I just finished The Reader by Bernhard Schlink, which was recently a movie starring my favorite actress (and Academy-Award winner) Kate Winslet.
In fact, Winslet's Oscar win was most of the reason I even purchased the book. I knew I'd want to see her performance and I always try to read a book before viewing the corresponding film.
I loved it.
It was a quick read which is especially nice because I really only have about 30 minutes to dedicate to reading each night before my eyelids get ridiculously heavy and the steady snores from Scott drift me to Dreamland. I started it earlier this week and just wrapped up its 218 pages.
I also really enjoyed the author's style of writing -- it's sort of a harsher but equally-journalistic version of Hemingway. Short, to-the-point sentences, some of which make you drop your jaw with surprise. "How can he just start a chapter like THAT???"
The book tells the story of a complicated relationship between a sickly teenage boy in post-World-War-II Germany who meets a mysterious woman twice his age. Their tryst quickly turns passionate and they become lovers, albeit for one brief summer. The affair ends when the woman mysteriously disappears without an explanation or a goodbye. Fast-forward to eight years later when they again meet -- he as a law student and she as a defendant in a war crimes trial. I won't say a word about what happens after that -- other than it is the first time I've ever felt sympathy for an SS Guard in my entire life of reading Holocaust novels by Weisel and Frank and the lot.
The woman, Hanna, has sort of stayed with me over the past few minutes.
I'm really looking forward to seeing the film.
Next up, another Winslet-had-something-to-do-with-this piece... Revolutionary Road, by Richard Yates.