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Married women festooned in batik make their way to their favourite boutiques. A traffic jam of pushchairs has already formed outside a health food shop. No one here seems to feel the need to ponder the meaning of life. The detective sees only one face with a sceptical expression. It belongs to the blue-and-yellow macaw in a large cage next to the postcard stand… Some of my other favourite passages from the book were these.
They also never taught you what to do with a three-word sentence. It is always thee-word sentences that change the life of a human being in a decisive manner.
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I love you. I hate you. Father is dead. I am pregnant. Liam has disappeared. Dabbelink must go. After a three-word sentence, one is totally alone. The beauty of time is that it passes unaided and is undisturbed by what happens within it. Even the next few seconds will disappear, and what seemed impossible a moment ago will be over and done with.
Waiting is not difficult. Life consists of waiting. When she lifts the animal off the ground, it spreads the toes of all four paws as though it is preparing tiny parachutes for a fall. Rita Skura would never drop her cat, but the cat does not rely on that. If it were to fall one day it would land softly and stroke the hair on its chin with a superior look on its face.
That is exactly why Rita loves her pet. It possesses two qualities which to the end of her days she will never have : healthy mistrust and natural elegance. Despite years of experience, Schilf feels a slight shudder at the sight of a human fate turned into paper. Every file he opens is an intersection between his life and that of an unknown person. It will never be possible to untangle the threads that weave themselves together from the moment he starts reading. I liked the book. I loved the beautiful passages and I will be coming back to read them again.
Her work seems to be really unique — literary, philosophical and contemporary themes all woven into one. What do you think about it? Novel about two physicists, who take famous metaphors from physics a little bit too literal and too far by trying to apply them in making decisions on how to live their life. But don't worry: the book is about what happens to one of them next, not about the physics.
Hard to put down once you get into the story and a very satisfying read. Sep 20, Timothy Hallinan rated it really liked it. She's a fiercely intelligent writer playing some very inventive games with the mystery form. Oskar and Sebastian are one-time kindreds souls, brilliant physicists inseparable as students but gradually estranged over conflicting creation theories, for want of a better term. Sebastian has found a new life with a wife and child, but Oskar is a fierce solitary except for the one night a month he comes to dinner.
And then a nightmare begins: Sebastian's son is kidnapped and Sebastian is commanded to do something unthinkable to win his return -- and he does. Enter the third major character, a mystical police detective with an ear for the music of the spheres. It all gets pretty magical-realism toward the end, but there's nothing soft-focus about it. Julie Zeh is as tough a writer as I've read in years. A lot of fun, if ultimately slightly unsatisfying. Zeh has her characters speaking in epigrams as usual, but she's good enough and her characters self-involved enough to make it work.
Dec 28, Kenton Yee rated it really liked it. Juli Zeh's In Free Fall is a German cross between a Murakami magical realism adventure and a Greg Egan quantum mechanics performance framed as a psychological detective mystery. This novel partly compensates for what it falls short of Murakami's gooey richness and Egan's epistemological vividness with a plot that works out to be a credible metaphor for the propagation and collapse of a many-body quantum wave function.
It follows then that if you aren't interested in quantum mechanics, you won Juli Zeh's In Free Fall is a German cross between a Murakami magical realism adventure and a Greg Egan quantum mechanics performance framed as a psychological detective mystery.
It follows then that if you aren't interested in quantum mechanics, you won't be impressed. Since it was billed to me as a "literary psychological detective mystery", I expected to see much more character development and character driven choices, but in In Free Fall, only the main detective character felt three dimensional and, even so, he was just a classic genre lone wolf living at the edge of chaos. The two physicists, the son, the wife, the perp, the victim, and the other detectives were all stock caricatures. In summary, In Free Fall is a better than average attempt at quantum fiction.
I grade it 4 stars for plot and story and 2. I have to admit that while I really liked this book there were passages I was a bit fuzzy on. Shelves: reviewed. A strange, symbiotic friendship between Sebastian and Oskar.
Шумел камыш (Shumel kamysh)
These are some of the happenings in this unusual, sometimes confusing, tension-filled story. This one is not for the casual reader, as I found myself at times backtracking to figure out what just happened. Although I was interested in what was happening, it was not a quick and easy read. As the stories behind the kidnapping of Sebastian's son and the murder of a man with ties to a suspect doctor came out, however, I was stunned at the duplicity and conceit that caused them, even as I found myself confused by the motivation.
Sebastian is also the person whose slightest movement can turn him white-hot with rage. It is always three-word sentences that change the life of a human being in a decisive manner. Ever since his conversation with Sebastian, the detective has been working on a formulation that he himself does not fully understand: The world is the way it is because there are observers to watch it existing. Writing: 3. Apr 21, Adam rated it really liked it. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers.
To view it, click here. As I received a free copy of this book, here's my attempt to offer a review as my thanks. Though the book is labeled as a psychological thriller, I found it to be more an intellectual exercise than a psychological one. Generally, my personal reaction to psychological thrillers is something I experience in my gut, while this book I experienced more in my head Not being one for review-as-synopsis, I'll wing it By structuring the work the way she did, Zeh was able to introduce tension nearly immediately, as well as create opportunities to write passages in the present tense - a compelling, though limiting, way to add urgency to the readers' engagement with the narrative.
All this was very nicely achieved. Yet, when an author invests heavily in intellectual structure to drive their narrative, they risk creating emotional distance between the reader and the characters. Though the circumstances provided for the characters' reactions were extreme, to me they behaved more like chess pieces sequencing their way around the board and less like people, who are compelled into their respective decisions.
That stated, the choice to work this way is consistent with Zeh's overarching selection of physics professors and their respective debate physics-as-demonstrable-material-evidence vs. So again, intellectually consistent and satisfying in that manner. Not sure if that makes any sense. Oh well! On the whole, I enjoyed reading the book. Jun 20, Jmm rated it really liked it Shelves: recommend-for-some-readers , police-procedural , germany.
Would you commit murder as the ransom for your kidnapped child?
- In Free Fall.
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Was physicist Sebastian's son, Liam, really kidnapped or is Liam's kidnapping a story his father invented? Is there a parallel universe where other versions of our lives play out? These questions all form part of the strange plot of Juli Zeh's intriguing police procedural In Free Fall whose quirky cast of characters include two physicists, a socially awkward female detective, and a senior detective with a terminal brain tumor.
While Would you commit murder as the ransom for your kidnapped child? While driving Liam to camp, Sebastion stops at a convenience store, leaving his son sleeping in the back seat. When he comes out of the store his car and Liam are gone. He then receives a call on his cell phone with instructions that include the statements, "Dabbelink must go. Sebastion knows there are also rumors that Dabbelink and Sebastion's wife, Maike, are having an affair. When he receives the phone call after his son's disappearance, Sebastion never really questions what he will do, only how he will do it.
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Thus begins a very unusual police procedural where observations about the nature of time, reality, and parallel lives are a natural part of the backdrop to solving the murder of Dabbelink. This book is strange, but with razor-sharp humor and characters who are quirky but somewhat charming. In the end, everything is different Oskar makes it clear that Sebastian has lost his edge and is sinking into mediocrity by getting married. When Sebastian's son, Liam, is apparently kidnapped, their fragile friendship is further tested. Entrusted with uncovering the truth, Detective Superintendent Schilf discerns a web of blackmail, and betrayal.
Full of philosophical dialogue about whether one can live in parallel existences at the same time, and with some very strange police on board, this is a very interesting and at times quite humorous, not to mention Kafkaesque, mystery. Apr 21, Sarah rated it it was amazing Shelves: recommend , first-reads , own. First-reads giveaway win!
Achtern Schilf (Vacation Home), Olpenitz (Germany) Deals
Sebastian and Oskar, both physicists, are either friends perhaps secret lovers? They shared a common bond — the love of physics and maybe love for each other? The desire for knowledge about the universe and beyond drives them both to unthinkable deeds. In Free Fall by Juli Zeh was a great read. I was instantly drawn to the characters and the setting. I could picture Fr First-reads giveaway win!
I could picture Freiburg in my mind and it made everything that much more real to me. Detective Schilf enters the scene and brings his own baggage to the story. I liked Schilf and I didn't like Schilf. Funny how detectives seem to know everything just by intuition alone. The last few pages were a bit perplexing. The abruptness of the last page reminded me of a movie with no ending. Suddenly the screen goes black. But maybe like many of the theories mentioned throughout the story it was intended to make you think.
Overall, In Free Fall is full of suspense, perhaps a kidnapping, blackmail, murder, love? I hear it could be a movie made in Germany. Although we may classify "In free fall" as crime book, it is much better defined as a novel of ideas. Zeh reveals from the beginning the identity of the murderer: a physics professor who is blackmailed to kill a friend of his wife. The victim is, on his turn, involved in a medical scandal.
What is not clear is why the professor is forced to do it and by whom. The development of the plot is very surprising, as it has to do with physic theories concerning reality, randomness and freedom. The concep Although we may classify "In free fall" as crime book, it is much better defined as a novel of ideas. The concepts of guilt and responsibility are also some of the main themes brought by Zeh. Such a german thing to write such intellectualized crime stories! I was amazed by the author's ability to approach and mend her ideas about all those concepts together in a very well written and absorbing story.
Her style also shows great sensibility and poetical skills. I do wonder if all the physics in this book are well explained or may be oversimplified, but it is surely great contemporary literature. I struggle with between 1 and 2 stars with this one, it was that dull. I am bumping it up to two stars probably against my better judgment because what Detective Chief Superintendent Schiff discovers and reveals as to what took place is so clever in this mystery, I would not have guessed it.
That's not to say though that the denouement was any good. It wasn't and I don't understand what the author was getting at in what the detectives had set up. Sebastian and Oskar are physicist friends who d I struggle with between 1 and 2 stars with this one, it was that dull. Sebastian and Oskar are physicist friends who debate endlessly. Had either of them or even year old Liam talked at me with their endless run-on theories, I would have glazed over and yawned to sleep. This makes for a very dull read.
Even as the detective is questioning them, they discourse in such tedium. These people shouldn't be allowed to talk except to each other.
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I listened to this on audio and the name Maike is pronounced Mi-ca. Apr 21, Pat rated it really liked it Shelves: giveaways , mystery. I received a free copy of this book as a first reads promotion. I was skeptical, thinking how good can it be if they are giving copies away? After reading 2 pages my skepticism was gone. After 5 pages I was hooked. Reviews 1. Filter reviews. Traveler rating. Excellent 1. Very good 0. Average 0. Poor 0. Terrible 0. Traveler type. Time of year. Language All languages. All languages. German 1.
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