Né en Suède en 1948, Henning Mankell est considéré comme l'un des maîtres incontestés du roman policier suédois grâce à la série des Wallander, traduite en 35 langues et pour laquelle l'Académie suédoise lui a décerné le Grand Prix de littérature policière. Lauréat de nombreux prix littéraires dont le prix Mystère de la Critique, le prix Calibre 38, et le Trophée 813, il est l'auteur de romans sur l'Afrique ou des questions de société, de pièces de théâtre et d'ouvrages pour la jeunesse. Il partage aujourd'hui sa vie entre la Suède et le Mozambique.
Mankell que voulez-vous c'est une ambiance ... Et si vous aimer le genre "roman policier nordique" et bien vous aller adorer ... Un peu moins bien que les autres de la série ... mais toujours l'ambiance Mankell
Kurt Wallander (KW) nears retirement. He wants to sell his flat full of bad memories and buy a house with a view of the sea to retire to, with a dog. But he fears his fate. His only real friend is dying of cancer; his father is dead and his ex-wife and daughter Linda are unlikely to keep him much company. Nor will his current colleagues.
This novel has weaknesses: 1) its sheer length; 2) the many pages filled with sick ideology; 3) the many irritations between father Kurt and his daughter Linda Wallander.
Re (1): in the 1960s and '70s, the writing duo Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö wrote 10 brilliant Swedish police procedurals. They needed 50% of the words crime writers like HM use today and produced a memorable series, immortalized by two Martin Beck tv-series, one Swedish, one British. Writing fat novels today is dumb: who reads them when social media are occupying readers 24/7? Only translators benefit from flabby books, not authors or readers, unless brilliant writing justifies many extra pages. Le Carré and Lee Child come to mind, but who else?
Re (2): in 1978, 900+ mostly US followers of a preacher called Jim Jones committed suicide in Guyana. One man escaped, a Swedish convert, so this novel's Prologue says. He is the bad guy in this book. But to read dozens of pages by or about this crazy self-styled prophet throughout the book, gives the term "page turner" a new meaning. But he is a very dangerous person, with a small devoted following intent on cleansing Christianity in Sweden...
Re (3): The book starts in August 2000 in Ystad, Sweden when Linda (29), a newly-minted policewoman, moves in with her father to bridge the 2 weeks before she can wear her uniform and occupy her own flat. The book is written from her perspective.Lire la suite ›
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79 internautes sur 83 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
Unusually for Mankell, highlights some weaknesses14 janvier 2005
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I think Henning Mankell is trying to up the ante in the Wallander books. The early books were about criminals, often loners. There was always some connection with national or world issues like immigration or racial tension, but the clever bit was how one small event in Ystad reflected world trends. Lately though, Mankell is concentrating on more and more unlikely situations to, presumably, give the books a bigger impact. The trouble is, it has the opposite effect. The last book, 'Firewall', had Ystad at the centre of a bunch of criminals infiltrating a computer network with the intention of world domination. It spoiled the book somewhat. In 'Before the Frost' it's a group of religious fundamentalists (how topical) with a 'grand plan'. And I think Mankell's problem here is that even he doesn't really know what this grand plan is. So he has trouble describing it. The actions of the fundamentalists are a series of pseudo-symbolic acts, like burning animals, and putting women-who've-had-abortions to death. It's empty stuff, melodramatic, and dull. It doesn't move the plot along and feels like Mankell was struggling with his material. The rest of the book deals with soon-to-be police officer, Linda Wallander, and her relationship with her father, our beloved Kurt. But even here, the writing is untypically stilted, and there are some downright unbelievable scenes. For instance, Linda has an argument with Kurt at the Police Station and throws a glass ashtray at him, making him bleed profusely. I didn't believe this scene at all. Much of the dialogue in the book, especially between Linda and her father, or Linda and her friends, is highly unrealistic and difficult to voice. When Mankell gets back to the things he's good at, the novel is fine though. He's good at describing the Skåne landscape. He's phenomenally good at creating tension, suspense and atmosphere. He's good at describing the way the police station works. 'Before the Frost', more than any other Wallander novel, makes you think about what he's not so good at: dialogue is the chief culprit. He's okay when it's police matters, but he just doesn't have an ear for ordinary dialogue like, say, the Norwegian crime writer Karin Fossum, which makes me think it's not just a translation problem. I'm not sure he's so great at writing from a woman's perspective either. Linda's character is not nearly as compelling nor empathetic as Kurt's. She's at times gloomy, like Kurt, at times childlike, and girly, but rarely realistic. Her previous life events are what define her, and they're like something from a 'build a character' kit. I'm not sure I look forward to the next Linda Wallander mystery. All these criticisms aside, I still largely enjoyed the book, though I found much of the melodramatic religious stuff tedious. There are moments of great tension and horror, just like in any Mankell crime novel, but it seems to be spread more thinly than usual. It makes me glad there's a Kurt Wallander novel ('The Man Who Smiled') still untranslated. Somehow I know it'll be better than this.
53 internautes sur 58 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
leaves you holding your breath3 juin 2006
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This is a terrifying thriller, written by Henning Mankell, a Swedish mystery writer. The book is the first featuring Linda Wallander, his main character's daughter, as a police officer, and I hope he plans on writing more. The author asks at the beginning, what if one man had survived the Jonestown massacre in Guyana in 1978, and proceeds to follow that man. The plot is exciting and escalates fast into frightening, with ritual murder and sacrifice, disappearances of Linda's two best friends. Underneath, and effectively communicated, is the theme that religion can be a force for either good or evil, and it is a most powerful tool for manipulating people. This is evident all the time in the news, when countries go to war or terrorists commit mass murder, it's always "God is on our side," and who can argue with that? Religious fervor in the wrong hands can result in the worst atrocities. The book finishes on Linda's first official day of work, Sept. 11, 2001. I highly recommend this book, it's one of the best I've read this year.
30 internautes sur 34 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
mankell passes wallander's torch5 janvier 2005
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If you're a Mankell fan, you're a Wallander fan. If you think the parts of the Wallander books that don't feature Wallander were ho-hum and Return of the Dancing Master was good but Stefan is something of a Wallander rip-off, then you are about to meet heaven. Linda Wallander is a chip off the old block. If Mankell is passing the torch down to Wallander's daughter and start a series there, he is on sure ground. She is every bit as fascinating a character as her father and since her father still features in the book, it works great. What I especially love about this book is the way Mankell deals with their relationship. It shows Linda learning how to be a good cop, shows Wallander being his typical grumpy but brilliant self, and (as always) brings so damned much real humanity to the story that it's impossible not to feel you're participating. Crime writers branching out with new characters is always iffy. Parker's Sunny Randall and Jesse Stone are good examples. But Mankell is giving real-time progress to his books by bringing Linda in. It's absolutely fabulous and I can't wait to read more and more...
16 internautes sur 17 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
A family affair-- the introduction of Linda Wallander2 décembre 2006
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It is becoming nearly standard to add some life to a detective series by introducing a child of the main character (usually a daughter) as someone to follow in the footsteps of the parent. Most writers are not able to make it work (the failure of Cindy Decker in the Kellerman novels springs to mind) but Mankell makes it looks like an easy thing to do. Before the Frost succeeds remarkably well, and is one of my favorites in the Wallander series.
Mankell has a unique knack of dealing with criminals and subjects that would be too far-fetched in the hands of a lesser writer. In Before the Frost, he explores the subject of religious extremism and cults carried to criminal length. It is an interesting plot, and fits well with the general project that his books seem to have of exploring the changing state of Sweden.
Very highly recommended, either for established series readers or for people new to Kurt Wallander.
14 internautes sur 15 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
Missed the Mark Totally8 juin 2005
Dana M. Lewis
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I was very disappointed in Before the Frost. I found Mankell's writing to be stilted, forced even. Linda's character was so annoying and bratty that she was not fun to follow through her rookie days. I also was disappointed with how easily Mankell sold the descriptions of his other well established characters up the river through Linda's immature eyes. All of a sudden Ann-Britt wears too much make up and tight clothes? I don't know if Mankell was trying to do some kind of character study, but he lost me. Unless he allows Linda to mature and not have stupid friends and throw ashtrays, then I will consider pickin up the next novel. But my advice to those who have not read this: don't read it because you will miss Kurt Wallander as if he were dead.