Exit - Rebound 3
Exit is the explosive climax of the award winning REBOUND trilogy
REBOUND CENTRAL receives a disturbing emergency call from Berlin: Viktor Penn, in his former life a genius con man, scares his fellow patients at the Alzheimer day care center with stories about his past.
Viktor becomes Tyler's first encounter with a subject, the REBOUND client she wanted to meet before deciding about Gar's legacy.
But is Viktor really demented? Or is he preparing his final masterpiece?
As the power struggle over the proposed sale of REBOUND reaches its dramatic height, Oz seeks revenge.
Willem Asman’s Rebound 3 – Exit, the award winning bestseller, is the final part in the trilogy about the secret organization REBOUND,
all parts of which were published within one year.
“Behind every secret there is another secret.
Behind it, there is a lie.
And behind the lie, there is a truth you wish you didn’t know”
Charles den Tex on Rebound
How it continues
Good news and bad
The good news: now that Rebound 1 and 2 are in the shops, I can't change anything anymore.
The bad news: now that Rebound 1 and 2 are in the shops, I can't change anything anymore.
What I have never experienced before (and I would not have believed if someone had warned me): readers start to interfere with the course of the story while I am writing it.
For example: an enthusiastic reader tells me she is sure that so and so is ‘of course not dead at all’. By the way: I took this comment like a pro, super cool, my face unrevealing, but to be honest I could not breath. Was I getting predictable?
It also happened the other way around: A colleague tells me that he dropped out somewhere halfway through Rebound 2 because of what he calls ‘a lack of working memory’.
The secret of a trilogy
If the secret of writing is ‘to begin’, as King says, then the secret of the trilogy must be ‘begin, middle and end’ you say? Close, but no cigar. It's even simpler than that. So simple in fact, that in a moment – when I reveal the secret to you, you heard it here first – you will wonder why the hell I was complicating things before. But in my defense: as Blaise Pascal already knew in the seventeenth century, you will write long letters before you find the time for a short one. The fact that we can ridicule the great explorers for not knowing the Earth was round, didn't make their journeys any less heroic – quite the contrary.
Here it comes.
The Secret of the Trilogy ...
Everything that precedes is an assist towards the last part. At the end, we don't want any more riddles or doubts or loose ends. Part 3 should become like one long chase on the steps of the Eiffel Tower. We are out of breath but we proceed upwards, on our way to the end, higher and higher with each turn, more we want and more get. We don't want it to end, but everyone (chaser and chased, readers and writers) understands that it must.
Meanwhile in the real world
While I am travelling the ocean of overviews, trying to discover the earth is actually just round, Rebound is nowhere to be seen in the real world. Where are the readers? And where are the reviews, after Sonja de Jong and the D&T Guide in June, it has become silent. Very silent. Even on the internet, usually a hotbed of enthusiasts.
With mixed feelings I read in all the papers that we should not count on Peter Buwalda completing his long-awaited successor-to-Bonita trilogy. On the one hand this news is heartening, proof that a trilogy, let alone one within a year, is an Herculean achievement. On the other hand, in my darkest moments, I feel maliciously jealous towards all the publicity his failure attracts.
Everyone I talk to about it at the publishing house is frustrated, but not nearly as frustrated as I am. Where the f*ck is Plan B? The place I now approach feels very familiar. I've been here before. It is the place where I say, in an ever louder voice, that I expect more from my publisher than ‘we don't understand either, but we do our best’. I hear nothing that resembles an unwavering confidence in binge reading.
And in the meantime I have work to do. And so really I have no choice but to put aside my frustrations about the seemingly meager reception in the real world. I therefore decide to do what I do best – I can humbly say there is no one doing it better in the whole wide world – which is: bringing Rebound to a successful conclusion. I think of the advice they give to Olympic athletes: don't put your energy into that final or gold medal in four years, but do your task today, as best you can. To get to the finish line I have to fake that I have every confidence in it. Faking it is my salvation – without it, the trilogy (the writer) would have derailed in midcourse. Today's task, as best I Can, is doing it word by word, line by line, page by page.
March 26, 2018
hen suddenly it is March 26, 2018, the deadline on which I hand over the manuscript of Exit – Rebound Season 3. I am proud and confused at the same time. Normally today would be the starting point of another year rethinking and rewriting, plotting, sanding, grinding, killing darlings.
In my log I write: ‘I DID IT. But WTF am I going to do with my time?’
After all this time in almost obsessive cohabitation with Tyler and Charlie, Oz and Josie, Gar and all the others, I'm going to have to kick the habit and get used to a life after Rebound.
And so ends the adventure that started with that other exit at Pieter Swinkels’ roundabout. That weird bet with myself to see how long I could make ‘woman running through a forest’ last. A book about second chances, that too. And about a protagonist heading straight for a goal, who then suddenly realizes that countless roundabouts and exits were passed unnoticed. Now that the trilogy is finished, it feels like I started I with a submarine years ago, changed it into aircraft carrier halfway through the construction work, and finally, at five to twelve, ended with a spaceship.
In the same week in which Rebound 3 is released, Rebound 1 wins the Gouden Strop, zward for best thriller of the year. So that the victory speech that I already had in my pocket since 2006 (‘about time!’) still comes in handy. I thank Charles den Tex for his unimaginably beautiful quote, but also, as befits, Ambo Anthos and De Bezige Bij, where I took my first steps. And Rolf Bos, the critic of de Volkskrant, who heralded the end of the silence surrounding Rebound with his disobedience and his fantastic review.
My longest story ever, 300,000 words, my first sequel series ever, my best ever seller – in June 2018, Enter was barely through the first edition, but as of writing this, over eighty thousand copies of Rebound have been legally bought, streamed, or borrowed. There will be audiobooks, beautifully voiced by Sander de Heer (goosebumps when I first hear Avni's accent). There will be a German translation in 2021, my first step across the border. There is going to be a Season 4 – at least 4 will be announced, postponed and then postponed again because the writer doesn't think it's good enough and because I can do what Buwalda can do. I'm going to get emails from angry readers demanding clarification about all that delay (‘just write Season 5 first,’ jokes Leon Buijsman). There will be talks about a series and a film and talks about publication in English, but there will always be talks.
Perhaps I am most proud of my ending, which surprises readers, even though I warned them from page one page that they could not and should not trust anything or anyone. Not only does it surprise them, they believe it too, my readers, the thousands who kept the faith for 300,000 words.
In retrospect, everything is a good story – all the obstacles the hero overcame are turned into juicy anecdotes. But there have been countless times when things could have gone wrong, when I could have succumbed to the weight of my own ambitions. Because who in Season 3 of a trilogy (in which there is a secret behind every secret and behind it a lie and behind it a truth you do not want to know, according to Charles den Tex) chooses for the unreliable perspective of 1. a protagonist who has dementia or not and 2. a swindler pretending to be Rebound.
There were countless days of yearning, when I couldn't wait to start and couldn't stop. But countless also were the days of fear, when I could no longer see the game through all the 3D chessboards, like the morning my editor Harold de Croon complimented me for having Season 3 'by far best of the three ', and I immediately started to question the quality of Seasons 1 and 2.
In April 2018, when I go through the latest corrections together with Anouk Reeskamp, my unsurpassed desk editor, I get this feeling that Oz wants to say something more to Tyler during their farewell behind her house in Amsterdam-Buitenveldert (Season 3 Chapter 5).
But what? We'll keep in touch? We’ll call? Have a nice day? Please be careful out there? Everything I consider sounds too lame, too cliché, too chattery. Shall I go back to Season 1's Tyler digging a shallow grave? As Oz turns the Harley, his eyes fall on the fresh hole next to the shed, the exposed roots of the yew. Nah, too much imposed melodrama.
I just can't get it. Until I suddenly know the answer, Oz’ last words, words that still move me today (because if writing is telepathy, as King says, then reading is time travel).
“And there they go. Oz follows them with his eyes, mother and daughter, in caps and sunglasses. With brave steps, not looking back, they disappear from view through the gate.
He slings the gun bag around his shoulder and starts the Harley. He has the feeling he wanted to say something more to her, but the roar of the engine echoes deafening from the facades, drowning out the last thought.”
(WA, February 2021)
'Willem Asman has never been averse to international intrigue, but in Enter the author pulls out all the stops. Enter is the successful first part of what will become the Rebound trilogy. Asman tells the wildly exciting story with speed. The reader is continuously misled, the plot twists are abundant. The author has already been nominated for the Gouden Strop once, it comes within Asman’s reach for this extremely exciting story.' – de Volkskrant, Rolf Bos
'A palace of mirrors of intrigues, lies, half and whole truths, in which nothing is what it seems. Asman weaves a web of plot lines and writes at a pace that makes you gasp for breath, but in a style and setup that makes it nearly impossible to put the book down. He also does this with a touch of refined humor. The chapters end with surprising cliff hangers, keeping the suspense alive. The plot twists keep you on your toes. Where necessary, Asman slows down to investigate matters. He knows how to sketch balanced characters and how to evoke atmospheres with a few striking sentences. The loneliness of the main character is downright oppressive. Her neurotic distrust is deeply palpable and her emotion grabs you by the throat. With Enter - Rebound 1 Willem Asman had written a thriller of international ambition that makes you hungry for more.' – Jury report BookSpot Gouden Strop
'A chillingly exciting book!' – Arthur Japin
'GREAT! You could say Willem Asman, the more than justified winner of the Gouden Strop, un-Dutch. But it is completely the Asman we know (from Queen’s Day, Wonderman’s endgame, Britannica and his surprising debut The Cassandra Paradox in 2006). That's the first thing that comes to mind after reading Enter. Asman again makes the grand gesture: Enter is the first part of a trilogy about REBOUND that has been published in one year. Also great in the structure of the story. Asman devised this web very cleverly and described it with extreme credibility. At a pace that makes you gasp for breath, but in a style and setup that make it almost impossible to put down the book. He easily manages to maintain the suspense, the cliffhangers are often surprising and the plot twists mislead the reader time and time again. Enter is the very successful first part of an ambitious trilogy, and if Asman manages to maintain this level in the following parts, that would have to be called un-Dutch.' – thrillerboek.nl, Jos van Cann
“Extremely exciting, lively characters, lots of action. Willem Asman does not shy away from a complex story that extends over more countries.' – Trouw
‘Asman weaves 'a worldwide web of intrigues in which action, excitement and sensation do not stand in the way of the human dimension.' – Het Parool, Algemeen Dagblad Magazine
'A hard-boiled action thriller, an excellent plot. Enter and Error are superbly written, thrilling books full of unexpected twists and action. A multitude of characters and intrigues ensure that the books remain fascinating until the very last page.' – Nederlands Dagblad
'What a story, folks! Very exciting, full of surprising plot twists. The characters are lifelike and partly because of this you as a reader get directly involved with the protagonist. Enter is the first part of a trilogy. That's good news because this book is good. No, not un-Dutch-good, an expression that no longer exists, just very, very good!’ – Remco Houtepen, bookseller of the year, Radio 5
'With the Rebound series, Asman once again proves that he belongs to the absolute top of Dutch-language thriller writers.' – Elvin Post
'With Rebound, Asman has done the Dutch crime literature and its readers a tremendous service.' – Jos van Cann
'Enter has many elements that make it a good thriller: a secret organization, a lot of uncertainty, truth and lies that alternate quickly, a lot of distrust, a lot of suspense and fascinating characters and finally the required plot surprises. The story comes to you from changing perspectives, which makes it credible. Enter ends with a wonderful cliffhanger that makes the reader eagerly await the second part.’ – Boekenblogderwijs.nl
'Asman turns it into a story you want to read in one go. His great strength is his ability to sketch lifelike characters. Each time, Asman conjures unexpected plot twists from his hat. Who to trust or not?' – Gooi- en Eemlander, Haarlems Dagblad, Leidsch Dagblad, Sonja de Jong
'Enter is a thriller with international ambition. We are eagerly awaiting parts II and III.' – Vrij Nederland
'Very nice thriller with an international touch. We are glad parts 2 and 3 will come soon.' – Broese booksellers, Utrecht
'Enter is a wonderful thriller. Asman's skilled brain fills the journey with exciting events, special twists and pleasant pieces of the puzzle. Luckily Error wil already follow next November.’ – hebban.nl, Remko Meddeler
'With his previous titles, Asman already showed that he is one of the Dutch authors who can easily cope with international competition and he is showing it again with Enter. Asman uses a strict writing style, with no unnecessary digressions. Enter has been plotted exceptionally careful. Asman ensures that it is correct in every detail. Not everything is clarified, but the answers to the remaining loose ends will no doubt be addressed in parts two and three.’ – hebban.nl
'What a wonderful thriller with international ambition!' – Kramer & van Doorn Bookstore, Zeist
'With De Cassandra Paradox and Wonderman’s endgame, among others, Willem Asman proved to have an extremely great talent for writing various types of thrillers. Although Enter is filled with action, it is clearly an introduction, a prelude to the sequels, where the intrigues can really erupt. But a very pleasant introduction. Asman writes fascinatingly about the witness protection program and the identity change that comes with it. Asman takes the time to explain the REBOUND organization and does so in a concise, powerful style. The narrative style, the solid plot structure and the secret world of spies are at times reminiscent of the books by Charles den Tex, who (quite rightly) crossed borders with The power of Mr. Miller and Cell. Willem Asman could also achieve this, because the REBOUND series tends to be an international hit. Enter is a promising start, it makes your mouth water for more.' – thrillzone.nl
'The un-Dutch setting makes this book impressive. Suspension and intrigue run rampant in Enter. Willem Asman has an innovative writing style, he writes the story in an un-Dutch manner. You cannot imagine while reading that this is a Dutch writer. The visual description of the environment, the atmosphere and the storyline of the Rebound system gives it an American touch. Impressively strong writing, everything fits, the characters are clear cut and convincing. Slowly but surely Asman manages to draw you inside the plot, you will not just trust everyone. Not all riddles are explained, hopefully we will learn more about them in Error. Intrigues, strongly portrayed characters and the un-Dutch setting make this book highly recommendable. You will not be disappointed. It is not without reason that Willem Asman has managed to secure a place on the shortlist for the Gouden Strop. Well-deserved in my opinion. ' bol.com Lees Magazine
'An intelligent thriller that makes you think about witness protection programs. Are all liquidations in the underworld real? Or did criminals (pop stars, millionaires, etc.) start a new life? Enter is recommended for fans of, for example, Charles den Tex.' – Jaspers Badhoevedorp bookstore
'The Rebound series is perhaps the best that has appeared in the Dutch thriller genre during the last decade.' – Daan van 't Westeinde
'Enter is the best Dutch-language thriller of the year. After previous nominations, Willem Asman finally wins the prize for best thriller.' – de Volkskrant, Iñaki Oñorbe Genovesi
'Many surprises in the second part of Rebound trilogy. From the first sentence, Willem Asman sets the pace with part two of his 'Rebound' trilogy. It is great how Asman is able to clearly tie the countless storylines together. And each time he comes up with one more surprise.’ – Gooi- en Eemlander, Haarlems Dagblad, Leidsch Dagblad, Sonja de Jong
'After the exciting Enter, I immediately started in Error, part 2. And again I Was immediately captivated by the story. Can't wait for part 3!' - Veenendaal bookstore, Amersfoort, Mabel van Zijl
'Error is even better than Enter, especially because it goes deeper into what the organization Rebound actually is. Tyler, the newest ring bearer, and her daughter Charlie are featured again, and we hear more about how Gar joined the organization. The story about Alain Toussaint, a former hitman, is well woven into the book. All these storylines are intertwined and yet they belong together. With Error, Willem Asman has delivered an exciting book and the book is well composed. The chapters are not too long and well divided among the main characters. Also in Rebound 2 there is a preview from Rebound 3 and after reading this, I can only say that I am very curious about Exit!' – thrillersandmore.nl
‘Asman writes at a killer pace, and nothing is what it seems. One drawback: you must have prior knowledge of part 1 to understand everything. And part 3 will be necessary to get all the jigsaw pieces in their right place.' – Vrij Nederland
'The fact that the Rebound trilogy is unusually good was once again emphasized by the Gouden Strop award for part 1: Enter. With part 3, Willem Asman not only confirms this high quality, but even surpasses it. Exit rumbles on like a rollercoaster, full of unexpected loops and breathtaking twists and turns. It surprises to the last pages. In a superior way, Asman knows how to drag his readers along. Asman brings all the storylines together in a completely convincing way. This is the higher echelon of thriller writing.' – Gooi- en Eemlander, Leidsch Dagblad, IJmuider Courant, Sonja de Jong
'Asman finishes the trilogy entirely in style and with an appropriate ending. A flashy style, the necessary plot twists and speed. The disadvantage is that to appreciate Exit, you better read the two previous parts first. Other than that: bravo!' – Vrij Nederland, Jos van Cann
'Rebound is unique in its ambition. An original, exciting series, three brand new, incomparable thrillers of international level, to be released in one year. The third and final part will be published next month and I can tell you: Asman succeeded, he fully lives up to expectations. A phenomenal production of phenomenal quality. In Rebound 3: Exit , everything that has been built up in parts 1 and 2 comes together in a very exciting apotheosis.' – Harold de Croon, editor Ambo | Anthos
'Finally the denouement of this great series. The Rebound trilogy is a must for thriller readers!' – Veenendaal bookshop, Amersfoort, Mabel van Zijl, May 2018:
'Exit is the last part of the five-star trilogy about the unbelievably credible REBOUND.' – Remko Meddeler