Dienstag, 6. Januar 2009

Having read "The Reader"

I put the book on my Christmas wish list, and Santa acted accordingly. So now I know I was wrong as well - the real reason why Michael isn't able to build lasting relationships with women is simply that he cannot get over Hanna, even after he finds out what she has done. In the book, he not only doesn't turn down one-night stands, he even marries and has a daughter, but the marriage ends in divorce for the simple reason that his wife cannot compete with his memories of Hanna, a problem shared by all the girl friends he has afterwards. There is guilt and agonising, as well as phases of total emotional numbness, after Michael discovers Hanna's past, but the book is never as simple as "I can't have any woman any more because I slept with a Nazi". I cannot tell whether the film or its reviewer are guilty of this over-simplification, but it doesn't do justice to the book. In any case, I recommend reading it.

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