Remember that not long ago, I told you that I hadn’t been much of a reader lately?
Well, I still spend a lot more time walking or surfing the Internet than I do reading. But I do carry a book in my rucksack and will read a few pages while on the bus or the métro.
The other day, I had forgotten the book I was currently reading (still haven’t finished it) and stopped by this bookshop to buy a small book.
Village Voice, in the Latin Quarter
I browsed around, didn’t know what to buy. It had to be a small book as I don’t want to carry heavy books around. So I picked this novel by Bernhard Schlink which I didn’t know anything about, only attracted by its size and the photo of Kate Winslett on the cover. Can you think of a more shallow way of choosing a book? 😀
Well, I can’t, but it turned out to be the sort of book that I couldn’t put down, although it took me quite a while to read.
The Reader, by Bernhard Schlink
I only realised that Bernhard Schlink was a German writer and that I could easily have bought a translation of the novel in French. But it doesn’t matter. I like reading in English, if only because I am a fast reader and books will last longer when I read in English.
So I started reading, knowing absolutely nothing about the book. I got totally sucked in and was led from one surprise to the next till the end of the story.
In case you haven’t heard anything about it, which is unlikely, I don’t want to mention anything that might be a spoiler.
I’ll just copy a short paragraph.
At first I wanted to write our story in order to be free of it. But the memories wouldn’t come back for that. Then I realized our story was slipping away from me and I wanted to recapture it by writing, but that didn’t coax up the memories either. For the last few years I’ve left our story alone. I’ve made peace with it. And it came back, detail by detail and in such a fully rounded fashion, with its own direction and its own sense of completion that it no longer makes me sad. What a sad story, I thought for so long. Not that I now think it was happy. But I think it is true, and thus the question of whether it is sad or happy nas no meaning whatever.
A must read.