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Emily St. John Mandel: IMG Powell’s Q&A: Emily St. John Mandel



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The Hypnotist

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The Hypnotist Cover

ISBN13: 9781250007582
ISBN10: 1250007585
Condition: Standard
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Reading Group Guide

1. At first, what did your instincts tell you about the murder of Josefs family? What were your initial theories?

2. In chapter 17, Erik says that patients always tell the truth under hypnosis, but that their perception of what is true might be skewed. Did you believe that Josefs memories were accurate? Has your family ever disagreed about the accuracy of your memories, especially as they relate to blame and fate?

3. Lydia is just one of several powerful sadists featured in The Hypnotist. What is the source of her power over others? What separates fear from courage in this novel?

4. What accounts for the tremendous differences between Evelyn and Josef? What does their story tell us about nature and nurture, and about rage and the rational mind?

5. What was Erik hungry for when he began his flirtation with Maja? Would you have stayed married to him if you had been Simone?

6. Who is better at predicting human behavior: law enforcer Joona or therapist Erik?

7. How might the Bark family have been described from Benjamins point of view? What forges the bond between him and his girlfriend, Aida? Are they refugees from a similar type of insecurity?

8. Discuss the structure of the novel. How was your reading affected by the short, cinematic chapters, told almost entirely in the present tense? How did the voice shift when Erik began narrating his own memories in the chapter called “Ten Years Ago,” between chapters 74 and 75?

9. How did Kennet influence Simones expectations of the world, and of her husband? How does Kennets approach to fatherhood compare to Eriks?

10. Is Eva evil or simply self-obsessed? How did your opinion of her change throughout the novel?

11. The closing scene shows Eriks family transformed. Without the terrifying kidnapping, would they have ever learned to trust one another again? Why did the roots of their unhappiness run so deep?

12. How does the Scandinavian landscape of The Hypnotist (and of other bestselling crime novels from that part of the world) set the ideal tone for intense, suspenseful tales?

13. What does the novel say about the nature of cruelty? Where is the line drawn between mental illness (in some cases resulting from abuse) and a purely criminal mind? Ultimately, what did the killers in The Hypnotist want from their victims?

14. The identity of “Lars Kepler” was revealed before the U.S. publication of The Hypnotist. How did it affect your reading to know that these scenes were created by a husband-and-wife team?

Guide written by Amy Clements / The Wordshop, Inc.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Jeffrey Bluhm, March 28, 2013 (view all comments by Jeffrey Bluhm)
Antithesis of The Girl with the Dragoon Tattoo
Everything that Stieg Larsson’s books are, this novel is not. Interesting characters, informative background details, realistic dialogue, intricate plotlines, believable twists, stunning and satisfying conclusion ��" this sophomoric text lacks all. Characters are poorly developed, behave inexplicably, and speak woodenly; at times the dialogue is painfully laughable. Numerous subplots are either meaningless or are not pursued, the main story (stories? ��" it’s hard to tell) wanders pointlessly, and few, if any, of the twists are relevant or interesting. If you speak/read only English, buy it in the original Swedish ��" at least at the end, you’ll maybe have picked up a few new words, and your time, unlike mine, won’t have been completely wasted.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781250007582
Author:
Kepler, Lars
Publisher:
Picador
Author:
Long, Ann
Subject:
Mystery & Detective - Police Procedural
Subject:
Thrillers
Subject:
Popular Fiction-Suspense
Subject:
Mystery-A to Z
Subject:
Suspense
Subject:
Thrillers/Suspense
Subject:
Mystery & Detective/International Mystery & Crime
Subject:
Thrillers/Crime
Subject:
noir
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series Volume:
1
Publication Date:
20111122
Binding:
Electronic book text in proprietary or open standard format
Language:
English
Pages:
528
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.5 in

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The Hypnotist Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$3.50 In Stock
Product details 528 pages Picador - English 9781250007582 Reviews:
"Review" by , “The summer's likeliest new Nordic hit.”
"Review" by , “One convincing psychotic is about as much as most thriller writers can handle, but Kepler delivers them by the roomful. It makes you wonder where the Swedes have been keeping him/them all this time. I imagine a cabal of nefarious Stockholm publishers loading bulk orders of Larsson onto cargo planes bound for the U.S. while they rub their hands together over a copy of The Hypnotist stamped Not for Export. It's that good. It's the hard stuff.”
"Review" by , “A worthy addition to the ever-expanding ranks of Scandinavian crime fiction. Expect caffeinated beverages, inclement weather, and severed limbs.”
"Review" by , “Maximum intensity, both psychological and physical, is packed into [this] story.”
"Synopsis" by , A New York Times Bestseller

In the frigid clime of Tumba, Sweden, Detective Inspector Joona Linna has been assigned to a gruesome triple homicide. The killer is still at large, and theres only one surviving witness — the boy whose family was killed before his eyes. With one hundred knife wounds on his body, the boy lies in a state of shock, scared into silence. Linna sees only one option: hypnotism. He enlists Dr. Erik Maria Bark to mesmerize the boy, hoping to discover the killer through his eyes. Its the sort of work that Bark has sworn he would never do again — ethically dubious and psychically scarring. When he breaks his promise and hypnotizes the victim, a long and terrifying chain of events begins to unfurl.

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