Sunday, January 17, 2016

Mankell, Henning (The Pyramid: And Four Other Kurt Wallander Mysteries)

Sadly, this is not as great as his novels. Which is weird, as I thought his short stories would be more thematically to the point.

It's clear to me that in order for him to discuss the state of Sweden in the 90s, he needed more time. This could be because his novels have always been procedurals (and then this, and then that, and let me show you all the details), and you need many pages to get a procedural right. It could be because instead of being able to show all the pieces needed to comment on his main theme, he could only show some pieces and then had to blatantly comment on the theme at the end of the story. In essence, "I didn't have time, so here it is spelled out for you, sorry about that".

I did enjoy how these 5 stories tell the tale of Wallander's past life, before Ystad, before Mona left him, before almost everything we know about him from the novels. I think Mankell may have forgotten about his prior characterization of Linda, though - he calls her chatty, and in subsequent novels she is absolutely nothing like chatty (same in the TV series).

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