Juli Zeh: Nullzeit (Decompression)

The latest addition to my website is Juli Zeh‘s Nullzeit (Decompression). This novel tells the story of a diving instructor, Sven. He has fled Germany, after realising he does not want to be a lawyer, accompanied by his girlfriend, Antje, ten years his junior. For fourteen years, they have now had a successful diving business. Their latest clients are Theo and Jola. He, seven years old than her, is a writer who has written nothing for some time. She is the daughter of a major German TV and film producer and is herself the star of a TV soap opera. She wants to learn to dive for a possible film role. It soon becomes apparent that things are not well between the couple. She starts flirting with Sven and Sven finds it hard to resist, even though he has been shown to be conventional and fairly passionless, at least as regards the opposite sex. The triangle between Theo, Jola and Sven develops throughout the novel and inevitably comes to a head. It is made more interesting that we follow both Sven’s narration and Jola’s diary and the two narrations give clearly different, often diametrically opposed accounts of the same events. However, as I indicate in my review, I find the plot to be inconsistent, even if the clash between the two relationships is well told.

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