After the Fire

Narrated by: Sean Barrett
Length: 11 hrs and 56 mins
4.2 out of 5 stars (145 ratings)

Audible Premium Plus

$14.95 a month

1 audiobook of your choice.
Stream or download thousands of included titles.
$14.95 a month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $31.50

Buy for $31.50

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

Henning Mankell's last novel about an aging man whose quiet, solitary life on an isolated island off the coast of Sweden is turned upside down when his house catches fire.

Fredrik Welin is a former surgeon who retired in disgrace decades earlier to a tiny island on which he is the only resident. He has a daughter he rarely sees, and his mailman, Jansson, is the closest thing he has to a friend and to an adversary. He is perfectly content to live out his days in quiet solitude.

One autumn evening, he is startled awake by a blinding light - only to discover that his house is on fire. With the help of Jansson, he escapes the flames just in time wearing two left boots. Dawn reveals that everything he owns is now a smoldering pile of ash, and his house is destroyed - forcing him to move into an abandoned trailer on his island. A local journalist, Lisa Modin, who wants to write a story about the fire, comes into his life. In doing so, she awakens in him something that he thought was long dead. Soon after, his daughter comes to the island with surprising news of her own. Meanwhile, the police suspect Fredrik of arson because he had a sizable insurance claim on his house. When Fredrik is away from the archipelago, another house goes up in flames, and the community realizes they have an arsonist in their midst.

After the Fire is an intimate portrait of an elderly recluse who is forced to open himself up to a world he'd left behind.

©2017 Henning Mankell and Marlaine Delargy (P)2017 Random House Audio

What listeners say about After the Fire

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    69
  • 4 Stars
    44
  • 3 Stars
    26
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    2
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    84
  • 4 Stars
    32
  • 3 Stars
    8
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    1
Story
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    53
  • 4 Stars
    41
  • 3 Stars
    23
  • 2 Stars
    5
  • 1 Stars
    4

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

An interesting view of life, aging and death

Those looking for a standard Mankell police procedural may be disappointed with this book, may even find it boring, but it is anything but. I replayed so many sections, that I finally bought the book so that I could read as I listened and then reread. I shall not soon forget Fredrik's transition to 'The place where memory is swallowed up by forgetfulness'.

Loved it!

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Most boring book this year

The description of the book is far more interesting than the book itself. It is hard to believe that the story of the after math of an old man having his house burn down could possibly be such slow going. This man has three relationships: one with his daughter, one with a neighbor, and one with a new female acquaintance. He manages to have a non-relationship with all of them. The narrator is a liar and a snoop, and a thoroughly unlikable reprobate.
This book has only one saving grace. If you suffer from insomnia an use listening to books as a way to relax at bedtime, this book is guaranteed to bore you to sleep.

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A must read if your a fan .

Made so much more poignant by his passing . It was an uplifting read in the end but mournful at times . Just a warning ,

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Loved this “memoir” mystery

The book is an interior monologue of a full human being as a mystery unfolds and aging and understanding the past in the present reveal. I wept and said “do not end yet.” I am a 70 plus woman and I looked at my own past with our narrator with a more gentle view.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Such a smooth comforting story

I wanted this to continue.Sorry to have it end. The characters are wonderful, the writing so spare yet detailed. It was like putting on a comfortable sweater. Definitely not fast paced but it didn’t need to be.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderful writing

Not really much of a story but the writing was wonderful. Characters were developed and the story had an interesting ending.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

True life, Not a fairy tale or an alluring myster

This is not an "entertaining" story. It is not fun and laughter. Life in this area of the world is cold, wet, and lonely. You must be a Person who is almost a recluse to survive. As we are introduced to the island strange fires start and deaths occur. This is not a fast moving book but I was never bored The writer carrys us along never stopping. The words flow. The reader is superb.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Disappointing

I have always loved this author's work, but my distaste for the two main characters slowly grew to a point that I could hardly finish the book. I guess the author is attempting to show us that we are all flawed in ways that we, ourselves, sometimes don't understand. I, however, came away disliking both main characters so intensely that I no longer wanted to read about them. It felt as though the author had a great idea but lost interest halfway through. There is almost no background on the daughter to help the reader understand her behavior. The situations used toward the latter half of the book to create a picture of the daughter are what I would expect from a cheap romance novel. I won't be suggesting this book to anyone.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Sean Barrett is magnificent

was difficult at first,dirge like and very gloomy.the book addresses the reality of aging and loneliness.there is no sugar coating. there is little humor or charm in the novel and it is relentless.the writer deliberately avoids penning any remotely likeable characters. the poetic or metaphor employed thru out is simple but enough to please the critics who are forever rummaging around for that sort of thing believing it to signify art and depth. no it's the narrator who rescues this piece from the trash bin. Barrett has tremendous gravity and a skilled actors sense of economy and trust. unlike the awful assortment of lisping hacks that publishing houses seem to contract these days. Scott Brick would have made the common amateur's mistake of manufacturing emotion while reading,over enunciating like a 5th grade spelling teacher and indicating the text broadly as if performing a call back audition for Our Town. Why on earth does Audible ruin so many books by casting or tolerating these prancing little nothing's? anyway this book works all thanks to Barrett and his strong sense of restraint and truth