Brooklyn dog owner and detective story fan. I also enjoy memoirs, short stories and literary fiction.
This was my first Kurt Wallander novel - and it seems I have started with the last book in the series. I'm usually fanatical about reading series in order, so this is a strange experience for me - watching a robust, beloved character draw the curtains on his story without having the benefit of being there when the curtain went up.
This story reads incredibly quickly and compellingly, but there is also a feeling of "Kurt Wallander, this is your life!" [Presumably] old character resurface. Old cases are referenced. In addition to untangling a knot of espionage, Wallander must also face his own aging and the mortality of those around him, which he does with an austerity of sentimentality that still manages to be powerful.
So, this may be Mankell's last Wallander, but it won't be my last.
First of all I would like to say that I just read online that the actor who narrated this book just died in Feb., 2013. I don't want to trash him, just say that he was not appropriate to narrate a Kurt Wallander book. Other Audible reviewers complained about Dick Hill's narration of previous Wallander books, but I say just wait till you listen to this guy. ( I liked Dick Hill's narration.) This guy has a very highbrow English accent with no expression except anger. Kurt can be short with people but he has a huge heart. This did not come through with this reader. Too bad Kenneth Branagh didn't narrate this book. He does such an excellent job in the PBS dramas of these Henning Mankell books. He's not to bad to look at either.
The book itself is sad because Kurt is toward the end of his career and is definitely feeling his age. He thinks more about dying than living, but then he always specialized in melancholy. As always, I appreciate how well these books are written. This one seemed to drag, but I honestly think it is because I was used to Dick Hill's voice narrating, and this narrator was very boring to listen to.
I do think that the translation is better in this book than in the previous ones. It flows better and the wording was more intelligent and creative. It was more professionally done, not so much like a high school student had done the translating.
If given the choice you may want to read this one, not listen to it, particularly if you liked the previous narrations. If you have listened to or read the other books in the series you should not leave this one out, but don't begin the series with this book.
No. Too Depressing and Uninteristing.
Robin Sachs can read the ingredients of a cooking recipe and sound interisting. He is a master.
Sad that Kurt Wallander has to fade away in this manner.
I enjoy Henning Mankell's books a great deal. This one is for enthusiasts who might listen for completeness. This is not the book to start with because Henning Mankell is so much better than this book suggests.
Overall, I liked this book. The main plot was entertaining and kept me guessing. I liked how it turned out. The subplot, which had the most impact, left me feeling sad and dissatisfied.
Kurt Wallender is 60 and a grandfather. He's looking for his in-laws-to-be who disappeared a few weeks after a mysterious discussion on Soviet submarines in Swedish waters in the 1980's. This intriguing story is weighed down by a rough or too-literal translation. I've listened to other Wallender books, and don't remember the language being this primitive. Just isn't great writing. Doesn't mean the book isn't worth listening to, just means the dull language detracts from it.
Powerful... Provoking... Change!
Of course, as usual Mankell does his best to keep the reader tuned to the slightest hesitancy or breath of each character.
I liked Dick Hill much better. I wonder about the reason for the change. This narrator is okay, but lacks the force and depth of character for Wallander.
I can't tell you before you read it!
I was very disappointed in this book. I've listened to other Wallenders and really liked them. The plot starts out interesting and then just stalls and then comes apart. To the extent that I could follow the narrative I found it not either interesting or believable and the point of the story, when it does become clear, is not interesting, novel or exciting. Characters disappear and die for no reason and no believable reason is supplied as the book unfolds. Get it from the library if you really need to read/hear this final book in this detective series.
A librarian who loves to read, whether in print or in the air
This was a great final entry in the Kurt Wallander mystery series. There is nobody better than Henning Mankell when it comes to following a detective and including the ordinary details of life amidst all the intrigue. I only hope that Mankell continues to the Wallander saga by giving us more stories about Kurt's daughter, Linda.
I've been a big fan of the Wallander series and thoroughly enjoyed Dick Hill's narration. Mankell has written a wonderful book - again. However, my comments on this audio book are mainly regarding the narration. Robin Sachs may have a better grasp on Swedish pronunciation than Hill but his narration was soooo sloooow that I had to put my I-pod on 2x speed to listen without losing my mind. This may really be the last of Wallander. I wish the publishers had been consistent and kept Dick Hill on for this one. Robin Sachs' reading sort of ruined the end of this series for me.