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Decompression by [Zeh, Juli]
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Decompression Kindle Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Length: 274 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product Description


"Zeh's award-winning thriller climaxes with a scene of splendid drama" (Guardian)

"Deftly translated by John Cullen... Zeh plays with our expectations throughout... Like The Method, this is a story about obsession – this time with status, looks, and celebrity culture" (Independent)

"Erotic intrigue, deep-sea diving and clients from hell make for a lively mix...The gathering suspense is complemented by nuanced characterization in a pleasingly unpredictable work" (Kirkus Reviews)

Book Description

Underwater, things can go wrong in an instant

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1252 KB
  • Print Length: 274 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Digital (1 May 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846557550
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846557552
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #459,535 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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By Rowena Hoseason HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on 4 May 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
This powerful psychodrama combines the serene rapture of the underwater environment with the claustrophobic collapse of identity under pressure. It’s unpredictable, offbeat and edgy; unsettling and almost incidentally erotic...

Zeh introduces a pair of snakes into paradise when a fractious couple come to learn scuba diving at an isolated holiday village in the Canary Islands, where outcasts from society seek refuge from modern life. Self-centred Sven the diving instructor has held himself at a distance from everyone in his adult life. He’s abandoned a career in the law; shuns his homeland, sneers at his countrymen and barely commits the time of day to his long-term relationship with a woman who has loved him since she was a child.
Enter Jola, a physically compelling but emotionally insecure magnetic young actress, whose sexual manipulations and emotional machinations destroy Sven’s defences and leave him frighteningly vulnerable. Jola wields her sexuality and her vulnerability as potent weapons, goading her partner Theo at one moment and seeking his support the next. They are like the couple from hell at a dinner party, constantly sniping at each other, and ensnaring any unwary bystanders in their escalating conflict. The violence threatens to tip from verbal to physical at any moment – and inevitably, blood will be spilled…
Zeh brilliantly sets all this discord against the deep blue background of the churning Atlantic ocean. Chaotic on the surface, it provides moments of tranquil rapture during the dives which adds to the disconcerting and destabilising effect of the narrative. The story is mainly told from Sven’s perspective – but then we’re shown an alternative interpretation of events as they unfold.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Sven is a diving instructor in Lanzarote ,who has been hired to teach diving ,and cater for the every need of German tourists,Jola and Theo .Jola is an attractive,wealthy soap opera star,with a yearning to be taken more seriously as an actor.Theo is a bitter author,
with a writing block.Their relationship is highly dysfuntional. Jola starts flirting with Sven,which leads to fraught dynamics between
the three protaganists,and may make the diving dangerous.
The story is narrated by Sven,interspersed with fragments from Jola's diary .They tell different tales,and the reader does not know which one to believe.
None of the main characters are sympathetic figures,but the strength of the writer''s skills (including memorable diving scenes )and the tense denouement make for an interesting read.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3.2 out of 5 stars 23 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars a so-so novel 21 May 2014
By She Treads Softly - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
In Decompression by Juli Zeh, Sven and his girlfriend, who left Germany years ago, have a deep sea diving business on the island of Lanzarote. They cater to the tourists who come to visit. When two new customers, German tourists, show up, Sven finds himself attracted to the woman, Jola von der Pahlen, an actress on a soap opera. Her older boyfriend, Theo Hast, is a writer who feels he is superior to everyone around him.

The story is told from Sven's point of view and through Jola's diary entries. Clearly there is a cat and mouse game going on, but no one seems to know the reason behind it or how high the stakes are going to go. Although it does have a few elements of a psychological thriller, this is more of a character study of jealousy and lies with some abuse thrown into the mix.

Decompression by Juli Zeh is a so-so novel for me. While it is well written, I think it may have lost some of the flow of the original German. But even more than that, I detested every single loathsome character in this book, which made it hard to care what happened to them, no matter how intriguing the set up or exotic the local.

Disclosure: My Kindle edition was courtesy of Knopf Doubleday for review purposes.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Review of Decompression 27 July 2014
By Lydia - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This is not going to be a long review. To be honest, it's been two months since I read DECOMPRESSION by Juli Zeh and the most excitement I can gather when I think of it is a mild, distracted, "meh." That sounds really bad, but I was so taken in by the interesting cover and the synopsis and setting (The Canary Islands!) that I couldn't help but imagine something exciting and thrilling. What I got, instead, was something that made me feel slightly dirty and more than a little frustrated that I spent so much of my valuable free time trying to muddle through the whole thing.

Honestly, this should have been a DNF (did not finish) book for me. I kept hoping that the story would get better, that it would be revealed that there actually was a good person in all of this, and other than a brief glimpse at the end of a character who was really kept in the background, I didn't really get that. Instead, I got a story about some self-centered, rich people who live in seclusion in paradise and who have been hired out to cater to some more self-centered rich people.

The suspense was all built around sexual tension. That's not to say there can't be suspense there, but it never actually felt dangerous. Instead, it felt like Zeh was trying too hard to put suspense and tension into the book and was way overshooting the mark. I didn't believe it, I didn't believe that the characters actually had passion and drive and desire. Instead, what I felt like was that I was reading a mediocre play that involved a mediocre cast trying to put some life into it.

I was deeply disappointed by DECOMPRESSION, but I'm more disappointed in myself that I got sucked in by yet another pretty cover and the idea of a story that really wasn't delivered.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Psychological intrigue (4.25*s) 18 May 2014
By J. Grattan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This gripping story of deception, infatuation, and malice occurs on the Canary Islands where Sven Fiedler, a forty-year-old exile from Germany, runs a laid-back diving instructional school with his long-time girlfriend Antje. But their idyllic situation receives a jolt with the arrival of German TV soap star Jola von der Pahlen and her older, writer boyfriend Theo Hast. The high fee they pay for exclusive access to Sven’s services hardly compensates for the developments over the next two weeks.

Sven and Antje have a great relationship, but Jola’s stunning beauty and her provocative posturing go hardly unnoticed by Sven. By the second dive, Sven and Jola have already moved beyond the formalities of teacher and student. Sven seems to be troubled with what is happening, but in alternate chapters Jola’s much different interpretations of events are viewed in the pages of her daily journal entries. And then there is Theo, who seems oddly passive/aggressive and cynical concerning Jola’s actions and effects on men. Theirs is a puzzling love-hate relationship.

It is difficult to grasp the characters because of all of the psychological game playing that seems to be occurring. The author keeps the tension high as there is a growing instability among all of these characters that is certain to end ignominiously. Sven’s desire to escape the intrigues of German society fourteen years earlier is now proving to be an exercise in futility.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not what I was looking for. 26 April 2014
By Betty K - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Sven Fiedler, a young lawyer has fled the turmoil of a legal career in modern Germany for the simpler lifestyle of a deep-sea diving instructor tucked away on Lanzarote, one of the Canary Islands. His girlfriend Antje lives with him to take of the business and catering end of the concern.

I wanted to like this story. The locale is beautiful in its own harsh way and the characters seemed comfortable yet interesting. However, when a beautiful actress and her writer boyfriend show up for exclusive and intensive diving instructions, Sven’s life suddenly becomes exceedingly complicated and the tone of the novel becomes ugly. The diving instructor is besotted by the beauty and sexuality of his young student, and it isn’t long before both Antje and the writer begin to be suspicious of their relationship.

While the novel is well written, there is a great deal of strong sexual language and some gratuitous sex scenes. Some of the scenes are written from the point of view of both Sven and the young actress and soon it becomes difficult to know which of the two characters is telling the truth. As the tension builds, it isn’t long before the reader becomes aware that something tragic will soon take place.

While the plot is certainly gripping, because of the language and the story line I didn't really enjoy the book. But that is my strictly personal opinion.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everybody knows you are having an affair but you 17 Jun. 2014
By Gail Ofterdinger - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
I am glad I did not read previous reviews for this book. I loved it. I just knew somebody was going to die, but I could not figure out which character. The tropical isle setting is so enticing. I would love to leave my life behind and find a an uncluttered beach life. The allure of the diving school, albeit with a sinister element of undersea danger, puts me on edge. My sensors are tingling as the mismatched German couple arrives for lessons. The almost has-been soap star and the writer whose muse has left him, publicly abuse each other and set up the dive instructor. He is such a sap for her beauty and sexual overtones. I really thought one of them would kill him if not each other. The person with the most undetected secret when it all plays out, however, is the instructor's girlfriend. I was cheering, good for her! The author gives us suspense, intrigue, dishonesty, mental unbalance, graphic sex, and an unexpected ending. That's enough for a good read for me. I can see this brought to the screen too. The visual component is strong. I highly recommend this read. My thanks to Goodreads and the author for a complimentary copy.
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