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Customer reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars

on 9 March 2017
I have All the Wallender books which are terrific. I have a huge pile of books waiting to be read and have just started Journey to the end of the World which looks to be very enjoyable too although it is a different genre to all the Wallander ones..With thanks
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VINE VOICEon 21 April 2008
This is the 4th and final book in the series about young Joel Gustafson. It is an absolutely charming, witty, heart rending series that I would advise anyone of any age to read.

In this final book Joel is fifteen and has come to the end of his school years. Will he live his dream of him and his father Samuel leaving Northern Sweden for a life on a ship travelling on a Journey to the end of the world or will the letter telling him where his mum is now living change this. She left him when he was a baby and has never been in touch.

I cant tell you enough how much I enjoyed this series and this book. 5 stars is not enough. It absolutely moved me to tears, first book ever to do this.

Henning Mankell is a craftsman writer and this short series is his writing at the pinnacle of his skills.

For reader information the previous books in the series are as follows:-
First:- A bridge to the stars
Second:- Shadows in the twilight
Third:- When the snow fell
Fourth:- The Journey to the end of the world

Read and enjoy them, I promise you will not be dissapointed.
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VINE VOICEon 6 December 2008
The Joel Gustafsson Series consists of five books, of which this is the final, describing the coming of age of this young lad growing up in the cold and damp in central Sweden. It gets the atmosphere just right. Along with the weather his father is also cold, and this book describes their journey to Stockholm to look for Joel's mother, and their meeting. It is bittersweet. I didn't feel that this was Mankell's best, but not too far away. It's worth reading but only if you've followed the story so far.
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on 7 October 2011
I read this book 10 years ago two or three times when I was a child and it really impressed me.
Although I didn't read it in english and can't comment on the translation, I would highly recommend this book to everyone at any age, but especially to those between the ages of 11 and 14. This is a book you want to grow up with.
Even though I have not thought about this story for a long time and I can not remember the details, what I recall is the feeling this book is able to create. It is a quiet book and it is a very strong book. You feel with the protagonist at every single moment. You can grow up reading this book, I sure felt more grown up after reading it.
I have read many books so far but I only read a handful other books, that were able to create a similar strong feeling. I am very sorry that I fail to describe this feeling in better words, you might just have to find out yourselves.
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VINE VOICEon 26 January 2015
I've read the first book of the Joel Gustafson and now this one, the last. I skipped the middle ones, but I don't think that matters too much. 'The Journey to the End of the World' can stand alone. This is a coming-of-age book, following a year in the life of Joel Gustafson from his last term of school to the beginning of his career as a sailor. His awkward situation in the no man's land between childhood and adulthood is explored with great understanding and feeling. It is set in Sweden, some of it in the far north, and the cold, bleak atmosphere comes across clearly. The style is very straightforward, which suits a narrative being told by a fifteen year old boy. The story is told in the third person, but very much from Joel's point of view, and it presents a very honest picture of him. He tells lies, makes mistakes and worries about his future, but throughout the book we gradually see him learning to take control of his own life and becoming a hero with whom we can identify.

BEWARE SPOILERS IN THIS PARAGRAPH. The Joel Gustafson series is a series of books for children. The first one contains nothing that you would not want your eleven or twelve year old to read. But children can get through a series of books like this very fast, and will soon get to the last one. You may or may not want your child to read about the fifteen year old Joel losing his virginity to an Amsterdam prostitute or caring for a father who is dying of cancer. If you are thinking about giving these books to your children, read them yourself first. Read them anyway; they are worth reading.
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VINE VOICEon 7 July 2013
15 year old Joel Gustafson lives with his lumberjack father Samuel in the far north of Sweden, so far north that it snows on his graduation day in June. Joel cooks for his father, his mother Mummy Jenny left when he was only a baby. Samuel and Joel spend hours poring over world maps together dreaming of this time Joel will be old enough to leave school and sign on as a sailor, and they can sail away from the cold north together. But then a letter for Samuel arrives telling him where Mummy Jenny is and the pair take an overnight train journey south to Stockholm to find her. Joel's life begins to shift and change, Joel is coming of age, Samuel is ageing and the docks and the ships and sea are close at hand.

At first I found the writing in this story quite stilted and alien but by the end I was fully engaged. Mankell's story of a boy stepping out into the world and the aching sadness of the narrative is slow burning but memorable.
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on 12 August 2013


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All his books are excellent as far as I am concerned he can do no wrong,and I have read a of his of his booksconsiderable number
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on 27 April 2015
All four books have been so profound for me .
A privilege to have shared Joel,s journey and the characters he met on his way
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on 31 July 2014
In my opinion not up to Mankell's high standard
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