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The Man From Beijing

The Man From Beijing [Kindle Edition]

Henning Mankell , Laurie Thompson
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (90 customer reviews)

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Product Description


"The master of the Swedish crime thriller... a master modern storyteller" (Barry Forshaw Daily Express)

"Riveting" (The Times)

"Mankell is one of the most ingenious crime writers around. Highly recommended" (Observer)

"Readable, tense, sometimes horrific and chilling in its precise delineation of brutal crime" (Guardian)

"It's hard to think of a crime novel with a more grisly opening" (Sunday Times)

Book Description

A brutal revenge story that is both a gripping police procedural and a chilling political thriller.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 734 KB
  • Print Length: 465 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0307397866
  • Publisher: Vintage Digital; First Vintage Books Edition edition (7 Jan 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0036RCVJW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (90 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #22,133 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Henning Mankell has become a worldwide phenomenon with his crime writing, gripping thrillers and atmospheric novels set in Africa. His prize-winning and critically acclaimed Inspector Wallander Mysteries are currently dominating bestseller lists all over the globe. His books have been translated into over forty languages and made into numerous international film and television adaptations: most recently the BAFTA-award-winning BBC television series Wallander, starring Kenneth Branagh. Mankell devotes much of his free time to working with Aids charities in Africa, where he is also director of the Teatro Avenida in Maputo.

In 2008, the University of St Andrews conferred Henning Mankell with an honorary degree of Doctor of Letters in recognition of his major contribution to literature and to the practical exercise of conscience.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but not great! 27 Mar 2010
Henning Mankell is a favourite author of mine. In particular I do like the Wallander series but he does write other very good books as well! That said, I was disappointed by "The Man from Beijing". Of course it is well written (and translated) but there were too many loose ends for my liking. As a work of fiction the reader is required to suspend some element of belief but how much depends on the genre - for example, science fiction cannot work if reality is not suspended to a large extent. Henning's latest offering (in part) deals with police procedure and the judiciary. Thus, the plot needs to be more grounded and realistic.

So, do I recommend the book? Absolutely. Mankell fans will need no persuasion to read this offering. It is those who are new to the author I worry about. If they are disappointed by this novel, they may never get round to reading his other books - which would be a great shame. However, if they do like this one, they can look forward to his other (better) novels.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars intriguing 6 Nov 2013
By pierre
I find Mankell a schizophrenic writer. The Wallander series has been consistently impressive and I recently really enjoyed the final instalment, The Troubled Man. However, the non-Wallander books have often disappointed. Indeed, some of them have turned out pretty dire like Daniel, The Shadow Girls, Kennedy's Brain and The Eye of the Leopard. So I was pleasantly surprised to find this novel more interesting than I had expected. Although the plot is disjointed, Mankell comes up with the very intriguing premise that contemporary Chinese leaders are worried about the possibility of a new peasant-led revolution because of widespread corruption and the ever widening gap between rich and poor. To thwart this and preserve their own power, they come up with the solution of colonisation. They intend to transport millions of Chinese peasants to Africa where they will farm the surplus land and help develop the Third World. Despite this interesting plot, I am not all that happy with the translation which seems stilted and ponderous, making the book heavy going. I'd be grateful of a response from someone who reads Mankell in Swedish. Is the ponderous English style just a reflection of Mankell's own laboured Swedish or does he actually read a lot better in his native language? There seems a complete lack of linguistic sparkle.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I kept reading, but too much altogether 14 Oct 2011
By Lindy
There was a lot going on in this book. The Swedish mass murders, the historical Chinese at the railroad and the Chinese/Africa stuff starring Mr Hero Mugabe. Two and Three in this saga were tedious to say the least. Quite early on it was obvious the murders were in revenge for the wickedness of the ancestor who appeared in part 2. The instigator of the plot to do the killing would have been a gift to the genealogists of "Who do you think you are?": imagine finding all the descendants conveniently living together in a remote village so that they could be knocked off in one fell swoop. There were other irritations: I think I'll go to China tomorrow as I just happen to have a friend going there and as I'm on sick leave, I'll join her. Visa? What visa? Oh never mind, they won't notice. Then Birgitta recognises a building in Beijing that was in the brochure left behind by the Chinese man in the hotel in Sweden and when she shows his photo he is recognised at once. Must have been a terrific likeness despite being on an amateur video link of some sort. And what was the significance of the boy who was done to death less brutally than the rest of the descendants of the cruel overseer? Why were we not told? Likewise the red ribbon? What was that about? And the point of the freelance reporter who kept popping up? As Birgitta never told anybody about her mishaps, I think I have the answer. It was all the deluded imaginings of a failed revolutionary and bored middle aged judge. No wonder Staffan had his problems. And that's another story.
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36 of 45 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not a normal detective story 29 Jan 2010
I was impressed by this book, though it took me a while to get into. There are numerous shifts of character, place and time, from 21st century Sweden, where the (first) crime takes place, to 19th century China, USA in the 1860s, modern China and even Africa.

At the start it looks as though this is going to be a "normal" detective story (I hadn't read any Mankell before so wasn't quite sure what to expect). Vivi Sundberg will investigate the crime. Oh, here comes a maverick judge - Birgitta Roslin - who has a connection with the victims and wants to get involved - so they'll bounce off each other but eventually get to the bottom of it. As soon as I thought I'd got it nailed down, though, and sat back to enjoy, it began to skid around. Sundberg more or less disappears. We hear almost nothing about the investigation. (How can Mankell waste that character? I want to hear more about her!)

The story is like quicksilver - we leap back to the 1860s, and see what's behind the crime, then fast forward to modern China then divert to Africa. Because, fundamentally, this is more than just a crime story, it's something quite different. Mankell shows us China in three centuries - first dominated by the West in the 19th, then waking up in the 20th, then - that's where it gets interesting. In the 21st, will it turn into a coloniser, and use its new found wealth to take revenge for the past? Will it find another way? The book neatly illustrates that choice. At times it reads like an essay on the future of China (which means, a point repeatedly made, the future of us all). But it remains gripping - I think that few writers would succeed in keeping the book interesting, keeping the story going, at the same, but Mankell does.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Very enjoyable
An experiment if sorts for me .... I like Mankell ... but had only read Wallander previously. This was a very good thriller (I should have expected it). Read more
Published 1 month ago by Laurie S. (Australia)
5.0 out of 5 stars Mankell at his best
An excellent thriller, and no Wallender! Hard to put down. The story starts with the discovery of some gruesome murders. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Paul N Dodge
2.0 out of 5 stars Very disjointed
I would imagine that many find Mankell's Wallander oeuvre highly engaging and rightly so.
I thought I'd sample a stand alone novel and the start of the Man from Beijing fired... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Jonathan Clark
2.0 out of 5 stars Not what I expected
As a great Wallander/Mankell fan this book was a disappointment. The thriller dimension of the story was blunted by the long sections on Chinese history and political thought, and... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Alan Richards
5.0 out of 5 stars Expansive
Not one of HM's usual novels. In the Wallander series, he often gave Kurt much wider stories than the average detective mystery, but this one is a stand-alone tale about a terrible... Read more
Published 3 months ago by PT
2.0 out of 5 stars The Man from Beijing
A long book. I found myself skipping whole passages. I doubt this would have found a publisher at all if not for Wallander's prior success. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Mrs. Angela Lees
4.0 out of 5 stars A very good Mankell book.
Having read most Mankell books, I enjoyed this one quite a lot and particularly enjoyed the chapter about the original discovery of the village.
Published 5 months ago by LG
4.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating story
I loved this book. It has a very shocking beginning with multiple murders but then it ranges between continents on an amazing adventure past and present, Sweden, China, US,... Read more
Published 6 months ago by K. S. Masson
4.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking but not really a whodunnit - more a whydunnit.
This is more a novel in which crime happens than a true crime novel in my opinion. There is an awful mass murder at the beginning and we do find out who did it and other crimes... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Robert U
4.0 out of 5 stars an excentric classic
I am of the minority , that I love Mankells books but not the Wallander series [ Kenneth Branagh and the ghastly BBC programme just ruined any chance of love there ] . Read more
Published 8 months ago by cartoon
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