26 September 2011

The Man from Beijing, by Henning Mankell

The beginning of this book is grisly, and astonishing, which gives it great promise. Unfortunately, it simply fails to deliver.

The plot is complicated and interesting, and one suspects that the characters could be as well. Why aren't they?

I know that Henning Mankell created the Wallander series, from which there have been some excellent TV adaptions. This leads me to suspect that Mankell really is good, but that the translator of this particular book may have fallen down.

There is too much bland exposition, and too little use of nuance. Tools such as foreshadowing, and some believable stream-of-consciousness might have helped. I was disappointed, but I might try another Mankell (and another translator) just to see what that might be like.

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