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Contributor
abags
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎11-03-2010

Re: Three Seconds: Part One

Exactly it's like everyone is a pawn. Scary stuff.

Distinguished Correspondent
salander_9277
Posts: 108
Registered: ‎07-07-2010

Re: Three Seconds: Part One

It's very interesting the intricacies of Piet Hoffman's (Paula's) involvement on both sides, I think.  I'm beginning to be most connected to him in this story because of that involvement.  I am on the last bit of part one and trying to finish it up, but so far I am really worried about Piet's family and how they might become a part of this mess he's made by becoming so intertwined with the Polish mafia and also if the Swedish police get in too much of a tangle from Grens' investigation they might just let Piet take a fall.

To acquire the habit of reading is to construct for yourself a refuge from almost all the miseries of life. ~W. Somerset Maugham

http://greatexpectationsbookreview.blogspot.com
Inspired Contributor
ilenekm
Posts: 71
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Three Seconds: Part One

 

I also am enjoying reading this book and cant wait to have time this evening to read part 2.  I had similar feelings regarding the names in the book. I find it confusing when unfamiliar names are similar and they seem to merge in my mind. I found this to be true with the Dragon Tattoo series.
I am also finding some of the translation not flowing.  I didnt find this to be the case with the Larsson books. I read the first in American Engilsh and the other two in the Queen's English since I was not willing to wait for the books to be released here.
Neither of these comments are going to prevent me from finishing the books. I am finding it difficult to tell whether Piet/Paula is a good guy or not and whether the police and Erik are as they seem to be.  I keep hoping that Piet's wife and kids are not hurt by what is coming up.



thewanderingjew wrote:

I really am enjoying this book but all of the long names of streets and places can be distracting for me because it is hard to read them, let alone pronounce them out loud! Reading the Larsson trilogy, I had the same experience. Because I have no frame of reference for these places, it sounds like gobbledy-**bleep** to me, at times. Does anyone else feel this way?


 

 

Correspondent
TudorRose
Posts: 97
Registered: ‎01-31-2010

Re: Three Seconds: Part One

Sorry I am a bit late getting in the discussion.  The book is fantastic.  I have just been swamped with family obligations and getting ready for the holidays.  I'm sure you all can relate! :smileywink:  So now to get caught up with the discussion and posts...

 

 

How does the novel so far  challenge our expectations of good guys and bad guys?  Are you suspending judgment of some characters?
In my opinion, one of the things that makes this novel so great is the fact that it really makes the reader think outside the "good guy" vs. "bad guy" box, with the good guy being the police officer/attorney/judge, etc and the bad guy being the criminal.  All of the characters are becoming very real to me.  Piet/Paula has this wonderful dicotomy (well, maybe it isn't so wonderful for him) that creates a lot of tension in the story.  He is a former "criminal", but he is not a "bad guy".  He really loves his family and wants to protect them, especially from himself.  He is doing bad things, breaking the law, encouraging others to break the law, but he is doing it for altruistic reasons.  He wants to get to place with his family where he can really leave the past behind him and not be beholden to the "good guys". 
How would you describe each of our major characters so far?
 
I think that deep down, Piet is a decent human being, but like all of us, he has done things in the past that he isn't too proud of.  We don't really know alot about what his past  is like, so it is hard to know what he is trying to run from or get out from under.  I really like him, but I worry that he is willing to sacrifice everything and maybe get nothing in return.  I also don't like the fact that he is lying to his wife about his "job".  I understand that he has to do that to keep them all safe, but I worry what will happen when she finds out.  That is another facet of the dicotomy of this novel that I really enjoy.
Ewert Grens is complicated.  He is greiving the loss of his wife, but is supremely focused on his work.  It is all he has and I imagine that he will create havoc for Piet in future sections of the book.  I like his determination and dedication, but he doesen't have anything outside the job.  I hope that changes for him as the novel progresses.
Eric Wilson is the most tenuous of the characters for me so far.  Don't really know how he fits into everything yet.  Is he who he claims to be or is there more to him?  In a good or bad way?  Could he be a villain in disguise?
What do we get of Grens' background? How would you describe his police work? What does it mean that he has boxed up his cassettes?
 
Grens is mourning the loss of his wife and I think he is having a hard time dealing with this new reality.  I think he avoids the loss in his personal life by being completely devoted to his work.  It seems like he doesn't even have a home, he lives at the station.  He is smart, intuitive and determined in his police work.  I feel that this character has a very clear demarcation of right and wrong and I think that may play a huge factor later in the story.
Do we know anything of Erik Wilson's background? What do you make of his character? What was he doing in the United States?
 
We know that Erik Wilson is a Swedish detective, but we really don't know that much about him.  I am still unsure of him.  Will he be a hero or a villain?  Don't really know what he is doing in the U.S.  He is supposed to be there for a professional seminar/training of some sort, but we really don't know what, giving more mystery to the character.  It seems that he is always floating around at the edges of the story, but we don't have a real clear view of him yet.
Do you have a favorite supporting character?
 
Don't think I have a favorite yet, but I'm sure that will change as we learn more about everyone.
Why do we open the novel in the perspective of one of the Polish "mules" taking drugs into Stockholm?
 
This section really threw me off, I wasn't sure what was going on until a little further in the story, then it clicked and I got it.  I think this goes back to the blurring of the boundaries between the good guys and the bad guys.  They may be doing something illegal and taking a huge gamble on their freedom and their lives, but they are also very human with very real fears.  They aren't "bad", but have reasons for making the choices they have made.
I am really enjoying the book so far.  The further I get, the more entrenched in the story I become.  I can't wait to see where we are going next.
Kimberly from Ohio

"A room without a book is like a body without a soul"
~Marcus Tullius Cicero
Contributor
beak77
Posts: 19
Registered: ‎11-03-2010
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Re: Three Seconds: Part One

1. There is a fine line between good and evil. If you blur that line what do you become? Human.

2. The bullet that entered the victims head split in two. Other things in the novel that are split.

 

Buyer:smileyvery-happy:anish informant-posing as meth buyer

Eric: policeman-unknown

Piet/Paula: informant-family man

Grens; grieving widower-old school cop

yellow tulips:gift for warden-meth transport

Storage Books: poetry & other seldom checked out titles-deliver gun parts, charges, & meth

 

I am sure there are more connections. Feel free to add to the list,

 

Inspired Bibliophile
Vermontcozy
Posts: 5,276
Registered: ‎10-20-2008
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Re: Three Seconds: Part One


beak77 wrote:

1. There is a fine line between good and evil. If you blur that line what do you become? Human.

2. The bullet that entered the victims head split in two. Other things in the novel that are split.

 

Buyer:smileyvery-happy:anish informant-posing as meth buyer

Eric: policeman-unknown

Piet/Paula: informant-family man

Grens; grieving widower-old school cop

yellow tulips:gift for warden-meth transport

Storage Books: poetry & other seldom checked out titles-deliver gun parts, charges, & meth

 

I am sure there are more connections. Feel free to add to the list,

 


You covered it very well , beak77 I will add The Church..Bomb..to detonate I think when he plans to escape..But have no idea,will be starting Part 3 this week..Susan

Kindness,I've discovered,is everything in life...Issac Bashevis Singer
Contributor
cocospalsGG
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎11-03-2010
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Re: Three Seconds: Part One

I am struggling to follow the story line especially with regards to names. The flipping back and forth between the mules story line and Erik's storyline has been a bit confusing. It will be interesting to see who really are the good guys and who are the bad guys.

dg
Frequent Contributor
dg
Posts: 45
Registered: ‎10-13-2007
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Re: Three Seconds: Part One

I agree, although I'm finding myself very interested and anxious to find out what is happening next.  I'm enjoying the book a lot but I'm hoping that I get more of a flow going as I continue to read. 

Contributor
Cacciatrice09
Posts: 10
Registered: ‎10-05-2010
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Re: Three Seconds: Part One

I agree, I have had some issues with the closeness in names also. 

New User
btrflylili0128
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎11-03-2010
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Re: Three Seconds: Part One

You can pretty much tell who is bad and who is good. The author does well in distinguishing the two, but I am suspending judgement on Erik Wilson. It may be far fetched, but I think he's just not that noble.
Hoffman- family man, but loves his job way too much; he put his kids in grave danger.
Grens- miserable man suffering the loss of a loved one, but great cop...sort of like House, only different occupation.
Wilson- Seems to be a good cop; don't know much about his background, that I remember at the moment.
 
Grens, again, miserable, suffering the loss of a loved one, but great cop. You can tell he's figuring out what happened already. He put away the cassettes to forget about the past. He's "over it" (he will never get over it, in my mind).
For some odd reason I really like Grens, he reminds me of House; I love house. You can tell he is a really good cop, only he lost his drive to be the best of the best when the tragedy hit.  
 
We open the novel in the perspective of one of the Polish "mules" taking drugs into Stockholm for us the readers to really get a sense of what is going on. To feel what's going on in Hoffman's life and what he has to go through undercover.
*Difficult book to get into at first, but it gets really good once you start learning about the characters; you get into. Now I actually want to keep reading...
Contributor
stkong7
Posts: 18
Registered: ‎12-18-2007

Re: Three Seconds: Part One

Gren seems to have been in mourning since his wife died on a full-time basis, and just doing his job as a sideline.  Not knowing what a CD player is shows that his head has been buried underground for a very long time.  By boxing up his cassettes, he is leaving the past behind and trying to move on with his life.

 

I think the novels starts with the perspective of one of the Polish "mules" taking drugs into Stockholm so that the reader can understand who these people are doing this kind of "work".  Initially I would think that it would be a "bad" person, but it was clear that all kinds of people do these kinds of tasks for whatever their reasons are.  The money they earn is really good, more than what they'd make practically doing anything else.  To reinforce the idea that even good and normal every day people get involved in these things, the author mentioned that one of the mules was a student.
Contributor
PeteyParker
Posts: 24
Registered: ‎07-02-2010
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Re: Three Seconds: Part One

 


btrflylili0128 wrote:
You can pretty much tell who is bad and who is good. The author does well in distinguishing the two, but I am suspending judgement on Erik Wilson. It may be far fetched, but I think he's just not that noble.
Hoffman- family man, but loves his job way too much; he put his kids in grave danger.
Grens- miserable man suffering the loss of a loved one, but great cop...sort of like House, only different occupation.
Wilson- Seems to be a good cop; don't know much about his background, that I remember at the moment.
 
Grens, again, miserable, suffering the loss of a loved one, but great cop. You can tell he's figuring out what happened already. He put away the cassettes to forget about the past. He's "over it" (he will never get over it, in my mind).
For some odd reason I really like Grens, he reminds me of House; I love house. You can tell he is a really good cop, only he lost his drive to be the best of the best when the tragedy hit.  
 
We open the novel in the perspective of one of the Polish "mules" taking drugs into Stockholm for us the readers to really get a sense of what is going on. To feel what's going on in Hoffman's life and what he has to go through undercover.
*Difficult book to get into at first, but it gets really good once you start learning about the characters; you get into. Now I actually want to keep reading...

I don't think it's very far fetched to think that Wilson is not a good man. It would seem Piet is unable to fully trust the man either (as evidenced by the fact that he took careful note of Grens name upon hearing he was a good cop)

 

Correspondent
JoanieGranola
Posts: 172
Registered: ‎11-11-2009
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Re: Three Seconds: Part One


thewanderingjew wrote:

I really am enjoying this book but all of the long names of streets and places can be distracting for me because it is hard to read them, let alone pronounce them out loud! Reading the Larsson trilogy, I had the same experience. Because I have no frame of reference for these places, it sounds like gobbledy-**bleep** to me, at times. Does anyone else feel this way?


I feel the same way. My way of getting around it is by ignoring the references. I too read the Larsson trilogy and by the third book I decided that I would no longer even TRY to pronounce the names. I just quickly glance over it and sort of make up a street name that I think it looks like. So far this has helped me be less distracted by the "language barrier".

Distinguished Bibliophile
Peppermill
Posts: 6,768
Registered: ‎04-04-2007
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Re: Three Seconds: Part One

Okay, "guys," (that's gals, too), please show us the close reading that has so many of you so distrusting of Erik.  Somehow, I haven't gone there.  What have I been overlooking or perhaps discounting?  Or, is it an American general cultural distrust of people who have jobs/roles like his?

 

Pepper

"Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here." -- Leo Tolstoy
Correspondent
JoanieGranola
Posts: 172
Registered: ‎11-11-2009
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Re: Three Seconds: Part One


OKC_NookJA wrote:

 I for one plan on sticking it out. My criticisms are meant to be constructive. I like reviewing a book with the intent of giving feedback. This is really helping me learn more about constructing characters and stories and I hope my feedback will help.

 

A general question: is the purpose of First Looks to give feedback both positive and negative? I would assume it is since only giving positive feedback doesn't accomplish anything.

 

I am almost done with Part One and will give a more detailed analysis of my thoughts them. in a day or two.

 

Thanks,

James


It's interesting that you mention the feedback. This is my fourth (I think) FL club selection and the first two I read were almost all positive feedback. IMO the books were OK, and I almost felt bad giving negative feedback. But that's what makes us all better - the positive and the negative. I try to give a good balance of the two when giving my opinions.

 

Lisa

Distinguished Bibliophile
Peppermill
Posts: 6,768
Registered: ‎04-04-2007
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Re: Three Seconds: Part One

[ Edited ]

 


JoanieGranola wrote:

OKC_NookJA wrote:

 I for one plan on sticking it out. My criticisms are meant to be constructive. I like reviewing a book with the intent of giving feedback. This is really helping me learn more about constructing characters and stories and I hope my feedback will help.

 

A general question: is the purpose of First Looks to give feedback both positive and negative? I would assume it is since only giving positive feedback doesn't accomplish anything.

 

I am almost done with Part One and will give a more detailed analysis of my thoughts them. in a day or two.

 

Thanks,

James


It's interesting that you mention the feedback. This is my fourth (I think) FL club selection and the first two I read were almost all positive feedback. IMO the books were OK, and I almost felt bad giving negative feedback. But that's what makes us all better - the positive and the negative. I try to give a good balance of the two when giving my opinions.

 

Lisa


 

I suspect honest feedback or feedback with integrity is among the most valuable.  It is only too easy to discount either excessively positive or negative feedback -- at least that's the sense with which I grapple both in giving and in receiving feedback. 

 

Some believe the positive should be taken for granted; that the way to help others and oneself grow is to give and receive information on the shortcomings.  I have lived in that world; I long ago ceased buying into it.

"Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here." -- Leo Tolstoy
Wordsmith
BookWoman718
Posts: 220
Registered: ‎01-28-2007
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Re: Three Seconds: Part One


Peppermill wrote:

 


JoanieGranola wrote:

OKC_NookJA wrote:

 I for one plan on sticking it out. My criticisms are meant to be constructive. I like reviewing a book with the intent of giving feedback. This is really helping me learn more about constructing characters and stories and I hope my feedback will help.

 

A general question: is the purpose of First Looks to give feedback both positive and negative? I would assume it is since only giving positive feedback doesn't accomplish anything.

 

I am almost done with Part One and will give a more detailed analysis of my thoughts them. in a day or two.

 

Thanks,

James


It's interesting that you mention the feedback. This is my fourth (I think) FL club selection and the first two I read were almost all positive feedback. IMO the books were OK, and I almost felt bad giving negative feedback. But that's what makes us all better - the positive and the negative. I try to give a good balance of the two when giving my opinions.

 

Lisa


 

I suspect honest feedback or feedback with integrity is among the most valuable.  It is only too easy to discount either excessively positive or negative feedback -- at least that's the sense with which I grapple both in giving and in receiving feedback. 

 

Some believe the positive should be taken for granted; that the way to help others and oneself grow is to give and receive information on the shortcomings.  I have lived in that world; I long ago ceased buying into it.


I like your term "feedback with integrity".  I hope when I'm commenting I'm also giving some sense of myself as a reader, so others can judge whether or not my point of view might be valid for them.  And for the publishers to get a sense of what sort of readers they should target their marketing to.  I try to stay away from reviewing genres that I wouldn't normally be interested in at all;  for me, an example would be sci - fi.  That would be really difficult for me to review fairly.  If you don't like history, of course you'll think a long bio of one of the Founding Fathers is boring, or too wordy, or whatever.  Sometimes in signing up for a First Look, you might get surprised with a disappointment in that it's just not something you would normally have picked up to read.  But with so many of us commenting, honestly, I think a balance can be reached.   The other important thing is to comment specifically on the work.  What, exactly, did you like or dislike?   And then if both positve and negative comments are included, others reading them - to make a purchasing decision, for instance - can garner really useful information. 

Just wanted to say, too, that I think when a book gets to FL, it's pretty much the final draft.  We aren't going to change this one.  But I think our reactions can be useful to the author in his continued work.  If we really liked a character, he might be encouraged about writing a sequel, for instance. 

Inspired Contributor
Coral50
Posts: 160
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Three Seconds: Part One

[ Edited ]

Why do we open the novel in the perspective of one of the Polish "mules" taking drugs into Stockholm?

 

The opening tells us place (Poland) and the subject (Drug running) which wets your appetite for whats coming. This book, from what I've read in part one, is beginning with a great introduction to the subject of the book. After this introduction we have a whole story ahead of us left to be told. PLOT.

 

 Cora

Frequent Contributor
Lblaze
Posts: 36
Registered: ‎09-10-2010

Re: Three Seconds: Part One

I have to say, it's extremely rare that I start a book and am captivated by the second page. Three Seconds has grabbed my attention from the beginning. It's quite a brain teaser figuring out all these characters and how they all relate. I think it's too early to say for sure, but right now Piet and his family are my favorite characters right now. I love that he's under cover and has a very strong and predominate conscience about everything he is involved with so far. I'm also excited to see how Grens develops based on what history we know about him and his loss.
Inspired Contributor
Coral50
Posts: 160
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Three Seconds: Part One

Yes, These kind of books (the ones that start out jumping all over) most the time turn out to have the best plots.

I usually start them with a tablet and make a chart to keep the pieces together. After a few chapters a pattern starts to show up. Then the characters start to fall into place.

I see a good read ahead of us.

Cora

 

 


CubicleBlindness wrote:

Well I am not prepared at all for this first weeks discussion. I read these questions on Monday and have been thinking about them for two days now, reading the other comments and have to admit there is just so much happening in the first section I felt lost and a little overwhelmed.

     I want to agree with bud12 that so far the characters all seem like some kind of mule. That was a great comment.

     I agree with pen21 that I am also trying just to sort all the characters out. I cannot say that I have really come to like or dislike any of them and will have to read some more before deciding.

    I also agree with LorettaP that I found myself have to re-read several pages over because it jumps back and forth and like I said I felt kinda overwhelmed with so much information in this beginning section.