Alicja Go Go itibaren Nanauri, Bihar 805121, Hindistan
I read the majority of this book in an airport and on an airplane. Partially because I was bored but mostly because it was a very captivating read. I can't say too much because much of the plot revolves around this secret that isn't revealed until later in the book, and it's a secret I don't want to give away because then it would make reading it for the first time just... lame, y'know? The characters, or at least the two we're mostly focused upon (Hanna and Michael) aren't the most well-rounded characters to ever enter literary history... they've barely even reached two demensional, which is sad, because had they been further developed I would have felt much more attached to them, instead I just felt like an outside observer, watching them. But, perhaps that was the author's goal, because it is mentioned from time to time how Michael feels no sympathy, no emotion, just a casual observer, and maybe we're meant to feel like that as well, to feel what Michael is feeling. But I did get involved in the book and I was interested. At least interested enough to go, "Oh, my God!" near the end of the book... while I was sitting in the airport. Maybe you will too, maybe you won't... I really wish that Bernhard Shlinck had gone more in depth into this story because it has the power to be more than just a good read. It has the power to really make you stop and think (which at certain moments I did for a bit) and it has the power to make you wonder about your own actions and how you should view your own past, and your countries past, and your families past. Perhaps it could, for the devoted reader. But it wouldn't for a casual reader, which is a dissapointment. This had the potential to be a very powerful novel... and perhaps it is, but I did not view it this way. Some parts were moving, but a lot of it was more introspective on the part of Michael and his relationship with Hanna... which sort of impeded and clouded the more serious moments that arose in chapters. Had the relationship been more developed writing-wise, perhaps the book as a whole could have been more touching. In the end it was a good read, maybe a little touching, and for those of you who have read it, don't think I'm casually brushing off such an emotional subject, because I'm not. It's just that I have read better books dealing with this subject. The only thing that I found new and thought provoking was the idea of what second generation Germany was supposed to do about those (their parents and relatives) that were directly involved in the war, and how they were supposed to handle it... There are a lot of issues that are brought up within this short book, perhaps one of them will touch you and pull you into the book.