A riveting tale of international intrigue with compelling insights into the sinister side of modern life, The White Lioness will keep you on the knife edge of suspense.
©1993 Henning Mankell; translation ©1998 Laurie Thompson; (P)2006 Blackstone Audio Inc.
"A first-class thriller." (New York Times)
"[Wallander is] a solid character, whose strengths and weaknesses are utterly credible, and Mankell knows how to make the most of his virtues." (Publishers Weekly)
"The action is skillfully grounded in human rather than political concerns....[Mankell's] stature as a major voice in international crime fiction remains undisturbed." (Booklist)
What a great book. The story is well constructed and is arranged against a backdrop of the political landscape of South Africa in 1990's. What a fantastic detective story. Cannot wait to hear the next "Kurt Volander" story.
I love books!
I really enjoyed listening to this book, my first by Mankell was Dogs of Riga, which I also enjoyed. The White Lioness started off a little slow but picked up momentum and turned into a good thriller. I've never been to Sweden and probably never will so it's good to hear about normal life there and it's good to know the Swedish have hopes and dreams just like the rest of us. I've never read much about South Africa, period, so listening to what it was like in the last days of Apartheid was interesting. But, Detective Chief Inspector Kurt Wallander is the star. I like the way Mankell gets into his psyche and tells us what he's thinking both bad and good, he has many thoughts just like me. I'm sure I'll try a third Wallander mystery at some point. It appears Henning Mankell quit writing and moved to Mozambique or somewhere thereabouts. That's too bad, he spins a good yard.
Mankell writes stories that is never short of depth, complexities, and dimensions. And very importantly, it is never simply a detective novel, as the story is always waved into a social problem or a historical events in this case. He calls for thinking, and re-evaluation of human nature.
For audiobook, narrator makes and breaks the book. In this case, Dick Hill did the later.
His performance is merely OK if I were to be extra kind. As a voice actor, I found him really lack of skills. Unlike Ray Porter who switches between any international (and national) accents flawlessly, or Graeme Malcolm who nails all the Scandinavian and Arabic accents, Mr. Hill completely fails. It is "All-American" accent, which might be ok.
But Mr. Hill's improvisations just killed me. For example: he used whinny feminine American-accented voices for all Swedish male detectives other than Wallander (thats Mr. Hill's "great" idea of to make up his lack of accent skills? please drop this). Also, his poorly done South African accent - I appreciate the try, but as an actor, the bar is higher, and importantly do not forget to take it back when the narration moved from the African man to the Russian KGB!!! What an amateur job!
Also, what's up with American Southern accent for the Swedish male divers? ? And this thing of making Bjok drawing deep breathSSS every he opens his mouth gives me chills all over.
IT IS A BIG DISTRACTION. AND MR. HILL, please go travel the world or try to have some international friends!
Audible should not delete the comments.
Way too slow and complex to listen to
no but turned me off from this author
boring to listen to
An audio book needs to be captivating. This book went off on too many tangents for an audio format. I dont listen to audio books from beginning to end. I listen over several days.the names of the people, towns and information was too lengthy to remember from sessionto session. The backtracking and extensive information made it very slow and sometimes boring.
Mr.Hill Presents most of the Swedish men as stammering, frightened little boys. As a Swede, it drove me crazy!
Only from this author.
This is my third in the Mankell / Wallander series, and I took them in order.
This story starts out great. I was thinking that Mankell was only getting better and better. His first in the series, Faceless Killers, was decent but nothing spectacular. His second, The Dogs of Riga, was much better - still not great but good. This one really gets going in the first half, but then it drags on and on and on, and finally it completely unravels in every aspect from the story line to the main character.
In summary, I have found nothing special about Mankell. If anything, he breaks character in too many key areas and by the end, the main character is completely unlikeable. This is not a good thing for a hero, tragic or otherwise, in a continuing series. In this case, the hero is not tragic, he is simply not likable or interesting at all.
That's the last of Mankell for me, I cannot recommend this one.
I kept waiting for the book to get better. In fact, in the hands of a better author, the overall story concept between Sweden and South Africa could be told differently and be a great book. As portrayed in the book, either the characters are unrealistic, or Swedish people are not very intelligent. Being of Swedish ancestry I would prefer to think the former, but as this is such a bad book and it seems to be popular in Sweden, I’m concerned it might be the latter. Maybe the characters are intended to be humorous, and that was lost in the translation. The reader’s sing-songy voice may have been appropriate for the Swedish characters voices, but it was grating when the awkward pronuncations and word cadence carried into the narrative. What I did come away with was a better understanding of South Africa and black culture during that period and little else.
This book is, in a word, tedious from the very first minute. The author seems to think that the methodical, plodding investigatory methods of a good detective are exciting plot lines, and every unrelated interrogation is narrated in great detail. This is despite the fact that many go nowhere and the reader/listener is screaming for SOMETHING to HAPPEN! The "Swedish" accent of the narrator is grating at best, and extremely irritating as he portrays almost every character in what can only be described as a whiny voice. Cops don't talk that way, I'm sure, and neither do cold-blooded killers. It is almost four hours into it (yes, I stayed with it, in order that I might finally get to the "good parts"!) that there is a ten-minute interesting segment, and then we are back to listening to what is in everyone's thoughts, moralizing, and the worst plot device of the second-rate author, describing the "dreams" of the protagonist. Stay away.
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