Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Reader... some thoughts and ponderings..

Sunday, I sat down with the intention of starting The Reader so I could discuss it with those of you who have already finished and to write some questions. I finished it Sunday. Needless to say, after Part One was over, it picked up considerably and I really connected with Michael and a lot of what he was thinking / questioning. The older woman / younger boy relationship did not phase me. Probably, because it wasn't made into a big deal. Probably because he DID tell her he was 17. Which, still isn't great, but it's not like she actually knew he was 15. And he was a willing participant.

Anyway, I have SO much to say about this but I am going to try to space it out in a few posts instead of one huge long one.

Questions Michael posed..

"Why does what was beautiful suddenly shatter in hindsight because it concealed
dark truths? Why does the memory of years of happy marriage turn to gall when
our partner is revealed to have had a lover all those years? Because, such a
situation makes it impossible to be happy? But we were happy!" pg. 37


What do you think?
(For those who don't know this is the part where he is looking back at his youth and wondering why it makes him sad.) In part I do agree with him, how things end do tend to color how we think of the situation as a whole. But sometimes that does our past and our actions a disservice. If you knew you would fail, would you still try? If you know that love can make you miserable and people die, do you not still love?? It is interesting, because I know that I have discolored memories of events / people because of the outcomes. What are your experiences?

"What is law? Is it what is on the books, or what is actually enacted and obeyed
in society? Or is law what must be enacted and obeyed whether or not it is on
the books, if things are to go right?" pg. 91


I found this to be an interesting question. Because really, what is law? Is it what's already in place, or what was in place in the past? Is what is written as law, followed to the T? Or is there interpretations made case by case? To simply answer, I say that law is fluid and ever changing. That is the simple and uncomplicated version at least. What do you think?

I really enjoyed The Reader and the many, many questions it brought to light. Whether Michael is posing them or they naturally pop out as you are reading. What questions that Michael posed stood out to you?

7 comments:

Becky said...

That was my take on it too - SO thought-provoking! And I agree, it def. picks up after the first part. That happy question STILL has me thinking.

Overall a good read - I'm excited I finished it and can participate in the conversations now! (And I'm already excited for March's read!)

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

Yep, I think this is a wonderful, thought provoking read. It's one of the few reviews that I titled "must read".

I think I also tagged that section on happiness.

I think the whole 'coloring' thing is interesting - and kind of true. I would like to say that even if I knew how things were going to end (relationship-wise, etc), I would still enter the relationship. I think it's easy to let a relationship ending cause you to look back on the relationship differently. I try not to do that, though. I try to remember that I was, at some point, very happy. I just wasn't at the end which is why the relationship needed to end but it shouldn't make me regret getting into the relationship.

Kelly said...

I finished the book yesterday and noted the same quote. I will say more when I have a real computer. I just wanted to tell you that I got chicken fajitas and they were seriously amazing! Ha ha aren't you proud?

Kelly said...

I finished the book yesterday and noted the same quote. I will say more when I have a real computer. I just wanted to tell you that I got chicken fajitas and they were seriously amazing! Ha ha aren't you proud?

pinkflipflops said...

@ Kelly.. yes proud and seriously jealous!!! I need me some good salsa and beans.. :)

Crystal Escobar said...

I need to read this book, sounds very interesting!

stacybuckeye said...

I've only seen the movie, but I'm going to have to read this one soon. The book sounds just as powerful as I found the film.