“This uncommonly affecting page-turner, set in postwar Germany, evokes equal depths of thought and feeling. Written in spare, keenly observed prose, it is a story of love, and of personal and historical responsibility, and the novel's wrenching moral questions still have me in their grip.”
— John Willson, Eagle Harbor Book Company, Bainbridge Island, WA
Read by Campbell Scott
3 cassettes / aprox. 4 1/2 hours
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, fifteen-year-old Michael Berg is rescued by Hanna, a woman twice his age. In time she becomes his lover. She enthralls him with her passion, but puzzles him with her odd silences. Then she inexplicably disappears.
When Michael next sees her, he is a young law student, and she is on trial for a hideous crime. But as he watches her refuse to defend herself, , Michael gradually realizes that his former lover may be guarding a secret she considers more shameful than murder.
"Moving, suggestive and ultimately hopeful. . . . The Reader leaps national boundaries and speaks straight to the heart." --The New York Times Book Review