Cart

El chino PDF, ePub eBook


Hot Best Seller
Title: El chino
Author: Henning Mankell
Publisher: Published November 1st 2008 by TusQuets (first published 2007)
ISBN: 9788483830956
Status : FREE Rating :
4.6 out of 5

5905266-el-chino.pdf

In order to read or download eBook, you need to create FREE account.
eBook available in PDF, ePub, MOBI and Kindle versions


reward
How to download?
FREE registration for 1 month TRIAL Account.
DOWNLOAD as many books as you like (Personal use).
CANCEL the membership at ANY TIME if not satisfied.
Join Over 150.000 Happy Readers.


Una mañana de enero de 2006, en el pueblecito sueco de Hesjóvallen, aparecen brutalmente asesinadas diecinueve personas. Una cinta de seda roja encontrada en la nieve pone a la jueza Birgitta Roslin en la pista de una inquietante trama que se remonta al año 1860, cuando miles de chinos fueron llevados a Estados Unidos a trabajar casi como esclavos en la construcción del fe Una mañana de enero de 2006, en el pueblecito sueco de Hesjóvallen, aparecen brutalmente asesinadas diecinueve personas. Una cinta de seda roja encontrada en la nieve pone a la jueza Birgitta Roslin en la pista de una inquietante trama que se remonta al año 1860, cuando miles de chinos fueron llevados a Estados Unidos a trabajar casi como esclavos en la construcción del ferrocarril en la costa oeste. Las consecuencias de esa dramática odisea llegan hasta la conflictiva pero poderosa China del siglo XXI, donde cruentas luchas de poder en el seno del Partido Comunista Chino están decidiendo el futuro del pais a las puertas de los Juegos Olímpicos.

30 review for El chino

  1. 5 out of 5

    Kemper

    Despite a bloody gore fest kicking off the action and a story that spans from 19th century America to present day China, Sweden, Africa and England, this ended up being about as interesting as a lecture on geopolitics from a semi-bright junior high student. This book begins with the discovery of a massacre of almost the entire population of a tiny village in a remote area of Sweden. 19 people have been sliced and diced in various ways. Even the pets have been brutally killed. (Hey, Sweden. WTF? S Despite a bloody gore fest kicking off the action and a story that spans from 19th century America to present day China, Sweden, Africa and England, this ended up being about as interesting as a lecture on geopolitics from a semi-bright junior high student. This book begins with the discovery of a massacre of almost the entire population of a tiny village in a remote area of Sweden. 19 people have been sliced and diced in various ways. Even the pets have been brutally killed. (Hey, Sweden. WTF? Seriously. I thought America was supposed to be the king of using wanton acts of violence for pop entertainment. But after reading Let the Right One In, Stieg Larsson and some of Mankell’s Kurt Wallander series, I’m starting to think you’re even more twisted than we are.) A criminal judge with a foundering marriage and a bit of a mid-life crisis named Birgitta Roslin realizes that her deceased mother’s foster parents were among those killed. When Roslin unexpectedly has some time off work, she travels to the area of the slaughter for reasons she doesn’t really understand, and she ends up coming across clues indicating that the killer may have been from China. However, when a better local suspect pops up, the police chase that angle instead. Birgitta doesn’t realize that she’s stumbled into a story of revenge that began in America during the building of the transcontinental railroad during the 1860s. Great set-up for a story, but it fails miserably. The first problem is that I don’t even know what kind of book it’s supposed to be. It’s not a horror novel or a schlock crime story despite the grisly murders that start it. It’s not a whodunit because the villain is introduced pretty early in the book along with his motives for the crime. You’d think it’d turn into a globe-spanning thriller then, right? Wrong. Despite the many exotic locales and a couple of other murders, most of the book consists of various characters' thoughts about China or their personal lives. So if you know who committed the crime, and there’s no action driving the resolution of the plot, what’s the point of the story? The second problem is that the main character is an amateur slueth. I’m not a big fan of these characters, and it’s tricky to make it work. If you’re going to have an investigator who isn’t a professional and is outside the system, then a writer usually has to make the authorities corrupt or completely stupid. Or the protagonist has to be put in circumstances so that they won’t be believed when they uncover evidence. But in this case, you’ve got a respected Swedish judge, who the police are at least willing to listen to. So the second she realizes she’s in danger or gets a critical piece of information, you’d think she’d be on the phone. Uh…no. Because Birgitta Roslin is an utter moron. She’s naïve when she should be paranoid.. Paranoid when she has no reason to be. Trusting when she shouldn’t be. Untrusting when she has no reason to be. All in the interests of just moving this glacially paced plot forward. Which doesn’t matter. BECAUSE I ALREADY KNOW WHO DID IT AND WHY. It’s maddening knowing everything that your idiot heroine doesn’t and is too stupid to figure out. Prime example: At a key point near the end of the book, Birgitta, gets a critical piece of news dropped in her lap. (Everything is dropped in Birgitta’s lap. She doesn’t actually DO anything except kind of grope around in a clumsy way while claiming that she’s just trying to stay informed about the on-going investigation.) It involves locating a person that the police know they should at least talk too. You know, to solve THE GODDAMN MASS MURDER. But old Birgitta just goes to bed. She’s shocked in the morning to discover that her night’s sleep resulted in another murder, and she has good reason to think that she’s next. Despite the fact that a person of interest in a GODDAMN MASS MURDER may very well be coming to kill a freaking judge, Birgitta does NOT call the cops. Instead, she flees Sweden in a panic to go to London and seek help from a Chinese woman that she had met only once. Because when a GODDAMN MASS MURDERER is on your trail, it’s always best NOT to inform the agents of the same justice system that employs you. It’s much better to seek aid in a foreign country from someone you don't really know. Jesus wept…. I can’t believe that the guy who writes the terrific Kurt Wallander novels is the same person who came up with this piece of crap. If Wallander would have been the guy investigating a GODDAMN MASS MURDER, you can be sure that he’d call the other cops for help when he found the guy responsible.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Steve Dennie

    I cannot over-emphasize how disappinting this book was. It started out great: nearly everyone in a small village in cold and snowy northern Sweden is massacred, a hideous scene. A woman deputy is introduced, then a woman with a connection to some of the victims. Then Mankell takes us back to a the American West, where some Chinese immigrants find themselves serving as slave laborers on the continental railroad. I was fully engrossed. But I don’t think Mankell really thought through where he wante I cannot over-emphasize how disappinting this book was. It started out great: nearly everyone in a small village in cold and snowy northern Sweden is massacred, a hideous scene. A woman deputy is introduced, then a woman with a connection to some of the victims. Then Mankell takes us back to a the American West, where some Chinese immigrants find themselves serving as slave laborers on the continental railroad. I was fully engrossed. But I don’t think Mankell really thought through where he wanted to take the book. Soon, the woman deputy becomes a disagreeable caricature, and the other woman, now suddenly the central protagonist, ends up pursuing clues to Beijing. Before long, we’re in Africa, then back to Sweden, then England. It’s just a mess. Mankell, normally one of my favorite writers, basically indulged in building a story to affirm some personal anti-Chinese political opinions, and it just fell flat. When the whole thing wraps up, there is one glaring inconsistency–a major, major one involving the identity of the killer–involving a photograph which I can in no way resolve. Maybe something was lost in translation. But more to the point, if anything was lost, it was lost in the writing. I hope Mankell got these political obsessions off his chest. I just wish he hadn’t dragged me along.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Aza

    OK, to me Henning Mankell's books are always full of life experience, depth, and knowledge of human society. His stories often travel to far away places and intertwine that at times one couldn't possibly imagine they might be related. But just like a butterfly in South America might trigger a tsunami 1000 miles further north, the Man from Beijing does something similar. He causes death and grief in a far away country over something that happened elsewhere and more specific, in another era. And a OK, to me Henning Mankell's books are always full of life experience, depth, and knowledge of human society. His stories often travel to far away places and intertwine that at times one couldn't possibly imagine they might be related. But just like a butterfly in South America might trigger a tsunami 1000 miles further north, the Man from Beijing does something similar. He causes death and grief in a far away country over something that happened elsewhere and more specific, in another era. And all because of a long-forgotten diary. Pain can be passed on to someone's genes. The past catches up with the present and as so often with humans, they act on it. The Man from Beijing is a fictional story but it could be life at its very core, he borrows from reality. I am a huge admirer of Mankell's work and love the fact that he had the ability to fuse different stories and show a broader perspective of events and how things could perhaps even be. They quite often serve as a warning, a mirror of events as they could happen somewhere and just like most of his other work, it makes your brain work hard and the reader has to make an effort to connect the dots and actually THINK a little more. Mankell has the ability to seam multiple characters and their stories what first appears to be a contained crime story in a small village but no, it stretches out around the globe. Absolutely fantastic and with the current state of our world absolutely believable! He partially feeds the reader different perspectives from different characters but does not lose the red thread that pulls through the main story. Nothing is ever what it seems, one never knows what comes around the corner next which makes it a suspenseful page-turner. But Mankell is - compared to other newish crime writers - perhaps rather old school and slightly slower in his approach and writing style. Fair enough and very good! His work will last. I personally love his style, it gives me enough time to dive in and explore. And it's very cleverly plotted, too. His books are always interesting transcriptions from his unique observation and perspective of where society could be heading at. I was very sad when Mankell passed away, he was and is a true writing hero who had planted many good deeds in his life.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Anmiryam

    I've heard a lot about Henning Mankell from others that know I am an aficionado of Nordic mysteries, so I was excited when a friend passed this along for me to read. My enthusiasm was premature. If I was to use this book to pass my final judgement on Mankell as an author, I'm afraid I would be rather harsh. There were hints through this book of the thriller that could have been -- compelling, fast-paced, filled with interesting characters -- but these are drowned in extended polemics about the h I've heard a lot about Henning Mankell from others that know I am an aficionado of Nordic mysteries, so I was excited when a friend passed this along for me to read. My enthusiasm was premature. If I was to use this book to pass my final judgement on Mankell as an author, I'm afraid I would be rather harsh. There were hints through this book of the thriller that could have been -- compelling, fast-paced, filled with interesting characters -- but these are drowned in extended polemics about the history of the treatment of Chinese laborers in the American West, Chinese politics and amibitions, Swedish society and the fundamental nature of capitalism. Some of these sections, particularly the pivotal piece set in the 1860s, are compelling in themselves, but they are often not needed to support the overall plot. Mankell's missteps are not limited to following his own interests to the detriment of the book, but in also crafting a leaking ship. The first half, which establishes the mystery, introduces the accidental heroine of the book and explores the history that is the fuel for the modern day massacre that starts the book, is well done, but Mankell must have lost interest once these were completed. Many of his main characters are insufficiently developed, or just not that interesting (yes, Brigitta, that means you). His villain is a stock character and is never nearly frightening enough to be seen as the psychopath he must be. Loose ends, unexplained or contradictory motivations, serendipitous connections and an overly neat ending all mar the flabby second half. Given the strength of his following, I'm not going to allow this one disappointment dissuade me from picking up another Mankell, but I will be sure that the next one is a Wallender mystery!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Alana

    This is one of the worst books I've ever read. Maybe I should back up and say that I don't like crime fiction and that the only reason I read this book is that it was given to me as a gift from my in-laws (who I now respect less for recommending this garbage. I kid. Sort of). Internationally bestselling novelist? This is a joke, right? The author is in serious need of a thesaurus because you can only read the same descriptive phrase so many times in a single page, let alone paragraph (perhaps th This is one of the worst books I've ever read. Maybe I should back up and say that I don't like crime fiction and that the only reason I read this book is that it was given to me as a gift from my in-laws (who I now respect less for recommending this garbage. I kid. Sort of). Internationally bestselling novelist? This is a joke, right? The author is in serious need of a thesaurus because you can only read the same descriptive phrase so many times in a single page, let alone paragraph (perhaps this frustration would more appropriately be directed at the translator?). There are a million irrelevant and tedious details thrown in, and the dialogue is so poorly written it's just painfully awkward. Here is an excerpt from when the protagonist is in Beijing and is approached by a young man: "Are you lost? Can I help you?" "I'm just looking at that handsome building over there. Do you know who owns it?" He shook his head in surprise. "I study to be veterinarian. I know nothing of tall buildings. Can I help you? I try to teach me speak better English." "Your English is very good." She pointed up at the projecting terrace. "I wonder who lives there?" "Somebody very rich." "Can you help me?" she said. She took out the photograph of Wang Min Hao. "Can you go over to the guards and ask them if they know this man. If they ask why you want to know, just say somebody asked you to give him a message." "What message?" "Tell them you'll fetch it. Come back here. I shall wait by the hospital entrance." "Why not ask them yourself?" he said. "I'm too shy. I don't think a Western woman on her own should ask about a Chinese man." "Do you know him?" "Yes." ... "One more thing," she said. "Ask them who lives up there, on the top floor. It looks like an apartment with a big terrace." "My name is Huo," he said. "I will ask." "My name's Birgitta. Just pretend to be interested." "Where you from? U.S.A.?" "Sweden. Ruidian, I think it's called in Chinese." "I do not know where that is." "It's almost impossible to explain." Is it? Is it really? Ever hear of a place called Europe? Well, it's there. In the north. Off the Baltic Sea. All of the dialogue is so unnatural it just made me cringe and laugh in disbelief. Also, you already have a complete picture of what's happened from the half way point of the book but are forced to go over it all again from someone else's perspective. The climax, therefore, is extremely anticlimactic, and all the loose ends are neatly tied up with this neat explanation: "There were...many details that still weren't explained...There were threads that would continue to hang loose, perhaps forever." Wow, I guess he heard that deadline approaching and had to put things somewhere fast. Oh, and the whole story revolves around a court judge who consistently exhibits poor judgment in everyday dealings. Come ON!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Gerry Claes

    There is no question that China has become an economic powerhouse. The question is, is it a communist country, a capitalist country or both? This book looks at those in China who who want China to adhere to the principals of Chairman Mao and place the well being of the masses above all else and those in China who have become capitalists and are hell bent on amassing wealth no matter what the cost. All of this is played out starting with a massacre in a small Swedish town that makes no sense and b There is no question that China has become an economic powerhouse. The question is, is it a communist country, a capitalist country or both? This book looks at those in China who who want China to adhere to the principals of Chairman Mao and place the well being of the masses above all else and those in China who have become capitalists and are hell bent on amassing wealth no matter what the cost. All of this is played out starting with a massacre in a small Swedish town that makes no sense and baffles the local police. The police think they have found the individual who has committed this atrocity and are content to consider the case closed. A Judge from Sweden isn't so sure and she pursues the case on her own. Her research touches America, China and Africa. This case is way too big for her to solve on her own but she does manage to get the attention of people who do not want her poking her nose into their business. Since I have just returned from China I was interested in the dilemmas modern day China is facing and how the author sees the country dealing with them. If you want a mystery that in the end ties up all the loose ends and leaves nothing to the imagination then this book is probably not for you. However if you like a book that will give you an education and something to ponder then you may enjoy this book.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Marjolein

    Read all my reviews on http://urlphantomhive.booklikes.com When I was going through some of the reviews, it almost seemed like everyone was disappointed by The Man From Beijing, but this was not at all the memory I had about the book. Yes, it is slow paced, and not all the jumps may make a lot of sense, but I still remember it as an interesting story, after the mass murder on the first few pages. Although even I have to admit that the Wallander series stands out. Side note: I was once able to pa Read all my reviews on http://urlphantomhive.booklikes.com When I was going through some of the reviews, it almost seemed like everyone was disappointed by The Man From Beijing, but this was not at all the memory I had about the book. Yes, it is slow paced, and not all the jumps may make a lot of sense, but I still remember it as an interesting story, after the mass murder on the first few pages. Although even I have to admit that the Wallander series stands out. Side note: I was once able to pass a geography question in high school about Chinese investments into Africa because I'd read this book. ;)

  8. 5 out of 5

    Nancy Oakes

    It's not exactly 3 stars, maybe a little bit more. Are we EVER going to get the extra 1/2 star ability? The opening scenes of this book are positively chilling, when at first a hungry wolf, away from its pack, is searching for food around the tiny village of Hesjövallen and chances upon a human leg. Then later, a researcher looking into the phenomenon of small towns and villages that are simply dying out stumbles upon the scene of a massacre -- with the exception of three people, everyone person It's not exactly 3 stars, maybe a little bit more. Are we EVER going to get the extra 1/2 star ability? The opening scenes of this book are positively chilling, when at first a hungry wolf, away from its pack, is searching for food around the tiny village of Hesjövallen and chances upon a human leg. Then later, a researcher looking into the phenomenon of small towns and villages that are simply dying out stumbles upon the scene of a massacre -- with the exception of three people, everyone person there has been gruesomely murdered. The only clue: a red ribbon that someone has left behind in the snow. In charge of the investigation is one Vivian Sundberg. Sundberg crosses paths with a judge named Birgitta Roslin, currently on sick leave for high blood pressure issues, who reads about the slaughter in her local newspaper and realizes that the victims included her mother's foster parents. Birgitta wants to help the police, and as she goes to volunteer her information, she has unknowingly already started down a most dangerous path. Now, if things had launched from that point in the usual Mankell style, I would have been reading with the usual high level of suspense tension that his works generally produce. However, Mankell seems to have some issues he wants to deal with, apart from just the decaying state of Swedish society. He takes the reader into a discussion of current philosophical divisiveness regarding the future direction of the People's Republic of China, going from there into the plight of parts of post-colonial Africa, and although it all does tie into the story line, you sort of get the feeling that you're getting lectured to here at times. And although eventually things do come full circle, the getting there just wasn't done in the usual Mankell style. The motivation of the bad guy didn't seem realistic, and neither did some of the actions of Birgitta, since she is supposedly someone who is meant to uphold the law. And there are a few too many coincidences at work in this novel. Perhaps it's not fair to judge this book based on others that the author has written, but you can't really help it in the long run. I love Mankell's work (and I've read a LOT of his books), but this one just didn't do it for me. But, since it's getting rave reviews at a lot of places, don't just take my word for it. I'm just one person swimming against the tide of popular opinion.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Lobstergirl

    Henning Mankell is a bad writer. This can be overlooked in books like Faceless Killers and The Man Who Smiled, where plot and character are everything and the dyspeptic charms of Inspector Wallander, coupled with Sweden's gloomy weather, delight us. The Man From Beijing lacks Wallander and lots of other things. The dialogue could not be any more wooden. Here's a Chinese woman telling the protagonist, Swedish judge Birgitta Roslin, that the West is not happy that China was so advanced at one time Henning Mankell is a bad writer. This can be overlooked in books like Faceless Killers and The Man Who Smiled, where plot and character are everything and the dyspeptic charms of Inspector Wallander, coupled with Sweden's gloomy weather, delight us. The Man From Beijing lacks Wallander and lots of other things. The dialogue could not be any more wooden. Here's a Chinese woman telling the protagonist, Swedish judge Birgitta Roslin, that the West is not happy that China was so advanced at one time: "Gunpowder, the compass, the printing press, everything is originally Chinese. You weren't even first to learn the art of measuring time. Thousands of years before you started making mechanical clocks we had water clocks and hourglasses. You can never forgive us for that." It's not just the dialogue that's awkward. After nearly getting shot in a restaurant, Birgitta "had only just realized that the man who died had fallen onto the table next to the one where she'd been sitting." The enormous bloody massacre of 19 mostly elderly Swedish villagers that begins the book is merely an excuse for Mankell to opine through his characters on corruption and the police state in China, and poverty and powerlessness in China and Africa. The plot, which can just barely sustain its strange connections to China and 19th century America, veers off onto an utterly gratuitous journey to Africa. Why? Because Mankell's heart is in Africa; he's an activist who lives part time in Mozambique and his love of Africa is now featured in most of his fiction, regardless of how little it actually has to do with the plot points he starts out with. Apparently whoever writes the copy for his website is a bad writer too: Having published his first novel Henning Mankell emasculated his dream of going to Africa and arrived in Guinea-Bissau the same year as The Stone Blaster was published. - "I don't know why but when I got off the plane in Africa, I had a curious feeling of coming home." Sometimes dreams die, but I hate it when they have to be emasculated too.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Mark

    Henning is back to his true form in this one, even if the premise stretches credulity just a bit. Can't elaborate on that too much without doing a spoiler alert, but suffice to say that the root cause of a mass murder in a tiny Swedish village requires a pathological thirst for revenge that is hard to make fit with the man behind it, given everything he has to lose. But it gives Mankell a great opportunity to explore Chinese history, and particularly the story of two brothers who are driven by po Henning is back to his true form in this one, even if the premise stretches credulity just a bit. Can't elaborate on that too much without doing a spoiler alert, but suffice to say that the root cause of a mass murder in a tiny Swedish village requires a pathological thirst for revenge that is hard to make fit with the man behind it, given everything he has to lose. But it gives Mankell a great opportunity to explore Chinese history, and particularly the story of two brothers who are driven by poverty away from their home village and end up being shanghaied into working on the trans-Pacific railroad project in the United States under brutal and demeaning conditions. This flashback takes up a good chunk of the book and in effect provides two novels in one. For his protagonist, Mankell has chosen a woman judge who usually handles petty crimes in her home district, in his familiar stomping grounds of southern Sweden. Her marriage isn't going well, she is at loose ends, and, it turns out, she was once a student revolutionary infatuated with Mao, which gives her occasion later in the story to visit Beijing with an old friend and thus propels the plot toward its gripping conclusion. It's not just Chinese history that Mankell deals with, either. Another major portion of the book is set on an African visit, which sets the stage for the climax of the story but also allows him to float some provocative theories about where China is headed in its international relations. To have exercised his fascination with China in the context of a good old mystery-thriller and to have done it so seamlessly is the mark of how good Mankell is. If the original shocking kills seem a bit too contrived, it's a decent price to pay.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Beesley

    This novel did not live up to its very ambitious premise. Mankell seems to have set out to spin a mystery that swept across continents and generations, and that created connections between the most unconnected of individuals. His ambition far exceeded his execution, making me wonder if this is yet another example of publishing houses rushing books to print without taking the time to properly foster and edit them. This read more like a draft -- albeit a late draft -- than a completed novel. There This novel did not live up to its very ambitious premise. Mankell seems to have set out to spin a mystery that swept across continents and generations, and that created connections between the most unconnected of individuals. His ambition far exceeded his execution, making me wonder if this is yet another example of publishing houses rushing books to print without taking the time to properly foster and edit them. This read more like a draft -- albeit a late draft -- than a completed novel. There's good raw material here, and with a few more rewrites and some polishing, this could have been a terrific read. As it was, I did not care about any of the characters. Although we learn who committed the horrific crime that opens the story, and we kind of learn why, we don't learn nearly enough about the why. The long passages discussing events in China and Africa were dry and pedantic. And the plot was riddled with implausibilities, clumsily executed. We know Henning Mankell can do better than this.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Stephen Gallup

    It is possible to like a book and be disappointed with it at the same time. That's the way I feel about The Man From Beijing. The parts that work best are those when one character is being stalked by another, especially when Hong Qiu suspects that her psychopathic brother Ya Ru plans to kill her, and when the main character, Birgitta Roslin, realizes the killer is now coming for her. The mood in both sections is pretty creepy. So the story has appeal (assuming you like the genre). But now for the It is possible to like a book and be disappointed with it at the same time. That's the way I feel about The Man From Beijing. The parts that work best are those when one character is being stalked by another, especially when Hong Qiu suspects that her psychopathic brother Ya Ru plans to kill her, and when the main character, Birgitta Roslin, realizes the killer is now coming for her. The mood in both sections is pretty creepy. So the story has appeal (assuming you like the genre). But now for the drawbacks. The first, which other reviewers also pick up on, is the failure to provide motivation for Birgitta's odd behavior near the beginning, when she puts aside her day job as a judge and becomes an amateur private eye chasing clues in a gruesome murder case. Her interest in the matter is understandable, but not her tendency to run her own investigation and the way she selectively withholds her findings from the police. Next are the multiple, extended nostalgic references to her youthful days as a naïve Maoist agitator (perhaps I too am naïve but I would expect a judge to have outgrown that sort of thing). That political bent figures in her decision to visit China, where her sleuthing continues. Mankell provides a reasonably convincing sense of place for both Sweden and Mozambique, the two places where he spends his time, according to the biographical note (neither of which I have ever seen). He does less well with China, China's government, and his portrayals of ordinary Chinese people. My sense is that the author has had an extensive study of Mao Tse-Tung thought (which apparently he still thinks has merit) and has combined that with maybe a week's worth of personal observation of the country from within the bubble of a tour bus. Speaking as a 大鼻子 who probably can be justified in saying this, I found all these depictions to be painfully off-base. He needed a Chinese connection to make the plot work, but given his concluding note, which says that "even in a novel, the most important details ought to be correctly presented," what he came up with fails completely. The story provided a diversion during a busy week, but I wish it had been better. It could have been better.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Al

    I was disappointed in this book. It's like Mr. Mankell suddenly decided to write something about China politics, and had to fabricate a plot to support his subject. The plot is disjointed, and the few loosely connected acts of violence do little to support it. The protagonist, a female Swedish judge, has the requisite existential angst seemingly required in Swedish detective novels, but floats in a cloud of vague dread and foreboding throughout most of the book. She's aware something is wrong, I was disappointed in this book. It's like Mr. Mankell suddenly decided to write something about China politics, and had to fabricate a plot to support his subject. The plot is disjointed, and the few loosely connected acts of violence do little to support it. The protagonist, a female Swedish judge, has the requisite existential angst seemingly required in Swedish detective novels, but floats in a cloud of vague dread and foreboding throughout most of the book. She's aware something is wrong, and feels threatened, but although she makes several honest efforts to escape the author is against her and so the bad guys find her with amazing ease. On the other hand, since the author is really FOR her, not against her, everything is effortlessly cleared up at the end. As for the writing, I couldn't figure out if this was a badly written-book which had been well translated, or a well-written book poorly translated. In either case, the style seemed clunky and graceless. Except for all that, it was great.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Armin

    31/100 Zwei Sterne gnadenhalber für einen ziemlich weit hergeholten Krimi auf vier Kontinenten mit den allerbesten Absichten, für Australien und die Antarktis hat's wohl nicht mehr gereicht. Besonders lästig war dieser von Schweden nach London verlegte Showdown. Vielleicht wurden bei der Kürzung fürs Hörbuch ein paar besonders feine Erzählfäden zerschnitten, aber längere Partien machten auf mich den Eindruck als hätte der Autor halt täglich seine Meilen gemacht, ohne weiter auf die Qualität oder 31/100 Zwei Sterne gnadenhalber für einen ziemlich weit hergeholten Krimi auf vier Kontinenten mit den allerbesten Absichten, für Australien und die Antarktis hat's wohl nicht mehr gereicht. Besonders lästig war dieser von Schweden nach London verlegte Showdown. Vielleicht wurden bei der Kürzung fürs Hörbuch ein paar besonders feine Erzählfäden zerschnitten, aber längere Partien machten auf mich den Eindruck als hätte der Autor halt täglich seine Meilen gemacht, ohne weiter auf die Qualität oder eine dem jeweiligen Charakter angemessene Wortwahl zu achten. Es gab da schon den einen oder anderen unfreiwilligen Anachronismus.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Quân Khuê

    Dĩ nhiên Mankell luôn biết cách kể chuyện, và do đó ta có thể tha thứ cho quá nhiều tình tiết không hợp lý trong cuốn này. Mankell có vẻ đã tự làm khó mình khi cố kết nối những sự kiện quá xa nhau về không gian và thời gian. Những nỗ lực như thế nếu thành công sẽ vô tiền khoáng hậu, còn nếu thất bại thì cũng không lạ lắm. Nhiều người có vẻ không thích khi Mankell mở rộng biên độ của truyện trinh thám (cuốn này khó có thể nói là trinh thám điển hình), nhưng phần tôi, thì tôi thích khi Mankell mở Dĩ nhiên Mankell luôn biết cách kể chuyện, và do đó ta có thể tha thứ cho quá nhiều tình tiết không hợp lý trong cuốn này. Mankell có vẻ đã tự làm khó mình khi cố kết nối những sự kiện quá xa nhau về không gian và thời gian. Những nỗ lực như thế nếu thành công sẽ vô tiền khoáng hậu, còn nếu thất bại thì cũng không lạ lắm. Nhiều người có vẻ không thích khi Mankell mở rộng biên độ của truyện trinh thám (cuốn này khó có thể nói là trinh thám điển hình), nhưng phần tôi, thì tôi thích khi Mankell mở rộng truyện tới những vấn đề Trung Quốc đương đại, địa chính trị, .v.v. Entertaining enough for the first weekend of the year! :)

  16. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    So far, this is my favorite Mankell's book. I really liked the plot and his back-forward style. 4* Meurtriers sans visage 4* La cinquième femme 2* Le cerveau de Kennedy 4* The Man Who Smiled 4* The Dogs of Riga 4* O Homem de Beijing TBR The Troubled Man TBR A Treacherous Paradise TBR The White Lioness TBR Sidetracked TBR One Step Behind TBR Firewall TBR The Pyramid: And Four Other Kurt Wallander Mysteries

  17. 4 out of 5

    Trish

    Mankell reaches a little for the premise in this mystery, and succeeds somewhat. It could be an interesting prod to inventiveness in a writing class: include China in your next writing assignment. This mystery becomes a little unwieldy and farfetched when it goes back over several continents and several generations in Part 2, but Mankell comes back in Part 3 to something much more interesting: a discussion of the economic and political changes taking place in a rapidly modernizing China, and a s Mankell reaches a little for the premise in this mystery, and succeeds somewhat. It could be an interesting prod to inventiveness in a writing class: include China in your next writing assignment. This mystery becomes a little unwieldy and farfetched when it goes back over several continents and several generations in Part 2, but Mankell comes back in Part 3 to something much more interesting: a discussion of the economic and political changes taking place in a rapidly modernizing China, and a slowly deteriorating Africa. Especially interesting are ruminations on China in Africa. If readers remember Le Carre's last couple of books set in Africa The Mission Song and The Constant Gardner , this a polemic similar, but comes off a little better. Anyhow, some comfort reading for those who are going to read Mankell regardless. Scandanavia still seems cold and remote, Beijing fast and flashy, Africa hot but beautiful.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Dianne

    The current state of politics in China is the main theme of this novel. It is more of a poli sci lecture on various forms of government than a mystery involving hostilities between family members. It is about corruption within the Chinese government and a desire for economic dominance in Africa while also outlining the history of what a Chinese government official calls fascist governments in Rhodesia and the history of the imperialistic regimes of the English. The story is practically written l The current state of politics in China is the main theme of this novel. It is more of a poli sci lecture on various forms of government than a mystery involving hostilities between family members. It is about corruption within the Chinese government and a desire for economic dominance in Africa while also outlining the history of what a Chinese government official calls fascist governments in Rhodesia and the history of the imperialistic regimes of the English. The story is practically written like a screen play with exotic women, wealthy gangsters and a female socialist Swedish judge as the main character. It's weird to read a Wilbur Smith novel such as Those in Peril and then follow it with this Henning Mankell novel which takes the political argument about politics and business interests in Africa to a completely opposite perspective. Fascinating food for thought and not at all what I was expecting.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Tom

    It's been a while since I've read a Mankell book. He's one of my favorite authors, and after reading Beijing, I have to put his books into more heavy rotation. A small community in Sweden is massacred. A female judge who is related - but not by blood - to those who have been murdered becomes involved. Hankell has a way of capturing our post-modern angst as it's filtered through these horrendous crimes. He does it again against the backdrop of the dramatic economic rise of China. Europe and the U It's been a while since I've read a Mankell book. He's one of my favorite authors, and after reading Beijing, I have to put his books into more heavy rotation. A small community in Sweden is massacred. A female judge who is related - but not by blood - to those who have been murdered becomes involved. Hankell has a way of capturing our post-modern angst as it's filtered through these horrendous crimes. He does it again against the backdrop of the dramatic economic rise of China. Europe and the US have been very insecure this century, and China is very symbolic of our trepidation. As the story unfolds, I very much liked the idea that we don't know where evil that was done long ago can eventually lead. And that its ramifications can be felt far into the future with connections we can't fathom.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Meg

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Blergh. It's really hovering around 1.5 stars. Again, the style differences threw me, as the "Scandinavian mystery writer voice" (which I can only base off Girl w/ Dragon Tattoo and this, so, grain of salt) seems very stilted and matter of fact and just... there's nothing hidden, is the best I can come up with? It's not that it's plain, because I don't really have a problem with that, but there's nothing to ever decipher or wonder about. That said, there are far less mentions of SANDWICHES in th Blergh. It's really hovering around 1.5 stars. Again, the style differences threw me, as the "Scandinavian mystery writer voice" (which I can only base off Girl w/ Dragon Tattoo and this, so, grain of salt) seems very stilted and matter of fact and just... there's nothing hidden, is the best I can come up with? It's not that it's plain, because I don't really have a problem with that, but there's nothing to ever decipher or wonder about. That said, there are far less mentions of SANDWICHES in this book than Dragon Tattoo, and I don't know whether to be pleased or disappointed. So here are my major issues with this book (Massive massive spoilers, including the end of the book, deaths, I mean everything): STYLE: I got into in that first paragraph, but a MAJOR MAJOR problem for me was the handling of the third person limited POV. The two places I had to just give in and start laughing were (SPOILERS, SWEETIE) the deaths of two of the POV characters, Hong Qiu and then her brother Ya Ru. Here's the scene of Hong Qiu's death, and keep in mind that everything up to this point in this scene has really been from Hong Qiu's POV (although 3rd person) -- "Hong Qiu had no time to gather what was happening before she was also hit by a bullet that smashed her jaw, was deflected downward, and broke her spine." The scene then abruptly changes to Ya Ru's POV so we can follow the action of him covering up the murders he's just committed, and then read about him also killing his right-hand man/hit man. It's just supremely awkward in terms of transitions and I'm assuming it's not a translation issue either. PLOT/CHARACTERIZATION: At first I was actually sort of believing the hype that EW had put behind this book, with that opening murder mystery scene that actually drew me in. Then I met the "hero" of the book, Birgitta. She's got pretty much zero personality beyond once being a Communist and having marital troubles with her husband and oh yes, she's a judge. That's really about it. The explanation for the opening mass murder of pretty much an entire sleepy town full of boring old people ends up being... revenge for the mistreatment of a Chinese guy's ancestors, but the Chinese guy happens to be a behind-the-scenes player who's risen to the top of the heap via shady deals, bribery, you know the deal AND he happens to be a player in the Communist party too. This somehow ties into the fact that there's a secret plan in the Communist party to ship a metric shitton of their dirt-poor peasants to uninhabited sections of Africa, which means wheeling and dealing with real-life African presidents? I didn't say it made sense. It ends up a sprawling mess with plenty of connections that end up feeling forced and unneeded. DIALOGUE: Eh, this should really fall in with style, but I'm going to open the book to three random places and I guarantee you I'll find a clunker of a line on each page. Ready? BREAK. p. 189: "Everybody owes everybody else something. If somebody starts asking about people, there's usually money involved somewhere." p.295: "It's over now. I can go home. I've got my purse back and I've seen the Great Wall of China. I've convinced myself that the Chinese peasants' revolt has made enormous strides forward. What has happened in this country is nothing less than a human miracle. When I was young I longed to be one of those marching with Mao's Little Red Book in my hand, surrounded by thousands of other young people. You and I are about the same age. What did you dream of?" (WHO TALKS LIKE THIS? YOU'RE IN A BAR. RELAX.) p. 392: But Mao tolerated the poets. I suppose you could say that was because he wrote poetry himself. But I think he knew hat artists could show the big political stage in a new light. When other political leaders wanted to clamp down on artists who wrote the wrong words or painted with dodgy brushstrokes, Mao always put his foot down and stopped them. To the bitter end. What happened to artists during the Cultural Revolution was of course his responsibility, but not his intention. Even if the last revolution he setin motion had cultural overtones, it was basically political. When Mao realized that some of the young rebels were going to far, he slammed on the brakes. Even if he couldn't express it in so many words, I think he regretted the havoc caused during those years. But he knew better than anyone else that if you want to make an omelette, you have to break an egg. Isn't that what people used to say?" HOLY EXPOSITION, BATMAN. Seriously, that entire paragraph from page 392 is Birgitta's friend Karin just info-dumping about Mao and Chinese historical shit that has absolutely NOTHING to do with the central plot. And this isn't the only place it happens. I understand her friend is a scholar on China, but wow. She's only that to give Mankell and excuse to send Birgitta to China to move the plot forward. And one other thing that bugged me an irrational amount: one of main clues Birgitta pursues in her initial investigation of the mass murder is a red ribbon that is found out near the crime scene in the snow. She tracks it to a local restaurant, which helps her get on the right track to figuring out that it's Ya Ru's main dude Liu Xin. Then in the last 20 pages, Birgitta's all LOL NEVER DID FIGURE OUT WHY HE SNIPPED THAT RIBBON OFF A LIGHT FIXTURE AT THE LOCAL CHINESE BUFFET AND CARRIED IT AROUND WHILE HE MURDERED 19 DEFENSELESS PEOPLE, NO BIG DEAL. In short: Wow. So I'm never really going to trust Entertainment Weekly's book reviewer again. It's basically the opposite of the pull quote on the cover ("A complex and enormously satisfying thriller... Grade: A"). Crammed full of meandering plots and details, devoid of any 3D characters (the closest is MAYBE Hong Qiu), I'd actively push this out of someone's hands and give them a solid mystery/thriller (AKA Into the Woods by Tana French, and then I'd stack The Likeness right on top of that). I didn't think I could actually rate Girl with a Dragon Tattoo favorably when compared to another book, but it's definitely better than this one. And not just for the sandwiches.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Roderick Hart

    While this is a crime novel it is also a wide-ranging and ambitious book, connecting events in Sweden with the neo-colonialist activity of the Chinese in Africa. The starting point is a series of murders all occurring in the same night in a remote Swedish village. The local police believe that the murderer was a deranged Swedish man who commits suicide while in custody. However a visiting judge, Birgitta Roslin, who has connections with some of the victims, comes to the view that the murders wer While this is a crime novel it is also a wide-ranging and ambitious book, connecting events in Sweden with the neo-colonialist activity of the Chinese in Africa. The starting point is a series of murders all occurring in the same night in a remote Swedish village. The local police believe that the murderer was a deranged Swedish man who commits suicide while in custody. However a visiting judge, Birgitta Roslin, who has connections with some of the victims, comes to the view that the murders were committed by a Chinese man. She provides evidence including video footage of the perpetrator taken by a hotel surveillance camera, but the local police, in the form of Vivi Sunberg, don’t believe her. The front cover includes the phrase, ‘revenge can take more than a lifetime’, so it isn’t giving too much away to say that, many years before, three Chinese brothers had been treated badly by a Swede and that one of his descendants is now taking revenge on people from the Swede’s family who, of course, had nothing to do with the original crime. The second section of the book deals with the brothers’ experience working on railway construction in the US in the 1860s. Since one of them later writes it up in a diary, it’s not clear that this section is really necessary. But the themes of the book are big. One is what the author believes to be a power struggle taking place in the Chinese communist party between those who want to stick with the old ideology and so do not want to exploit Africa and Africans, and the new breed of Chinese entrepreneur intent on buying up as much natural resource as possible to provide for the growth of their country. These opposing views are represented by Ya Ru (entrepreneur) and his sister, Hong Qiu. Both go on a trade mission to Zimbabwe, which proves a difficult read for someone from the UK (or perhaps I should say England, since in this book the UK does not exist). Robert Mugabe gets a good press here, and though we cannot assume that Mankell shares the views of his characters, the reader is still left with a favourable impression – which can hardly be an accident. Undoubtedly problems were created in the colonial period, but what would the oppressed residents of Matabeleland make of this section, or the thousands who were cleared from their shanty-town in Harare? It is while on this visit that Hong Qiu is killed. But by that time she has come to realise how dangerous her brother is, in part due to her contact with Roslin whom she meets when she visits Beijing with a friend. Unfortunately for Ya Ru, Hong Qiu, fearing for her life, has already documented her suspicions in a letter which she has given to a friend, telling her to open it in the event of her death. The plot is well constructed, which will come as no surprise to Mankell’s readers. The characters, too, are involving. Mankell has already shown an interest in the way older people’s minds work (for example, in the novel Italian Shoes), and this interest continues here in the relationship between Roslin and her husband and that between Roslin and her sinologist friend Karin. Some of the dialogue is brusque, bordering on the rude. Given the fact that Roslin is a judge, Vivi Sunberg shows her scant respect. And the conversations between Roslin and Hong Qiu are also very direct, partly because Hong plays her cards so close to her chest that Roslin usually finds it hard to get a straight answer. Apart from the murders with which the book begins, the most unlikely event occurs on page 324 (Vintage edition) where Roslin tells Hong Qiu everything she suspects about a Chinese man being responsible for the killings at Hudiksvall. Since she has only just met Hong Qiu and knows nothing about her this could have been very risky. Why does she do it? An explanation is given, but it not a good one. ‘When she noticed that Hong Qiu really was listening intently, she found it impossible to stop.’ She found it impossible to stop? Roslin is a judge, words are her stock-in-trade. This is so unlikely that the author returns to the subject on page 507, when it finally occurs to Roslin that, back on page 324, she had been taking a serious risk. A main subject of the book is Chinese colonialism by commerce rather than invasion. This thought troubles Hong Qiu a lot, for example, on the visit to Zimbabwe. ‘Once, we came to the country that used to be called Rhodesia to support a liberation struggle. Now, almost thirty years after liberation was achieved, we come back as poorly disguised colonisers.’ (Page 422) It is interesting that Mankell, despite his many years experience of Africa, has chosen to approach this subject from the Chinese perspective. Presumably, the motivation of the Chinese is of more interest to him and, in any case, the motivation of Africans accepting Chinese money is obvious. But despite such a meaty theme, The Man from Beijing’ is not a polemic masquerading as a novel. Apart from the second section set in the US in the 1860s, it is involving and well worth reading.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Tony O'brien

    I have to point out at the outset that I can’t really write a proper review of this book without including a few spoilers, so if you haven’t read it yet, maybe it would be best to leave this review until after you have. I have read several of Mankell’s Wallander books and am currently working my way through the series, thoroughly enjoying them as I go. The blurb for The Man from Beijing sounded fascinating so I decided to give Wallander a break and read this latest standalone novel. I finished it I have to point out at the outset that I can’t really write a proper review of this book without including a few spoilers, so if you haven’t read it yet, maybe it would be best to leave this review until after you have. I have read several of Mankell’s Wallander books and am currently working my way through the series, thoroughly enjoying them as I go. The blurb for The Man from Beijing sounded fascinating so I decided to give Wallander a break and read this latest standalone novel. I finished it two days ago and have left it until now to put fingers to keyboard because I wasn’t really sure how I felt about it. But I’ve come to the conclusion that this is a novel of five disparate sections, not all of which work, and ultimately it was one very major plot hole which spoiled the novel for me. The first section begins, I have to say, magnificently, with the brutal and shocking murder of 19 people in a small village in the middle of nowhere. I haven’t been that gripped by the beginning of a crime novel in quite some time! The police needless to say are baffled, stunned, angered and confused by the carnage and the seeming lack of motive. This section moves along at a cracking pace, which only flags a little during the transition to part two, when a judge becomes aware of her connection with one of the families that were killed and decides to take a more personal interest. The third section, which also works well, although you do have to wonder what on earth it has to do with the crime, describes the misadventures of a set of Chinese brothers who try to escape the penury and awfulness of their everyday lives by going to America. They do eventually get there, although not the way they intended, and end up as wage slaves working on the railroad. Their awful treatment at the hands of their overseer sets the scene for the next and probably weakest section of the book so far. Set in China, this is a tale of political intrigue, espionage and betrayal, which is at such odds with the preceding chapters that it really is very jarring to the mind. Not only that but it really does drag in parts. It is only towards the end of this section that you gradually discover what these characters have to do with the original crime. However, the connection and motivation (i.e. revenge) is so poorly developed and so weak that it is hard to maintain interest, or indeed credulity. SPOLIER ALERT!!! The final section, when Mankell tries to draw all these disparate strands together, quite definitely does not work, for one very big reason. I don’t mean to be picky but when you base an entire novel on the basis of one single McGuffin, that McGuffin had better be a damn good one. The problem I have is this - we are led to believe that the man who carried out the murders, on the orders of his Chinese boss to revenge the treatment of his ancestors who worked on the American railroad, was a master assassin. Indeed he must have been almost a ninja, to have carried out so many brutal murders in such a short period of time, without leaving a single trace! But he does leave a trace – a red ribbon which he takes from the lightshade in the only Chinese restaurant for miles around, which he leaves (presumably accidentally) by the body of one of the victims. It is this red ribbon which sets the judge on the trail, and indeed is the one and only piece of physical evidence at the crime scene. Well, I’m sorry but this is stretching credulity too far. Without this single piece of evidence, the police would have been stumped and the crime unsolved (and the book unwritten needless to say). But it is never explained why the assassin felt it necessary to take this ribbon or carry it around with him – can it really be normal practice for international hit-men to take souvenirs and then leave them very conveniently (too conveniently) next to the body of one of their victims? So to sum up, although very well written and utterly gripping in parts, this novel definitely didn’t work for me. It is very, very slow in some sections, some characters behave in ways that are totally out of character, and the plot hole (there are others but this is the Big One) bugged me so much that I felt I could only give this two stars. All in all, I wouldn’t recommend it. If you are an intelligent crime aficionado, I think you’ll ultimately be disappointed.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Smitha Murthy

    A book that starts so promisingly and ends with a whimper! This book is a classic case of authoritis -the kind of syndrome where authors decide they must give 10023 of their opinions on world matters into one book. From a sleepy village in Sweden, Mankell just jets around the world, leaning into global matters of China's rise, the Communist Party (who cares when there are 19 dead bodies in Sweden??), some bizarre family drama, and a lot of posturing on colonization. This book had the vague feelin A book that starts so promisingly and ends with a whimper! This book is a classic case of authoritis -the kind of syndrome where authors decide they must give 10023 of their opinions on world matters into one book. From a sleepy village in Sweden, Mankell just jets around the world, leaning into global matters of China's rise, the Communist Party (who cares when there are 19 dead bodies in Sweden??), some bizarre family drama, and a lot of posturing on colonization. This book had the vague feeling of "could have been so good, but isn't."

  24. 5 out of 5

    Tony

    Mankell, Henning. THE MAN FROM BEIJING. (2008; English tranlation, 2010). ****. This is not an Inspector Kurt Wallander mystery, but is a stand-alone novel from this remarkable Swedish writer. My first reaction to the book was slightly negative; I was looking forward to going another round with Wallander. When I finally reached the end of the book and was more rational about what I had read, I decided that this was a very good mystery/thriller novel, although it attempted to be much more. In a s Mankell, Henning. THE MAN FROM BEIJING. (2008; English tranlation, 2010). ****. This is not an Inspector Kurt Wallander mystery, but is a stand-alone novel from this remarkable Swedish writer. My first reaction to the book was slightly negative; I was looking forward to going another round with Wallander. When I finally reached the end of the book and was more rational about what I had read, I decided that this was a very good mystery/thriller novel, although it attempted to be much more. In a small Swedish village, Hesjowallen (I had to go back and look it up), nineteen people have been found in their cabins, mercilessly slaughtered by repeated knife wounds. The only clue the police have is the discovery of a red ribbon nearby. It turns out to be Mankell’s red herring. Enter Judge Birgitta Roslin, a judge in a larger town, who learns of the killings and knows that two of the old people were her mother’s foster parents. Their last name was Andren. As a matter of fact, all of the people in the village were inter-related through marriage or descent, though some of them had different last names. Birgitta discovers that these Andrens had kept some old letters and a diary from one of their ancestors from the mid-nineteenth century. The diary tells the story of another Andren who had gone off to America to earn his fortune and ended up being a gang boss on the construction of the trans-continental railroad. He oversaw a gang of Chinese laborers there, and was especially cruel to them. This information leads Birgitta to look further. She soon learns that a recent spate of killings in Reno, Nevada, occurred that wiped out a family of Andrens there. She tries to make the connection, but doesn’t until several clues arise that focus her attention on the Chinese connection. Soon she is embroiled in a series of conspiracies within China that involve top-ranking business executives who are becoming more and more powerful, profiting on the capitalistic system while pretending to live within the Communist organization of the country. Relationships between China and various nations of Africa are just developing, and Birgitta’s poking her nose into where it doesn’t belong puts her in harms way. The story gets involved, and, even boring at times, but Mankell manages to pull it out of the fire and give us a bang-up ending. Recommended.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Tittirossa

    Prima parte molto Wallenderiana: assistiamo ad un delitto (efferato ed inquietante) poi arrivano gli investigatori. A cui si aggiunge il giudice Birgitta Roslin coinvolta suo malgrado da un lontano legame famigliare. Birgitta scopre l'assassino in 10 minuti. Un po' incredibile, infatti non le crede nessuno. Poi parte con una digressione storica nel 1870 sui cinesi venduti come schiavi per costruire le ferrovie statunitensi. E qui capiamo che è il solito delitto tra il paranoico ed il razionale c Prima parte molto Wallenderiana: assistiamo ad un delitto (efferato ed inquietante) poi arrivano gli investigatori. A cui si aggiunge il giudice Birgitta Roslin coinvolta suo malgrado da un lontano legame famigliare. Birgitta scopre l'assassino in 10 minuti. Un po' incredibile, infatti non le crede nessuno. Poi parte con una digressione storica nel 1870 sui cinesi venduti come schiavi per costruire le ferrovie statunitensi. E qui capiamo che è il solito delitto tra il paranoico ed il razionale che affonda le radici nel passato. A questo punto vira sul fantapolitico, ma mica tanto!, con un tycoon cinese che cerca di manovrare la politica mondiale. Birgitta va in Cina incontra Ho (sorella del tycon) e finisce nel mezzo di giochi molto più grandi del delitto iniziale, e Mankell si perde un po', ma ha l'occasione per raccontarci un sogno svedese degli anni '70. Cina, Mao, Rivoluzione Culturale. Un abbaglio a ben vedere, ma perfettamente descritto. E poi si va rapidamente verso un epilogo un po' troppo veloce, e decisamente semplicistico. La scrittura: Mankell costruisce i protagonisti con alcuni dettagli quasi buttati lì ma che definiscono meglio di tante descrizioni (Birgitta scrive segretamente canzoni d'amore, ad esempio). Il suo tratto richiamo un sasso quasi arrotondato, un legno quasi liscio, una scabrosità sempre latente su una superficie che sembra perfetta. Mi fa pensare ad un popolo quasi civilizzato, ....

  26. 4 out of 5

    Laura C.

    I loved the Wallander series on PBS with Kenneth Branagh as the gray and brittle detective, Wallander. (I mean - who does not love Kenneth Branagh?) This novel is by Henning Mankell, who also wrote the Wallander novels upon which that series is based. This story begins with a wolf. Then there is a horrific murder. For me, two things pervade this novel. One is the curious refusal of the main character, Birgitta Roslin, a judge in Sweden, to tell anyone in her family about the unusual events that I loved the Wallander series on PBS with Kenneth Branagh as the gray and brittle detective, Wallander. (I mean - who does not love Kenneth Branagh?) This novel is by Henning Mankell, who also wrote the Wallander novels upon which that series is based. This story begins with a wolf. Then there is a horrific murder. For me, two things pervade this novel. One is the curious refusal of the main character, Birgitta Roslin, a judge in Sweden, to tell anyone in her family about the unusual events that begin to cascade in her life as she discovers that two of the murdered people are the foster parents of her mother. Why? Why do people in novels keep these secrets? In this book at least, there is a judicial oath, so the silence is not an unexpectedly clumsy attempt by a great writer to create suspense, but instead, there is a character with tightly contained integrity. That took me a while to understand. The second thing that pervades the novel is the weather – specifically the cold, Swedish winter: a white ghost which haunts every paragraph. So cold, even in Beijing. Even in summer, even in London. Even in America’s heartland in the 1860’s. With Mankell, only a partial thaw is expected.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Tina Tamman

    It is often the motive that is deficient in thrillers/murder stories. And here too it is highly dubious. It is disappointing enough that the publisher has put "Revenge can take more than a lifetime" on the cover. It might have worked better without this attention to revenge. Satisfaction from revenge in my view can only be achieved if the victim understands what is going on, which is not the case here. Having found the motive for the crimes wanting, there is, however, much to admire in this nove It is often the motive that is deficient in thrillers/murder stories. And here too it is highly dubious. It is disappointing enough that the publisher has put "Revenge can take more than a lifetime" on the cover. It might have worked better without this attention to revenge. Satisfaction from revenge in my view can only be achieved if the victim understands what is going on, which is not the case here. Having found the motive for the crimes wanting, there is, however, much to admire in this novel. Its scope for a start is breathtaking: it is a truly international story. There are some absolutely brilliant moments, prologue and epilogue included, an excellent analysis of China's place in today's world, the country's possible ambitions; there are descriptions of police's cool relations with the public and, by contrast, dissection of a stale marriage. It's a novel that is interesting at many levels and therefore I can't imagine that many readers stop before they get to the last page. Not really my kind of book, but I very much wanted to know what this Henning Mankell is like as a writer. And he is quite something.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Chi – cuddle.thereader

    3.75/5 Cuốn này được mở đầu bằng một vụ án mạng kinh hoàng xảy ra trong một ngôi làng và không còn một người sống sót. Từng bước từng bước, tác giả đưa vào những nhân vật có liên quan tới câu chuyện ẩn giấu phía sau, cho họ lần mò trong làn sương mù của những nghi hoặc, hay kể lại hồi ức đau đớn của bản thân trong những năm 1863 trở về sau, hay thể hiện mong muốn trả thù quyết liệt đến lạnh lẽo của một con người đứng trên đỉnh cao của xã hội Trung Quốc. Đọc cuốn này rất hay có những đoạn hồi hộp đế 3.75/5 Cuốn này được mở đầu bằng một vụ án mạng kinh hoàng xảy ra trong một ngôi làng và không còn một người sống sót. Từng bước từng bước, tác giả đưa vào những nhân vật có liên quan tới câu chuyện ẩn giấu phía sau, cho họ lần mò trong làn sương mù của những nghi hoặc, hay kể lại hồi ức đau đớn của bản thân trong những năm 1863 trở về sau, hay thể hiện mong muốn trả thù quyết liệt đến lạnh lẽo của một con người đứng trên đỉnh cao của xã hội Trung Quốc. Đọc cuốn này rất hay có những đoạn hồi hộp đến thót cả tim, khi nguy hiểm đã cận kề với nhân vật nữ thẩm phán trên con đường tìm ra sự thật. Tác giả đã kể lại một câu chuyện rất rộng lớn, đề cập đến cả chế độ bóc lột từ hàng trăm năm trước và bước đi chính trị trong thời đại ngày nay. Và rằng, mọi việc đều có căn nguyên của nó.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Debbie

    I really enjoyed the Wallander series, but not so big on this novel. It started out so strong with an unexplainable massacre & a jump back in time to the late 19th century—all very interesting. But then it just dragged and got bogged down in the history of China. I have no problem with learning Chinese cultural and political history in a novel, but it got to where I almost forgot the point of the book. Then it swings back to trying to figure out the massacre again. Too much & not cohesiv I really enjoyed the Wallander series, but not so big on this novel. It started out so strong with an unexplainable massacre & a jump back in time to the late 19th century—all very interesting. But then it just dragged and got bogged down in the history of China. I have no problem with learning Chinese cultural and political history in a novel, but it got to where I almost forgot the point of the book. Then it swings back to trying to figure out the massacre again. Too much & not cohesive enough. Plus, the Birgitta character (a Swedish judge) started out good but became an annoying amateur sleuth, solving things police can’t but also being weirdly naive at the same time—not believable and not my thing. Oh well. Maybe it just didn’t translate so well, but this one didn’t work for me.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Dora

    Στενοχωρεθηκα που δεν ηταν ηρωας ο Βαλλαντερ... ουτε που το πρόσεξα οταν έπιασα το βιβλίο, μονο το Πεκίνο με ένοιαζε και ο Μανκελ φυσικά . Ο Μανκελ άλλαξε τελείως το στυλ απο τις ιστορίες του επιθεωρητη!! Δεν με ενόχλησε ιδιαίτερα μια και ασχολήθηκε με αγαπημένο θέμα τη ιστορία της Κίνας και την πολιτική της εξάπλωσης της. Σε κάποια σημεία ήταν λιγο τραβηγμένο ως προς την πλοκη γιαυτο θα εβαζα 3,5 αστρα . Το τελειωσα ομως "με μια ανασα" με ιστοριες απο τη κατασκευη σιδηροδρομου στις ΗΠΑ(1864), πο Στενοχωρεθηκα που δεν ηταν ηρωας ο Βαλλαντερ... ουτε που το πρόσεξα οταν έπιασα το βιβλίο, μονο το Πεκίνο με ένοιαζε και ο Μανκελ φυσικά . Ο Μανκελ άλλαξε τελείως το στυλ απο τις ιστορίες του επιθεωρητη!! Δεν με ενόχλησε ιδιαίτερα μια και ασχολήθηκε με αγαπημένο θέμα τη ιστορία της Κίνας και την πολιτική της εξάπλωσης της. Σε κάποια σημεία ήταν λιγο τραβηγμένο ως προς την πλοκη γιαυτο θα εβαζα 3,5 αστρα . Το τελειωσα ομως "με μια ανασα" με ιστοριες απο τη κατασκευη σιδηροδρομου στις ΗΠΑ(1864), πορεια απο τα βαθη της Κινας στην Καντονα και απο κει στην Αμερικη και με δροσισε με τα χιονισμένα τοπια της Σουηδιας, Κοινως ηταν μια απολαυση χωρις Βαλλαντερ κι εβαλα 4.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

In order to read or download eBook, you need to create FREE account.
eBook available in PDF, ePub, MOBI and Kindle versions



Loading...