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3.48  ·  Rating details ·  2,006 ratings  ·  166 reviews
Eigentlich ist die Schauspielerin Jola mit ihrem Lebensgefährten Theo auf die Insel gekommen, um sich auf ihre nächste Rolle vorzubereiten. Als sie Sven kennenlernt, entwickelt sich aus einem harmlosen Flirt eine fatale Dreiecksbeziehung, die alle bisherigen Regeln außer Kraft setzt. Wahrheit und Lüge, Täter und Opfer tauschen die Plätze. Sven hat Deutschland verlassen und ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published August 1st 2012 by Schöffling & Co.
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Average rating 3.48  · 
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 ·  2,006 ratings  ·  166 reviews

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This was a random find from the library.
Sven, who left Germany fourteen years previously, now lives and works in Lanzarote. He owns his own diving school, and seems to live an idyllic life. He lives with his long-time girlfriend, Antje, but the reader soon realises he's not really in love with her. Then two german tourists come to the island to learn to dive with Sven. They are writer Theo and his soap star girlfriend, Jola, and in return for a handsome fee, they want to be Sven's only clients f
Apr 20, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I thought I would take a chance with this book as it sounded interesting. It was anything but interesting. Well to me anyways. I started out the book and it was slow but I thought ok I will read some more into the story and I am sure it will progress faster. It did not. In fact, I grew bored and disliked everyone in the story. After about chapter 6 and realizing that reading Jola's diary pages were more intriguing than the story, I decided to give up on the book. However not before skipping to a ...more
Sep 11, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Deep sea diving is a dangerous pursuit.
Sven Fiedler left his native Germany to start a dive school in the Canary Islands with Antje, a lover he doesn't love but is dependent upon. His dream is to celebrate his 40th birthday with a 100-meter dive to an unrecorded sunken ship.
His plans and his future take a sharp turn with the arrival of clients Jola von der Pahlen, a soap opera actress, and her lover, Theo Hast, a struggling writer. Jola has a dream of her own. She hopes to win acclaim in the rol
Mike Keirsbilck
Jun 28, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: r-52-books
I heard some really good things about this book, so I had high expectations.
Unfortunately these expectations haven't been met. Not by a long shot.

This story about a diving instructor that gets into trouble as his relationship with two of his customers takes a dive, is great summer reading material, but that's about it. You can read it absentmindedly, whilst having a cocktail on a sun laden beach, and enjoy the holiday spirit.
However, if you'd read it to be swept away by some great literature, p
Gail Ofterdinger-Ledgister
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 mu ...more
Feb 26, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
a nan talese book. a psychological thriller in style somewhat of patricia highsmith, set in canary islands, dive retreat. some fat cats/beautiful people come to do an exclusive two week dive vacation, in where a 4 way busts out: 4 ways of suspicion, lust, jealousy, despair, titillation, intrigue. like that.
zeh is a tight, expert, smooth writer. she's won the mann award, among others. i loved her physics murder book In Free Fall
Another stylish thriller from Juli Zeh. Although it does use the plot device of an unreliable narrator (from a diary!), a vastly over-used technique these days, it more than makes up for it with good writing overall. A German expat diving instructor living on an island in the Mediterranean becomes over-involved with his two clients, a beautiful model and her boyfriend, with disastrous consequences
Cathy Geagan
Feb 02, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
While I didn't exactly hate this, and it was readable enough, I didn't care for any of the characters at all. The blurb said "claustrophobic, smart and unrelentingly intense" and it's longlisted for the International Dublin Literary Award 2016 so I may be missing something here - but it did nothing for me!
Mandi | No Apathy Allowed
Nov 27, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: in-german
The second of two novels that I read this year by Juli Zeh. Again taking place on one of the Canary Islands, this story focused on a diving instructor and two of his customers. It struck me as a bit of a German version of Gone Girl and I didn’t find any of the characters particularly sympathetic
May 06, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Something was lost in translation. Characters have no redeeming factors.
Sharon Mensing
In DECOMPRESSION, Juli Zeh deals with how getting involved with the wrong people can destroy a life. The story is told from the perspective of diving instructor, Sven Fiedler, with alternating chapters from the diary of his client, Jola, a soap opera actress attempting to land a legitimate role. Jola and her lover, Theo, who have hired Sven for two weeks of having him at their beck and call, have a very dysfunctional relationship. Sven, ignoring his own girlfriend and partner, Antje, becomes inc ...more
Nov 20, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Inside this book is a pretty good story but it's somewhat spoiled by the writing. After finishing it, I had to check the front and found that it's a German book that has been translated into English. This is not a knock on the translator because sometimes a book that is written in one language cannot be translated into another easily.

The plot is that Sven has ditched his past life and is now a diving instructor on a beautiful Spanish island. A mismatched couple book an exclusive two weeks from h
Matt Pfaff
Jun 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Again a clever psychological plot. It contains some erotical spots not unknown from Juli (where is there more psyche involved than in sex?), but whether we have a love story is the very big question with regard to the full plot (I won't spoil!). Nicely investigated in the divers' scenery which brought some general understanding and knowledge to me.
As always the protagonists are far from mainstream and sometimes slightly unbelievable, but this is the essence of Juli's storytelling.
Another time I
Eva Majerova
A story about life, love, hate and escape told within the scenery of Canary island, beaches, diving and holidays. Interesting but still a bit "airport literature" book is read so easily that you are just surprised it's already the end. The story itself is worth 3* for me bur the 4th one is definitely deserved for the underwater sceneries and the diving background.
Jun 07, 2018 rated it it was ok
I wasn´t that what I was expecting totally not and i didn´t really liked the Story. It just confused me and most of the time i didn´t knew what was going on. The Characters were Pretty weak and you couldn´t understand their Problems and their decicions.
Lavinia Tuturas
Aug 19, 2019 rated it it was ok
The beginning was really good, it got you hooked and thrilled about the plot, but once you read more about Jola & Theo's sick relationship and how Sven let himself dragged along, i had trouble motivating myself to keep on reading. ...more
Miss Morningstar
Sep 29, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dnf
Okay, I´ve decided to dnf this book at 30%. I can't connect to any of the characters. They all remained pale and boring. On top of that I'm not really interessted in diving and that's what this book is about..
Feb 11, 2020 rated it did not like it
I am usually a really big fan of Juli Zeh's writing, but this was a big let down.
Very tedious to read and extremely unlikable characters. Maybe that's the whole point of the book, but I certainly did not enjoy it. The only thing that was sort of intriguing, was the unreliability of the narrators.
Jul 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
entertaining read
Aug 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
An opressive read. You never know who of the protagonists speaks the truth. More of a thriller than a novel.
Feb 01, 2020 rated it it was ok
Quick read but not the Juli Zeh I hoped to read. I found it quite flat, stereotypical, oversexualized
German Embassy Book Club
The first thing I thought when I began reading “Decompression,” by Julie Zeh was that it reads like a confessional. Sven, the 40-year-old lawyer-turned-diving instructor, opens his story at the airport, where he is picking up his latest clients: the glamorous but somewhat washed-up soap operate star Jolante von der Pahlen and writer Theodore Hast. As soon as he meets them, a sense of foreboding creeps into the text. Even without reading the jacket cover, I could feel early on that this threesome ...more
The Lit Bitch
This book was a bit of a chance read for me. I like psychological thrillers but this one just didn’t up and grab me right away as a ‘must read’ for me. But I was between books and looking for something just different….and this sounded like a good option. German writer, modern psychological thriller, about diving, alternating POVs, set in the tropics……sounds about as far from my normal reading as I can get.

I liked the alternating POVs for the most part. The POVs alternated between Sven and Jola’s
Sharon Mensing
In DECOMPRESSION, Juli Zeh deals with how getting involved with the wrong people can destroy a life. The story is told from the perspective of diving instructor, Sven Fiedler, with alternating chapters from the diary of his client, Jola, a soap opera actress attempting to land a legitimate role. Jola and her lover, Theo, who have hired Sven for two weeks of having him at their beck and call, have a very dysfunctional relationship. Sven, ignoring his own girlfriend and partner, Antje, becomes inc ...more
A pretty quick read. The book is essentially like a short, dark movie, where 2 diving students meet their dive instructor, the students have an incredibly messed-up relationship (involving abuse, mental, physical, sexual) and their damaged psyches spill out into the life of the dive instructor. We've all seen such a movie, it's just not often that you see something very similar written in a book/novel form. It's an interesting story. But it can get annoying to have characters that are not more i ...more
Lori L (She Treads Softly)
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.
Aug 09, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: german, novel, owned
Juli Zeh is one of my favorite authors, and re-reading Eagles and Angels earlier this year confirmed this. Nullzeit however fell a little short of my hopes. I am sure I would have recognized it as one of her works even if I hadn't known the writer, because Zeh is true to her style of philosophical aphorisms coated in legalese. Thematically, the reader might be reminded of Gaming Instinct; but where in that earlier novel sex and power came together in an elaboration of ethics in the age of post-n ...more
Jessica Woodbury
The psychosexual thriller isn't a common genre, but it's one I love when I can find it. DECOMPRESSION is a tightly written and tightly plotted addition to the genre that keeps you turning pages. Recommended for people who enjoyed THE DINNER or GONE GIRL.

Sven left a life as a high-powered lawyer in Germany to spend his time in the islands as a diving instructor. His mellow and simple existence is shaken up by the entrance of Jola and Theo, a couple who have requested his services for a few weeks.
Aug 24, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, vine
Sadly I just wasn't able to get through this book, even though it is relatively short. Comparing it to Patricia Highsmith is an insult to Patricia. I couldn't get involved in any of the characters, thought they were all unattractive with the possible exception of Antje. I thought she was a doormat.

I put it down and picked it up several times until I realized that I just didn't feel anything drawing me back to it. I didn't care enough about any of the characters to find out what was going to happ
Lydia Presley
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 spe ...more
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Juli Zeh is a German novelist.

Her first book was Adler und Engel (in English: Eagles and Angels), which won the 2002 Deutscher Bücherpreis for best debut novel.

Juli Zeh has lived in Leipzig since 1995. Zeh studied human rights law in Passau and Leipzig, passing the Zweites Juristisches Staatsexamen - comparable equivalent to the U.S. bar exam - in 2003. She also has a degree from the Deutsches Li

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“Wie kam er dazu, mich feige zu nennen, weil ich Deutschland verlassen hatte? Feige waren doch Leute wie er, die das Spiel durchschaut hatten und trotzdem weiterspielten. Die passenden Sprüche meiner Kunden kannte ich zur Genüge. Sie schimpften auf die Leistungsgesellschaft und schickten ihre Kinder zum Chinesischunterricht. Lehnten Wachstumsideologien ab und gingen für die nächste Gehaltserhöhung auf die Straße. Warfen Managern Gier vor und suchten im Internet nach Aktienfonds mit den besten Renditeversprechen. Auf ihren nagelneuen Flachbildfernsehern schauten sie Talkshows zur Kapitalismuskritik. Alle fluchten, alle machten mit. Das kotzte mich an. Am Ende kamen nur kaputte Typen dabei heraus. Wie Theo.” 1 likes
“Ich dachte an Deutschland, wo diese Menschen lebten, wenn sie nicht gerade vor Afrika segelten. Ich wusste, wie sich fühlten. Täglich standen sie vor der Aufgabe, ihre persönlichen Krisen zwischen Bankenkrise, Finanzkrise, Klimakrise, Energiekrise, Bildungskrise, Eurokrise, Rentenkrise und Nahostkrise unterzubringen. Abend für Abend setzte man ihnen um 20 Uhr für eine Viertelstunde den bevorstehenden Untergang des Abendlandes auseinander, gepaart mit der Unfähigkeit der Politiker, diesen zu verhindern. Währenddessen klammerten sie sich an die ganz private und ein bisschen peinliche Hoffnung, es möge am Ende trotzdem alles so bleiben, wie es ist. Weitermachen, ihr ganzes Leben bestand nur aus Weitermachen.” 0 likes
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