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scnole
Posts: 103
Registered: ‎11-15-2008
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Re: Three Seconds: Part Two

I also want to comment about Piet and his children.    People who care about their kids sometimes have to take their sick children with them to work.  He tried to make them feel better - and felt guilty about what he was doing.     I  was so intrigued with what he was doing that I wasn't so disturbed about him taking them with him.  

 

 

 

 

 


dhaupt wrote:

I would also like to comment on my feelings about Piet and the children.

Reading that part didn't bother me so I thought hmm, maybe there was so much detail going on that I just didn't think about the little ones in the next room to the elicit stuff, so I re-read it and it still didn't bother me.

I agree with MomOf2Turds that this made Piet a believable hero/villain in the same instance to me.

In my heart I know how much he loves those kids, but he for what ever reason "needs" to do this thing in prison for Erick and I think he believes that the end justifies the means.

But for whatever reason it just works for me.


 

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scnole
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Re: Three Seconds: Part Two

The book was so fast paced when he was in prison.   It grabs you and take you on a suspenseful ride into prison life and what Piet personally experiencing.    All of his planning to prepare for prison begins to make sense.    

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FeltSilly
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Re: Three Seconds: Part Two

I am sooo enjoying this book even though I'm having to read it a few pages at a time between everything else going on!  I sometimes find the dialogue confusing when it's just lines of quotes without names of the speakers, but at the same time, it works.  Weird.  Looking forward to finishing!

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kboston
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Re: Three Seconds: Part Two

We get a very detailed description of the progress of Piet's methodical action, without being given any explanations of what he's up to. Even when we "hear" his thinking, we get only small cryptic thoughts without knowing how to interpret them. What happens to the pace and the tension in the novel in these pages? 

 The pace of the book quickens and the tension is higher.  Piet starts counting the hours until the end of his current life as he knows it.

 

Can you discern any of the intention of Piet's careful planning in these chapters?

 Piet is preparing for a backfire on all of the promises made to him that nothing would happen to him when he is prison.  He wants to make certain that Zofia and the children are taken care of if/when things do not go as they are planned.

  

Is the man the police arrest in any way the "real" Piet Hoffmann?

I think the man the police arrest is a role that Piet is playing.  A role of someone he used to be when he had been someone in trouble and the character Erik Wilson made up to make Piet's character believable in prison to the guards and other prisoners.  He did what he had to do to make everything real so he could live and not die because of the lie.

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swan480
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Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Three Seconds: Part Two

I find it interesting that the questions for this section have so much to do with character development.  In the Part I discussion, someone commented that the characters weren't very developed.  I have to agree, and I actually think that one of the questions here -- about not getting to hear Piet's thoughts or knowing what he was up to -- had something to do with it.  I also think the short, choppy scenes helped to give the reader the feeling that you are observing all this from a distance, and not really getting to know the characters much at all.

 

I also don't think Zofia's character was ever very well developed.  Someone in the first part's discussion commented that she is very one-dimensional, and I agree.  I felt the most sympathy for her and the kids, I think, but you don't really ever get close enough to be able to guess at what she is thinking or how she feels about her husband.  I didn't even get the impression some others got, that she didn't really believe the lies.  I had no clue as to whether she did or didn't.

 

This is also the part, though, where the book started to draw me in and interest me a little more.  All this about the characters not being well developed -- I got the feeling that it was part of the writing style.  It was almost necessary to the story, in a way, because the scenes would not have been so short and cryptic, or the action as fast and compelling, if the authors had stopped to flesh out the characters a little more.

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1archi1
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Registered: ‎07-07-2010
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Re: Three Seconds: Part Two

 

We get a much closer look at Piet Hoffmann in the brief days that make up Part Two of Three Seconds. What do we learn about him? Have your ideas about him changed or solidified?

 

I think he is just trying to protect his family.  He loves them and doesn't want to see anything happen to them

 

We get a very detailed description of the progress of Piet's methodical action, without being given any explanations of what he's up to. Even when we "hear" his thinking, we get only small cryptic thoughts without knowing how to interpret them. What happens to the pace and the tension in the novel in these pages? 

 

I think Part II was a quicker read for me because the pace picked up and you could feel the tension.  I didn't want to put the book down because I really wanted to know what happens.  Part I was a struggle for me to get thru, whereas Part II wasn't.

 

Can you discern any of the intention of Piet's careful planning in these chapters?

 

I think he just wants his family taken care of and wants to make sure there are no lose ends

 

What do we learn about Erik Wilson in these chapters?

 

Not really sure I trust Erik in Part II and if he really has Piet's back.

 

Do you have a clearer picture of who Zofia is as a person?

 

Not really only. Like every mother, she will do anything to protect her boys

 

What does it tell us about Piet that he knows so much about prisons and the life inside and around them?

 

He has been in prison before so he knows how the game is played

 

Is the man the police arrest in any way the "real" Piet Hoffmann?

 

No I think the man the police arrested was Paula, not Piet.

:smileyhappy:
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tempestuous9
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Re: Three Seconds: Part Two

Piet's character really develops in Part Two.  We get more of a sense of his intelligence and his ability to plan provisions for what is to come, an exit strategy or a plan to guarantee the safety of those he loves.  He really comes into his own and starts to show he isn't just the nice guy who loves his family which he has been so devoted to thinking about in previous chapters.  The pace of the novel increases rapidly through Part Two.

 

We learn that Eric Wilson does seem to care about Piet and about his wellbeing.  He let's Piet know what will be coming and he also gives him a chance to say no.

 

Zofia appears to love her husband and family.  She takes care and feels that Piet and her are equals in most situations.  Although she is mentioned often, she does not have much "page time."

 

Piet knows about the prison because he has been in one before.  He understands the hierarchy and what needs to be prepared for.  He has dealt with many criminals and been one so he has more of an understanding of what to expect in the time to come while being incarcerated.

 

The "real" Piet Hoffman isn't the one arrested, it is the fabrication that Wilson has added to his file that is how the police react to him and how he attempts to portray himself when he is arrested.

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Peppermill
Posts: 6,768
Registered: ‎04-04-2007
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Re: Three Seconds: Part Two

 


swan480 wrote:

I find it interesting that the questions for this section have so much to do with character development.  In the Part I discussion, someone commented that the characters weren't very developed.  I have to agree, and I actually think that one of the questions here -- about not getting to hear Piet's thoughts or knowing what he was up to -- had something to do with it.  I also think the short, choppy scenes helped to give the reader the feeling that you are observing all this from a distance, and not really getting to know the characters much at all.

 

I also don't think Zofia's character was ever very well developed.  Someone in the first part's discussion commented that she is very one-dimensional, and I agree.  I felt the most sympathy for her and the kids, I think, but you don't really ever get close enough to be able to guess at what she is thinking or how she feels about her husband.  I didn't even get the impression some others got, that she didn't really believe the lies.  I had no clue as to whether she did or didn't.

 

This is also the part, though, where the book started to draw me in and interest me a little more.  All this about the characters not being well developed -- I got the feeling that it was part of the writing style.  It was almost necessary to the story, in a way, because the scenes would not have been so short and cryptic, or the action as fast and compelling, if the authors had stopped to flesh out the characters a little more.


I also don't think Zofia's character was ever very well developed.  Someone in the first part's discussion commented that she is very one-dimensional, and I agree.  I felt the most sympathy for her and the kids, I think, but you don't really ever get close enough to be able to guess at what she is thinking or how she feels about her husband.  I didn't even get the impression some others got, that she didn't really believe the lies.  I had no clue as to whether she did or didn't.

 

 

Yet, somehow, I come away from reading Three Seconds with the sense that one of its strengths is that we never get to really "know" Zofia except along a few critical dimensions, i.e., her protectiveness of her family and her apparent trust and loyalty towards Piet, regardless of his shortcomings.  I actually wonder if it wouldn't have weakened the story, even her character presentation, to have known "more" about her, although certainly as a reader I had a sense of wanting more. 

 

It will be very interesting to see how an actress will interpret this character on screen -- will Zofia continue to be sort of an unknown except in some key aspects, or will the screenwriter/actress "fill in" her personality and character?

"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
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jabrkeKB
Posts: 164
Registered: ‎11-15-2008
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Re: Three Seconds: Part Two


ponkle wrote:

I am feeling very stupid in trying to read this book. I don't know what it is but I am having a very difficult time following it and keeping everything straight. I'm reading all the posts and that's helping but I think I'm taking more of a backseat on this one, as I don't really have a lot to contribute on this one.


I have to agree that reading everyone's posts helps my understanding of the book. Several of you have such great insight and clear explanations and summaries. This book has been a bit of a challenge for me as it is NOT my genre of choice, but I am enjoying it.

Thank You:smileyhappy: