The Reader

With a critically-acclaimed movie to immortalize its appeal, little needs to be said of the quality of ‘The Reader’ as a story. While the first 40 pages of the book might be viewed as its low-point- there’s too much coverage given to the boy’s relationship with Hannah and the carnal pleasure both of them gained from it (there’s nothing pleasantly erotic about a 15-year-old boy with raging hormones having regular intercourse with a woman old enough to be his mother); the way the story developed in the subsequent parts of the novel is its saving grace. It is a riveting tale of forgiveness. It gives the perpetrators of Holocaust, represented by Hannah, a human face. While the novel didn’t change the reader’s perception of Holocaust as a dark humanitarian tragedy and the evil nature of its perpetrators, it provides us with an insight of the emotional pain and self-hatred stemmed from the feeling of guilt for being a direct or indirect complicit of such an atrocity, the feeling prevalent among the Germans who lived in the postwar years. Human beings, no matter how cunning, how atrocious, how heartless, are human, capable of feeling guilt, and to a degree, remorse. This is exactly where Schlink, as a writer, found triumph- I finally see that the Auschwitz guards are actually human too; just like me and you. What makes them differ from us is the misjudgments that they made, which resulted in their despicable actions.

In the case of Holocaust, the misjudgments resulted in a disaster, and that we are all aware of.

4/5* (Very good read)

The New Beginning

Hello folks,

Well, while this isn’t the first blog post that I’ve ever written, this post should mark a whole new beginning for me- in a sense, it is. I used to blog rather regularly until the sudden loss of my blogging mojo culminated into a long hiatus; my previous blog is now officially dead with this new blog taking its place.

Why a new blog?

Well, I think my previous blog, started when I was in my teens, doesn’t really reflect who I am at this point- while I still find enjoyment in ranting (well, this blog’s url I believe is self-explanatory), I find myself to have evolved and grown as a person. Some of the more immature posts that were the feature of my previous blog don’t really bode well with the aim I have set for this blog to achieve- I want this blog to be not only a vanity project (read: personal diary or journal), but to serve a greater purpose. No more immature posts, I hope.

I hope this is a good start. I’m not as optimistic as Qin Shi Huang, who predicted that his fledgling empire would endure for “ten thousand generations“, but I do hope that this blog (I won’t say ’empire’) will stay relevant for you and me for a long time.

Faizal Hamssin