of a 15 year old boy Michael Berg , who starts having an affair with Hanna Schmitz aged 35. But after a brief period filled with steamy affair amidst some strange behaviors of Hanna, she leaves him suddenly without reasons, of which he is clueless about , until he sees her again after so many years in a court trial.
The memories of their brief affair haunts him , pricks him with guilt and her sudden exit baffles him as he grows up. He thinks that he owes something to her, as he carries a guilt feeling that he betrayed her unknowingly at the time of their relationship.
But Hanna has other reasons for leaving him, which he comes to know only during the court proceedings.
The story also describes the afflictions caused to the people by Nazis, at the time of World War-II, and we see through the eyes of Michael Berg, the present condition of places where camps were held during that time, to slave people.
The book is originally written in German, and therefore, I do feel that at some points, translated version is not so expressive, as it would be there in original. But, on the whole you will find it a good read.
The story is told in three parts . Each part covering different periods of Michael’s life. The starting of the story is good, with simple language, but it gets a bit tad boring at the starting of Part-2, but then again captivates one at the end of Part-2, and as you start the Part – 3 you cannot even think of escaping its ending because by that time you will start loving the book and fully engrossed into it.
The story is so disturbing that you will not be able to put it out of your mind, after finished reading it, and if I have to give rating, then it’d be 8 out of 10.
In 2008 ‘the Reader’ was made into a film starring Kate Winslet, and won Oscar awards last year. However, it is suggested to read the book first, as feelings that were so very well expressed in the book, are not so expressed in the movie.
Review by Chetan Maheshwari . Chetan can be contacted by firstname.lastname@example.org