cover image The Reader

The Reader

Bernhard Schlink, , read by Campbell Scott. . Random House Audio, $14.99 ( , unabridged, four CDs, 4.5 hrs., $14.99 ISBN p) ISBN 978-0-7393-7595-2

When Michael Berg began attending the Nazi war trials as part of a college class, he never expected to find Hanna—an older woman who had seduced him when he was a teenager—as one of the accused. Berg is himself paralyzed by a moral dilemma that may free her, but also destroy her. Schlink uses this intriguing and complex relationship to engage issues of identity, ego and freedom of choice that are emphasized within the backdrop of the Holocaust. Campbell Scott proves an excellent narrator, with an eloquent and precise tone that gives a reflective distance to this first-person account, emphasizing the Berg's evolution as he grows from youth into adult. Scott's deliberate delivery also emphasizes Berg's emerging maturity; initially, his deliberateness hints at insecurity while later on, Scott's steady reading indicates experience. A Vintage paperback. (Dec.)