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Shadows in the Twilight (Joel Gustafsson #2)

3.56  ·  Rating Details ·  279 Ratings  ·  27 Reviews
JOEL WILL SOON be 12, and he thinks nothing is going on in the small community where he lives. But he’s wrong. One day, an incident that could easily have been a catastrophe turns into a miracle. Now Joel believes he owes the world a good deed, to prove that he deserved what might have been divine intervention. He thinks up an elaborate scheme, but it doesn’t go as anticip ...more
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published July 8th 2008 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers (first published 1991)
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Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Christina Tsichlis for

SHADOWS IN THE TWILIGHT by Henning Mankell is written using the distinctive voice of the main character, Joel. This is a companion book to A BRIDGE TO THE STARS.

This is a story that asks philosophical questions and does it in a way everyone can understand. Best known for his crime novels for adults, Mankell will win the young adult reader over, as well. As the author is Swedish, it has a decidedly European flare in style as well as setting that
Jan 29, 2009 Leland rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: writer's of Juvenile fiction, Henning Mankell fans
This is the second of Henning Mankell's books about 12 year old Joel Gustafson. This book, like its predecessor, A Bridge to the Stars looks at the life of a very exceptional boy growing up in the north of Sweden in the 1950's. Readers accustomed to Mankell's Kurt Wallander series will find this book lacking much of his trademark suspense, but being quite full of his remarkable insight and characterization. I was particularly impressed by Mankell's ability in both the Joel Gustafson books to por ...more
Kathleen Hagen
Shadows in the Twilight, by Henning Mankell, narrated by Francis Greenslade, produced by Bolinda Audio, downloaded from

This is the second in a series of children’s books written about a boy, Joel (pronounced Yule) Gustafson. In this book, Joel is run over by a bus but by luck remains unhurt, without a scratch. This is 1957 in Sweden. People tell him it’s a miracle. His dad doesn’t believe in God, and he doesn’t know if he does or not. He has no friends his age. He finally decides th
Catherine Woodman
THis is an unusual children's book series, about a 12 year old Joel, in 1950's Sweden. In this book, he escapes a sure death experience, and then over the course of the book he realizes that while he might be very lucky to be alive, the experience isn't going to change his life in a meaningful way. He still has a dismal relationship with his father, who is really no pillar of a dad, and he has a series of disappointments, although none so terrible as occur in the first book. these books really n ...more
Oct 15, 2015 Monty rated it liked it
An early offering from Henning Mankell, where his protagonist, Joel Gustafson, allows the reader to travel with him on a journey of self discovery after a near miracle which saved his life when he was run over by a bus. Joel becomes convinced that he needs to perform a good deed to atone for his "undeserved" favour. The local woman who has lost her nose and is the object of the town's derision becomes the target of his samaritanism. Joel undertakes to find her a husband. His plans are riven with ...more
Dec 14, 2012 Clarabel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: doudoutherapie
J'ai changé radicalement d'univers et j'ai lu un roman de Mankell, mais un roman pour la jeunesse, avec un héros de presque douze ans, qui a failli être écrasé par un bus et qui décide d'accomplir une bonne action en remerciement de son miracle. La lecture est savoureuse, avec un humour espiègle, ça fait plaisir à suivre. En plus, le garçon fait preuve de beaucoup d'imagination, il juge le monde des adultes du haut de son inexpérience, il tâte, il tente et il se vautre. Bon, il y a des pots cass ...more
Петър Панчев
Първата книжка за Юел ме трогна достатъчно много и изобщо не се замислих коя ще е следващата прочетена. Хенинг Манкел доста умело се вмъква в детската душа и почти се слива духом с героя си. Юел не е поредното тарикатче, а това ме спечели безрезервно.

Изминали са само няколко месеца и Юел Гюстафсон се чувства пораснал. Татко Самюел и новата му приятелка вече не тревожат мислите му и той е готов да разсъждава по-трезво и за по-сериозни проблеми.
Mar 28, 2009 Steve rated it did not like it
Shelves: read-for-nls
Bleah. At least it was short. The book to which this is a sequel was mildly entertaining, but this one meandered around with no real point. There was potential for some real depth, as the main character searches for a way to repay a debt he feels he owes the world for the miracle of having escaped serious injury in a bus accident, but it never goes anywhere. Also, the translation was very stilted and used question marks for many sentences that weren't questions. Sometimes the books I have to rea ...more
Jan 06, 2016 Arnab rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is an interesting book. I helped me remember my perception of the world when I was a kid. However, the way the story was narrated was distracting. The sudden shift of tense and expression didn't make sense. Something must have been lost in translation.
Joel's view of the world was interesting, still untainted by the cruelty of the world, yet grounded in the very same reality. I will read the other books of this series if I manage to find them.
Apr 19, 2015 Bethnoir rated it liked it
I seem to have been immersed in other cultures lately and my head is spinning a little bit. I can't imagine this book unfolding in this way in the UK, it is imaginative and, well, a bit weird and as I have a 12 year old son, I wonder if his thoughts run like the boy in the novel. It suddenly changed tense near the end which was distracting. I wonder if that was deliberate? Anyway, it was quite tense at times and thoughtful, I enjoyed it/
Mar 09, 2011 Heidi added it
I thought this book was really confusing and weird when I read it but I guess it's just revolved around a different type of society (communism?) in a differet part of the world. There were some good parts but I didn't really get into it.
Mind-Spa Lotusbloem
I had to finish this as its part of our "Read all Mankell books" challenge.
Must admit, this book wasnt written for me, a 40+ semi adult. Maybe its really good for children. For me, best part was that its not a heavy book to carry with me while traveling to work.
Aug 17, 2016 Judith marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
I registered a book at!
Feb 07, 2013 Jharkey rated it really liked it
A lovely little story, very short book. very different from Kurt Wallander. I enjoyed the read. have finished two in the series.
Dec 28, 2012 Margaret rated it liked it
Audiobook - the adventures of an 11 year old motherless boy... Joel has a miracle in this book. And then he feels he needs to respond to the miracle, with disastrous effects.
Jun 28, 2011 Mariana rated it really liked it
This is the second book in this coming-of-age about a young in Sweden in the late 1950's.
Vania Prodanova
Детство изпълнено с игри с други деца е прекрасно, но да четеш за детството на момче с изключително богато въображение си е всъщност истинска забава... :)
May 02, 2012 Amit rated it really liked it
Not your typical Mankell (and I'm a huge fan of the typical Mankell, mind you), but I enjoyed it a lot. A light reading, and yet charming.
Jun 08, 2011 Stacee rated it it was ok

I just can't get into this story.
Started off ok but just wasn't as good a read as the first one; just never really seemed to connect with it. Might still give the next one in the series a go, maybe it'll pick up again.
Dec 27, 2014 Linda rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: borrowed
Love Henning Mankell but 12-year-olds don't interest me.
Ms. Pierce
Lucymary says: I did not like this book at all. It was confusing. That might be because there is another book in the series and this one is a continuation.
Pablo Fernández
Jan 10, 2016 Pablo Fernández rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Se me ha hecho demasiado corto. La pureza narrativa es excelsa, los personajes penetrantes.
Jun 24, 2013 Elli rated it liked it
It surprised me that I found this rather lifeless. Henning Mankell is one of my favorite mystery authors, but the strong interest or draw of this book rather eluded me.
Dimitra Karantassis
Dimitra Karantassis rated it it was amazing
Jan 08, 2016
Helen rated it liked it
Aug 23, 2011
friditta rated it it was ok
May 22, 2010
Vicki rated it liked it
Jan 14, 2014
Morten rated it it was ok
Aug 08, 2008
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Henning Mankell was an internationally known Swedish crime writer, children's author and playwright. He was best known for his literary character Kurt Wallander.

Mankell split his time between Sweden and Mozambique. He was married to Eva Bergman, Swedish director and daughter of Ingmar Bergman.
More about Henning Mankell...

Other Books in the Series

Joel Gustafsson (4 books)
  • A Bridge to the Stars
  • When the Snow Fell
  • Journey to the End of the World (Joel Gustafsson #4)

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