Obsessed Mass Market Paperback – Oct 31 2006
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From Publishers Weekly
Dekker's (Red, etc.) novel begins intriguingly, flashing back and forth between the 1940s story of two pregnant concentration camp inmates tormented by an evil commandant and the 1970s story of the unfinished business their children resolve. While the characters, especially the group of women in the concentration camp, are initially compelling, their development is subsumed by a tedious plot. Only one scene offers real suspense and horror. Surrounding that compelling moment—when the two young inmates make a desperate choice under appalling circumstances—is an uneven novel with an excessive fascination with its villains' sadism and several abrupt and unseemly changes in tone. The most enduring and wearying contrivance is the extended treatment of Nazism as a quasi-religion, elevated to a homespun form of Satanism by the commandant, Gerhard Braun, and his equally evil son, Roth. The ever-changing rules of this religion are used as a poor and convoluted rationale to explain why Gerhard and Roth let the women and their children live for 30 years, despite countless opportunities to kill them. Dekker adds a treasure hunt element to the plot and a certain amount of slapstick, which feels inappropriate in conjunction with nightmarish scenes from the Holocaust.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"Electrifying ... for readers of Frank Peretti, Dean Koontz, Michael Crichton and other authors of taut suspense fiction."―Library Journal on Skin
"Dekker, the profilic best-selling author of more than 20 books including the "Book of Mortals" series and "The Circle" trilogy, draws on his exotic Indonesian childhood for his new thrilling adventure saga. . .Combining a rich visual portrait of a Stone Age civilization and a surprising spiritual redemption, this excellent book will engage suspense and historical fiction readers."―Library Journal on Outlaw, starred review
"Dekker's crossed a new threshold with OUTLAW. It's like nothing he's ever written, while at the same time, touching on the themes that made his previous works enjoyable. You can tell through the story that he's excited about the plot and the story and the message, and hopes that along the journey of reading, readers will go through just a bit of the journey he took when writing it. It's an astounding novel. But the most exciting part of this story is where it's going."―Life is Story on Outlaw --This text refers to an alternate Mass Market Paperback edition. See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
Stephen as a character is what makes the story funny and keeps the action going as he keeps on pressing towards his goal. I say it's funny because there were just things Stephen had to do which just made me laugh out loud. Roth on the other hand, makes the story very chilling and dark, he's your average villain, but add more evil (about 3 cups) and take away the soul and you get Roth. I have never read a villain such as this and he would most likely end up on my top ten villain list. He was just very real, and oozes evil (he even has the black ensemble to match it). Of all the characters mentioned though, I liked Ruth. Her strength, and her ability to see the good and be able to hold onto hope even when she was surrounded by death and hopelessness was very admirable.
Considering the author is known more for his Christian fiction, and he does make references to faith and God in his works, the book did not seem preachy at all. It did not get in the way of the plot. So those who aren't into Christian fiction like I am, the story really has nothing to do with God, or anything of any religious denomination. Just read it for the plot, and the spine chilling events. You'll be a satisfied reader like I was. Obsession does play a major theme in this book; both from Stephen's side, and from Roth's.Read more ›
As a writer myself I am always searching for that elusive quality that raises a work above the crowd. Ted Dekker has captured that quality in Obsessed.
Ted Dekker often writes in the fantastical. At times I wonder if he writes himself in a box and uses the fantastic to get himself out. Obsessed at times seems to lead in this direction, however, it draws you from two different angles, fictional and what might actually have been.
I truly appreciated, and I use that word carefully, Dekkers detail on the nightmares of those in Nazi camps. Dekker draws you in and makes no light issue of this atrocity in history. The story engages the present day with the not so distant memories for some.
Dekker weaves a story that, although fiction, causes you to want more and may draw you to the likes of "The Diary of Anne Frank" or "Schindler's List". If so, also read his Martyrs Song series.
Lest we forget.
have a lot of those hard to understand parts...where the bad guys are creating an evil plot or something. Well I think its hard to understand...but hey im 14 lol
I think I have read all of ted dekkers books twice.
Except for the newest ones like showdown...im halfway through that one. It's one of my favorits
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The adventure begins when an article in a newspaper convinces Stephen that he is the son of Rachel Spritzer, who had recently died, leaving behind one of the very valuable Stones of David, believed to be one of the five Stones chosen by David to kill the giant Goliath. Obsessed with finding the rest of the Stones, Stephen will go to any lengths to secure the treasure and discover his past. To complicate matters, Roth has also learned of the Stones and is able to buy Rachel Spritzer's house before Stephen is able to. Convinced that clues to what they seek are hidden in her house, both men are working feverishly to find them before the other can.
I would highly recommend Obsessed as a great read. As those who have read his books before would already know, Ted Dekker writes a novel that keeps you at the edge of your seat the whole time. The pages are filled with twists as unexpected as always, action, adventure, mystery, and a bit of romance. If you enjoy this is book, I'd also suggest Blink, Thr3e, and his Circle Trilogy.
In all honesty, this isn't Ted's best book. The characters here make truly strange decisions that make no sense given the way they are portrayed to us. Their obsessions become fanatical far too quickly to be believed. The ending of the story doesn't really have a payoff like his previous books, ending with a sigh rather than a bang. Still a good read, but not on par with his previous thrillers.
The other story is about Stephen, a real estate agent. One day he receives a letter through a friend. The letter is from an old woman saying her son has a unique burn mark on his chest. Finally knowing who his mother is gives Stephen a purpose in life. He searches his mom's property and also finds out she is wealthy. She even donated an ancient Jewish artifact worth millions to a museum. But before Stephen can search his mom's property further, it is bought by Roth Braun, the ruthless son of Gerhard. You could probably say that they end up enemies, but you have to read the book to find out what happens. I recommend this book to anyone.
In 1973, a young Jewish real estate proto-mogul orphaned early in life stumbles across a mysterious safe in the basement of a recently deceased Holocaust survivor, setting him on a righteous quest. Along the way he battles a sinister Nazi serial killer, unearths his mother's true identity, hangs with a group of clever flower children, pursues the mystical Stones of David (the five stones the shepherd/king used to slay Goliath), and pines for a young woman in a photograph who might be either a Holocaust victim or his future bride.
Not a bad premise for a story, but what Dekker does with the elements goes so far over-the-top it verges on camp. His increasing tendency to draw evil and good in stark black and white makes his recent villains so far-fetched as to be laughable. The villain in _Obsessed_ is not only a Nazi, he's the son of a ruthless concentration camp commandant, AND he's a serial killer, AND a Satan-worshiper. Whew! But that's not enough: Roth Braun also drinks the blood of his Jewish, female victims. It's a wonder he isn't a transvestite, too.
Nevermind that the depiction of 1970s-era Jews in _Obsessed_ is channeled from _Fiddler on the Roof_, or that the Nazi stooges resemble Rainer Wolfcastle of "The Simpsons"--every single character in this book is a stereotype, even the dog. And while all novelists go to the well of suspension of disbelief now and then, Dekker trods that path so many times in _Obsessed_ it becomes an eight lane superhighway. Simply put, the obsession that drives the story wouldn't matter to a young secular Jew bent on making a fortune in the L.A. real estate market. Factor in outlandish characters who simply drop out of the story as it progresses, laughable attempts to retrieve the object of obsession, and the oft-mined villain mistake of pontificating while the hero slips his bonds (which must happen a dozen times in this book), and readers will wonder if they're reading a parody of a Ted Dekker novel.
If it could possibly get worse, Dekker panders to the Christian audience by making the hero's mentor a Messianic Jew. What purpose this serves the story is anyone's guess since it never develops one iota. The only other nod to Christianity comes from the villain, who insists on ridiculing Jesus for no other reason than to establish that, as far as villains go, he's got an extra dollop of villainy. It's as if Dekker doesn't trust his established audience enough to forego overt references to Christianity in what is essentially a story about Jews; he's added those references to mollify the faithful rather than center the book. For a novelist as good as Ted Dekker can be, that's a sin.
Read something else by Dekker--anything. _Obsessed_ should garner only a star-and-a-half, but gets two out of the hope that it was a rush job and doesn't portend bad things for the future of Ted Dekker and those who love to read him.
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