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The Reader Audiobook

The Reader

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Publisher's Summary

Hailed for its coiled eroticism and the moral claims it makes upon the reader, this mesmerizing novel is a story of love and secrets, horror and compassion, unfolding against the haunted landscape of postwar Germany.

When he falls ill on his way home from school, 15-year-old Michael Berg is rescued by Hanna, a woman twice his age. In time she becomes his lover--then she inexplicably disappears. When Michael next sees her, he is a young law student, and she is on trial for a hideous crime. As he watches her refuse to defend her innocence, Michael gradually realizes that Hanna may be guarding a secret she considers more shameful than murder.

©2008 Bernhard Schlink; (P)2008 Random House Audio

What the Critics Say

"A formally beautiful, disturbing and finally morally devastating novel." (Los Angeles Times)
"Moving, suggestive and ultimately hopeful. . . . [The Reader] leaps national boundaries and speaks straight to the heart." (The New York Times Book Review)
"Arresting, philosophically elegant, morally complex. . . . Mr. Schlink tells his story with marvelous directness and simplicity." (The New York Times)
"Haunting. . . . What Schlink does best, what makes this novel most memorable, are the small moments of highly charged eroticism." (Francine Prose, Elle)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (796 )
5 star
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3 star
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1 star
 (16)
Overall
4.3 (409 )
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1 star
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4.4 (402 )
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3 star
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Performance
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  •  
    AB63 PA 06-14-17
    AB63 PA 06-14-17 Member Since 2014
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    24
    10
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "It asks the right questions"

    Like Hanna innocently asks the judge, "what would you do?" is really the gist of this story:
    what should've Michael done --revealed Hanna's illiteracy to the Court?
    What should've the original Germans done --fight Hitler's ways?
    What should've Hanna done --protest against the atrocities in which was partaking?
    All heavy questions, for sure. A good "thinking mans" story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scott Moss Beach, CA, United States 02-10-17
    Scott Moss Beach, CA, United States 02-10-17 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    116
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    REVIEWS
    436
    48
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    18
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    Story
    "Thoughtful, if Inconclusive"

    There are a dozen or more lines of philosophical inquiry ranging from loyalty and love, to the individual's obligation to his or her fellow human beings, to society, and truth, to taking responsibility for one's actions or inactions both as a participant and as an observer. The problem is that the narrator of the story (not the reader, but the literary voice) comes to no real conclusions. The philosophical questions are posed, but largely unanswered. Nonetheless, it gives an understanding of how one generation's moral failings affects following generations.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    SIAMEEZ 12-29-16
    SIAMEEZ 12-29-16
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
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    Story
    "Couldn't stop listening"

    A love story that is unforgettable. I couldn't wait to learn all that the characters were hiding from their past to their deepest feelings.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pamela French 09-18-16
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    "Amazing book, emotions from love,anger, hate and devastation."

    Amazing book, emotions from love, anger, betrayal, passion and devastation. One oif the best books I've every listened to.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andreea Marin 05-09-16 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    37
    29
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    "still my favourite book after all these years."

    this book is made to be heard. its form as audio really works with the content.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    André 03-23-16
    André 03-23-16
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    3
    2
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    Story
    "awesome"

    a sensitive story told with the words. well done
    kudos to mr campbell for using the right tone during the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Casey 03-20-16
    Casey 03-20-16
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
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    Story
    "You won't want to put it down."

    What an amazing story. I read along with the audiobook and the characters came to life!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    alok 12-11-15
    alok 12-11-15
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
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    Story
    "Great experience"

    Amazing story and an exceptional narration by Campbell. For a long time, everything I will hear will seem bland .

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Penicia 08-15-15
    Penicia 08-15-15
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    2
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    Story
    "Worth the Read"

    I really enjoyed this story. It's relatable to the non-cool kids and for people who know or are in relationships with such as Hanna and Michael.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ethan Dazelle 03-13-15 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    56
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    Story
    "Affects Deeply"

    Usually I try to come up with a more audacious or funny review title, but this story earned a succinct and active label. The story will take you places you will not expect, and always feels alive, which I understand as not only difficult but confusing and passionate. Tragic but yet alive. I truly hope it affects you as well.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Chrissie62
    1/2/09
    Overall
    "The Reader"

    This is the best book I have listened to or read since The Book Thief. I listened to all 4 hours in one sitting. Absolutely briliant!

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Peter
    Brighton, United Kingdom
    1/29/09
    Overall
    "Listening to The Reader"

    The character Hannah loves to be read to, and so listening to this sympathetic reading felt apt. I really like the book, just as I did the film. Wikipedia told me that Schlink is a professor for public law and the philosophy of law, and sometimes works as a judge. And his expertise informs this fascinating work about post war Germany and its moral dilemmas, which among other things is also is a story of doomed love. A proper grown up read. Great stuff.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Clatter Ho
    Milton Keynes, UK
    1/21/09
    Overall
    "Captivating and moving"

    I enjoyed this book tremendously; it was both captivating and moving. A story which gripped me from the start and kept me wanting to listen to more; I ended up finishing it a lot more quickly than I would normally. The emotions surrounding the love story, well they were all there: sadness, loneliness, compassion, sympathy, happiness, to name just a few. The narration was wonderful too and even though I finished it a few days ago the story has stayed with me. This is a fantastic book that I would recommend to anyone.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Liam
    BradfordUnited Kingdom
    8/31/09
    Overall
    "Short, captivating, moving"

    A great observation of a character caught within believable yet tragic circumstances, not an easy listen but moving, great human quality to the writing and subjects. Recommended highly but not an easy listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Nick
    Stevenage, United Kingdom
    3/25/09
    Overall
    "Superb - a must read"

    A book I will read and re-read. It has something to offer of increased depth and insight every time you return to even a few pages. It both entertains as a story at the most superficial level whilst offering the reader who wants it, a profound analysis of the inter-generational problems faced by the Germans of the Second World War and their offspring. At the same time it confronts the evil capacity of every human soul - that possibility that even we, normally pleasant, upright people might get drawn into monstrous acts.

    What I really liked was that the book never trifles nor offers simplistic solutions to this enigma. A must read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • kieran toner
    3/11/09
    Overall
    "I lived every up and down!"

    I loved this book, I haven't watched the movie and I don't think I want to. The emotions were captured perfectly, I related to every anxious moment, fantastic book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lizzie Bee
    Cambridgeshire
    2/8/09
    Overall
    "Open Your Mind"

    There may be books that will make you a better person, they may be books that will help you change your life.

    But every now and then you should read or listen to a book that challenges your preconcieved ideas about what is wrong and right and makes you think.

    Every thing about the reader should make you hate the two main characters - is Hannah a preditor taking advantage of a boy not yet a man? Is Michael morally corrupt because he does nothing to help Hannah when he realises that he could save her from jail?

    Or are these two people just human beings with the same faults and failabilities that we all have?

    The final twist caused me to audibly gasp.

    This is not a book to listen too when you want something light and breezey - this is a book to open your mind.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sue
    Shroton, Dorset, United Kingdom
    2/2/09
    Overall
    "The Reader"

    I really enjoyed this and just didn't want it to end. Excellent reading and Brilliant story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Eddie
    1/31/09
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Remembering"

    A riviting book that I listned to in one sitting. It is difficult not to feel sorry for Hannah, an ex concentration camp guard but we should not lose track of the of the horrors that were committed in those camps especially by the female guards, three of whom were executed after the war for their crimes. This book takes you through the whole spectrum of emotion from tenderness and love to the horror of what she did. All through the eyes of a young German boy whose life was changed for ever after coming into first contact with her. I would highly recommend this book to anyone with even the smallest interest in what is the German collective guilt after the Second World War.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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