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Obsessed [Mass Market Paperback]

Ted Dekker
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Oct. 31 2006

Stephen Friedman is making a good living in good times. Hes just an ordinary guy. Or so he thinks.

But one day an extraordinary piece of information tells him differently. Its a clue from the grave of a Holocaust survivor. A clue that makes him heir to an incredible fortune . . . a clue that only he and one other man can possibly understand.

That man is Roth Braun, a serial killer who has been waiting for Stephen for thirty years. Roth was stopped once before. This time nothing will get in his way.

Known worldwide for page-turning, adrenaline-laced thrillers, Dekker raises the stakes in this story of passion, revenge, and an all-consuming obsession for the ultimate treasure.

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Product Description

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.

About the Author

Ted Dekker is the New York Times best-selling author of more than 25 novels. He is known for stories that combine adrenaline-laced plots with incredible confrontations between good and evil. He lives in Texas with his wife and children. Twitter @TedDekker, facebook.com/#!/teddekker

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant & Breathtaking Nov. 2 2005
Don't start if you don't have time to finish. Aptly named, Obsessed will grab your imagination and not let go. Psychological thrillers are rarely my cup of tea, so I resisted this one for a long time. It is brilliant, breathtaking, and paced at a sprint from start to finish. It is hard to put a finger on any one strength. If there are weaknesses, the principal ones may be that the pacing never lets up - and the ending is almost too perfect (for this reviewer's taste) - yet I was consumed (obsessed?) by the need to reach that ending. The adrenaline pumping pace held competition with the desire to take in every word - the urgency to skim and so keep up with the narrative held competition with the brilliant writing that held too many gems to rush past.
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.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thrilling page turner March 7 2010
By Karoline TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This has been an addictive page turner. It's kept me on pins and needles. There were times where I couldn't bear to turn the page because I just didn't want to know if the character was going to encounter an ugly end, or a great success. However I just had to keep going and read it because I really wanted to know what happened. The action and the plot were well written and it just keeps you on edge. It's been a very suspenseful plot and a very thrilling ride.

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.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sobering thriller Jan. 29 2008
Format:Audio CD
How can you blend, humour, adventure, suspense and history into one novel? Check out 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.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SUPER KOOL!!! March 30 2006
By Sarah
This is one of my favorite books by Ted Dekker! Obsessed didn't
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
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  134 reviews
57 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Obsessed Jan. 27 2005
By Rebekah Martin - Published on Amazon.com
How far would someone go to satisfy their all-consuming obsession for the ultimate treasure? In Ted Dekker's novel 'Obsessed' we meet Stephen Friedman and Roth Braun who are about to find out. Stephen is a wealthy Jewish immigrant who came to America from an orphanage in Russia. Having searched to years with no success, he has come to believe the mother he never knew is lost forever. Roth, the son of a Nazi Commandant, is determined to finish what his father started decades ago in a Nazi labor camp, no matter what the cost.

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.
28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A well-told story June 2 2005
By Brian Reaves - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I'm a big fan of Ted Dekker's books, with "Three" remaining one of my top five all time favorites for the payoff alone. With "Obsessed", we have an uneven but well-told story. The elevating tension felt in Three is not here, settling instead for a slow-burn rise the first few chapters that settles into simmering for the remaining portion of the book. The focus of the book is on the obsession of two characters for the same thing. Halfway through the book, the obsession of one changes, then the other does too, effectively destroying the need of the first half of the story.

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.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cody Miller Dec 16 2005
By Mid-Prairie Teen - Published on Amazon.com
The novel obsessed consists of two separate stories, the first is about a man named Stephen and the second is set in a Nazi concentration camp in World War II. Ruth and Martha are both pregnant and on a train to a work camp run by the ruthless Gerhard Braun. At Torun, they live in brutal conditions and are at the whims of Braun. Braun is an evil man who kills Jewish women. When Braun finds out Ruth and Martha are pregnant he wanted to kill both them both. Dekker submerses the reader into the fear and desperation felt by all of the prisoners, as well as the agony of having hope stripped from them.

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.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I am Obsessed! Feb. 10 2005
By EvadingShadows - Published on Amazon.com
What to say? T3d's done it again. I'm usually not much of a fan of modern works. Classical literature is my passion, and I'm often somewhat skeptical of contemporary author's ability to write well. And then, I read Black. My entire mindset underwent a paradigm shift so dramatic, so utterly complete, that I began to devour any and all books by Ted Dekker. Now, several months later, I have had the incredible privledge of reading his latest offering: Obsessed.

As has become his trademark, Dekker seamlessly weaves spiritual depth into a genuinely captivating tale. Gone are the days when a parable sounded like a parable and nothing more. In Obsessed, the imagination has been given full freedom to invent and create and illuminate in the tradition of the Inventor and Creator and Illuminator. Tolkien's idea of "subcreation" has rarely been capitalized upon so richly and rewardingly.

Others have already given a basic synopsis of the plot; I shall not bore you with recitation of the book's moving story. Rather, I seek to spark some thoughtful, reasoned consideration of the book's main premise - Obsession.

Ted makes a shrewd observation near the beginning of the book. A wise, kindly old antiques dealer tells Stephen - the protagonist - that man was created to obsess. Value is often not so much intrinsic as ascribed. For example, diamonds are shiny, compressed carbon. Yet, they are valued and sought after world-over. Why? Because people percieve value in them, and are willing to pay copious amounts of money to obtain them. The price a person is willing to pay determines the worth of the diamond. We know that people obsess over such petty things. Indeed, entire wars have been waged over less. And Ted Dekker has the audacity to posit that humans act in such manner because they were created to do so!!!

In fact, he goes so far as to say that our obsessive tendencies are a reflection of God's character, because He is obsessed with us. Moreover, and much more importantly He is obsessed with Himself. Due to His infinite worthiness, His obsession is not petty or narcissitic, but wise and proper. And in the midst of His obsession is one great and glorious goal, one end to which His obsession must lead: He longs to lavish the extravagance of His love upon His children - to the praise of the glory of His grace!

The problem is, mankind has collectively shifted focus from what should be the object of their affection and obsession - God Himself - onto worthless baubles and meaningless floccinaucinihilipilification. To combat this, Ted has carefully crafted a brilliant expose of our spiritual unfaithfulness and wrapped it in the guise of a fascinating, compelling, oft-disturbing novel. And for that I am thankful. By the end of my read, I finally understood - and longed for! - the need for obsession. My earnest prayer is for Christ to be my all. I desire to be obsessed with Him as He is obsessed with me. May you who read this become consumed with the same obsession.

Oh, and make sure to read Obsessed if you haven't already. For that matter, read all his books! I've enjoyed every one of them. Elyon's blessings!!!!!!!

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not impressed March 21 2005
By thillerfan - Published on Amazon.com
I don't get what the other readers liked about this manufactured thriller. Yes, there were some suspenseful scenes (too few) and a couple times when the characters poked at my emotions (some situations truly are heart-wrenching), but overall the plot was unbelievable, the writing OK but not great, and the characters were not very deeply developed, so I didn't care about them very much. Also, they seemed to think and act inconsistently. I sensed were the story was going, "twists" and all, and without fail, there it went. It was very formulaic. Mr. Dekker does try hard, and maybe that's the problem. I got the feeling he was trying TOO hard to make me care. Truly great writers have a knack for pulling the reader in without showing the tricks they use to do it. The cards up Mr. Dekker's sleeves are too apparent.
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