The Reader

I've just been letting chance decide my books lately. So I found this book sitting a on a shelf and got to reading. I read the entire book in one sitting in the bath tub.

After the last book I read about cannibalism (The Taste of a Man), a story about a 15-year-old boy and his romance with a woman over twice his age wasn't as shocking. So I'm only need to gloss over that issue.

I liked Part 1. It told the story of their romance, silly things that the couple quibbled over, and how their relationship helped to teach Michael to become a man. His maturity and the ways that she touched him (other than physically, I mean) show up later in life and throughout the novel. Though Michael is much younger than his mistress, it's not particularly shocking or vulgar. Though, as I would in real-life, I do wonder why in the world a thirty-something woman would even consider becoming involved with a 15 year old, but hey, it's like 1950 or 60 in the novel.

Part 2 and 3, I didn't care for. I don't want to give away the ending of the book since it is still a new-ish movie, but when it is revealed that Hanna was a guard in a women's concentration camp during WWII and has to stand before a judge for war-crimes, the story begins to stretch itself too thin. When she is sent to prison and Michael begins to record readings for her, the story loses it's attraction because it is trying to hard. And when Michael reunites with Hanna only to find out that she is an old woman, it is just too obvious.

If you can't tell, I didn't like how the book ended.

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