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The Pyramid: The Kurt Wallander Stories (Kurt Wallander #9)

3.82  ·  Rating Details  ·  6,543 Ratings  ·  545 Reviews
The Pyramid is a collection of 5 short stories plus an additional prologue (written especially for German fans) which gives readers more insight into the personal life of Kurt Wallander.

While it was written after the 8th novel, Firewall, the events depicted in The Pyramid take place well before Faceless Killers, making it 1st chronologically in the series. The first story
Hardcover, 376 pages
Published October 2008 by Harvill Secker (first published 1999)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jeffrey Keeten
Feb 09, 2015 Jeffrey Keeten rated it liked it
Shelves: nordic-noir
"Wallander woke up shortly after six o'clock on the morning of the eleventh of December. At the same moment that he opened his eyes, his alarm clock went off. He turned it off and lay staring out into the dark. Stretched his arms and legs, spread his fingers and toes. That had become a habit, to feel if the night had left him with any aches. He swallowed in order to check if any infection had sneaked into his respiratory system. He wondered sometimes if he was slowly becoming a hypochondriac."

Mal Warwick
Jan 02, 2011 Mal Warwick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What is it about Swedish mystery writers?

First (at least in my consciousness) there were the ten Martin Beck police procedurals of Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo, published from 1965 to 1975. Now we flock to bookstores and movie theaters to enter the world of Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomqvist, who sprang from the mind of the late Stieg Larsson in the captivating form of the Millennium Trilogy.

In between there was Kurt Wallender, the moody small-town police inspector created by another masterful
I am closing in on the end of my time with Kurt Wallander -- only a couple of books to go after this -- and I am a little sad to be saying goodbye to the depressing Swedish cop. As Mankell says, "It is the fans who will miss Wallander." Just so.

This volume is a nice beginning of the end for me. A stack of stories that span Wallander's career and give some fantastic insights into his character. It has the added benefit of being the perfect book for a vacation trip: five self-contained mysteries,
Mar 19, 2010 Carolyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kurt Wallander isn't just my favorite fictional detective. He's one of my favorite characters from any book. When I finished Before the Frost a few years ago, my heart sank at the realization that there was no more Wallander available. I missed his company. I missed hanging out at the Ystad police station with him, drinking endless cups of coffee, having meeting after meeting with colleagues in which the facts of a case are pored over yet again, in the hopes that this time, something new will be ...more
May 12, 2011 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The PBS series starring Kenneth Brannagh got me interested in Wallander, but reading this book really got me hooked. This seemed like a great place to start, as the stories fill in some of the gaps in Wallander's career as a rookie cop, and then later working his way up the ranks. On that score, there seems to be a pretty big temporal leap from "rookie" Wallender to the nearly fully realized one, but I guess an author can only write the stories he's inspired to write. As much or more as they fil ...more
Marsena Dufresne
Jul 22, 2009 Marsena Dufresne rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I am loathe to give this book only two stars because Henning Mankell is one of my favorite mystery authors and I eagerly await new installments (i.e., translations) with his character, Kurt Wallander. (How thrilling to discover a PBS Mystery series of Wallander, played by Kenneth Brannaugh!)

This book includes four stories that go back to the beginning of Wallander's career as an investigator, supposedly fleshing out those experiences that the other books only allude to. But I keep thinking that
Mar 12, 2010 Lobstergirl rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Göran Tunhammar
A rather unnecessary book - five stories that constitute a prequel to the Wallander series, beginning when Kurt is just a lad starting out on the police force in the 60s and not yet married to malcontent hairdresser Mona. Apparently there was a great hue and cry from Mankell fans, in the form of letters, wanting to know what had happened to Wallander before the series began. (Personally I never wondered. It was enough for me to believe that the divorced 40-something curmudgeon sprang fully grown ...more
Dec 27, 2008 Tim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: detective
Henning Mankell is one of my favourite crime authors. His Wallander novels are darkly atmospheric, with a bleakness that is somehow compelling.

The Pyramid is a collection of short stories written mainly in the late nineties. They fill in some of the earlier points of Wallander's career, starting with his time as a young policeman in the late sixties, and his very first case as a detective.

I think perhaps Mankell's techniques of plot revelation work better in a longer form - I found that the paci
Oct 26, 2010 Beth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

THE PYRAMID is a collection of 5 short mysteries by which Henning Mankell introduces us to Kurt Wallender when he is a 21 year-old patrolman investigating the first homicide of his career. In a foreward, Mankell explains that he has received many inquires over the years about what happened to Wallender in the years before he receives the phone call the begins the first book in the series, FACELESS KILLERS. Mankell acknowledges that there have been inconsistencies in Wallender’s story as it stret
disappointing...though I'm a Wallander fan, these stories which follow Wallender's early career (written later) seemed mechanical, uninspired, the prose flat and unadorned. Some stories were better than others (wish I could remember which now). Mankell does better with novel-length mysteries than with stories I think. Just skip to the novels*. They vary in quality, but are generally much more absorbing and fun reads.

*I'm referring here to his procedural detective novels, the Wallander books, not
Derek Baldwin
I've grown very fond of the two TV series of Wallander with Krister Henriksson but hadn't read any of the novels. In a way these stories/novellas, written after the novels but set before them, are probably a pretty good place to start. Exploring some episodes in KW's early career, and his relationships with his father, wife, and daughter, none of the stories outstays their welcome. The last one, The Pyramid, is the longest and the best one. Even in the shortest stories I find the minute details ...more
Myer Kutz
Feb 21, 2013 Myer Kutz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book contains five stories, which set the stage for the Wallander novels, which I've thoroughly enjoyed, even with Mankell's constant tics (Wallender's father's paintings, etc.) The stories here, which follow wallander from his early twenties to around forty, are eminently readable - I eagerly went from one to the next and finished the book quickly. Wallender is a fully realized character, a ratheer downbeat one, to be sure. Maybe that's due to the weather: spring always seems to arrive late ...more
Apr 12, 2009 Cynthia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I confess to having only read the first two of the five stories in this book. They're tightly written, intelligent and have intelligent psychology but I found them kind of grim and austere so I didn't finish the book. This set of stories is, I guess, a prequel to the Kurt Wallander series. I think I would find them less depressing if Wallander didn't spend so much time fighting with his wife and brooding over their cruddy relationship. I am probably more aware of this dynamic than other Wallande ...more
Novellas and short stories that take Wallander from the late '60s to the beginning of the case in the first book about him (that last paragraphs have him receiving the call about two elderly people dead in their farmhouse). If you're a fan of the series, you will absolutely want to read this. If you haven't read the novels, starting here would launch you into the series very well.
Sep 19, 2014 Shari rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wallander as young policeman, in love and unsure of himself, leads off this collection of four short stories and one novelette. We learn to know Rydberg and we learn about Wallander's relationship with Mona. His habit of knowing something he can't quite see clearly was established in the beginning. His self-doubt, his confusions about his father, the love he has for Linda and his concerns for her, all of these things we get to see develop.

The crime stories are in some ways just bare bones. They
Jul 17, 2016 Varun rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book has 5 stories of varying lengths that capture 5 different cases of Wallander's career starting with when he was a young cop wanting to be a criminal investigator in the late 60's to the Pyramid in Dec 1989 and January 1990. The stories itself are engrossing and well written. Of the 5 stories, the Pyramid was my favorite. I think in fact the Mankell could have written another 100 pages of it if he wanted and made another novel out of it(which he did not of course).

I liked the way the cha
Ruthanne Davis
Sep 29, 2014 Ruthanne Davis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I first heard of and became a Henning Mankell and Wallander fan because of the PBS series starring Kenneth Branaugh. As good as that one was, I was then fortunate to see the original Swedish t.v. series which portrayed the often-depressed and socially discomforted Wallander even more accurately.
So it was such a priviledge to start my reading of the series with THE PYRAMID, a collection of five novelettes that begin when our hero was a young rookie policeman in the little town of Ystad.
Well writt
Sarah ~
Sep 24, 2014 Sarah ~ rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, crime, 2014, ebook
في العام 2012 وقعت في غرام الأدب الإسكندينافي تعرفت على كتاب مثل ( ستيغ لارسن وجو نيسبو وأرنالدور أندريداسون ) والوحيد الذي لم استطع اكمال رواية له كان هنينغ مانكل صاحب هذه الرواية حينها حاولت قراءة روايته قاتل بلا وجه ( والتي لم تكن محاولة قراءتها تجربة سارة ، فقد كانت مملة بشكل لا يمكن معه اكمال قراءتها ) ..

وها أنا اليوم وجها لوجه مع رواية أخرى له ..
والتي كانت جيدة .. قد لا يعجبني البطل فهو ممل قليلا هنا أيضاً ، ولكن القصة كانت مثيرة للإهتمام منذ البداية حيث بدأت بسقوط طائرة تطير بشكل غير قانو
May 30, 2009 Nick rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked this book up at my friends Larry and Gayles, fellow mystery lovers, and lovers of Kurt Wallender. This is the "prequel" to the long and glorious series of KW mysteries that take place primarily in Skane, southern Sweden, the spiritual inheritor to the Sjowall mysteries of a few decades back. In the forward Henning Mankell claims that he was led to write these because KW series starts when our hero is in his 40s, begging the question of how he wound up that way. I presume he back-wrote t ...more
Oct 17, 2012 Eugene rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
There are 5 stories in this book. Longer short stories? Long stories. I'm not sure what to call them. Chronologically, they occur prior to the novels and they include Wallander's first case, when he was a uniformed officer who wanted to be a detective.

Although the stories are about a younger man, they are unmistakably Wallander stories. He's cranky, absent-minded, moody. He means well but he doesn't always behave well. He worries a lot. He takes unnecessary personal risks. He knows he shouldn't
Da dieses Buch chronologisch vor den anderen kommt, habe ich dieses nun auch zuerst gelesen. Mein erster Mankell also.
Er ist hier erst 21 Jahre alt, und am Beginn des Buches noch Ordnungspolizist, der aber durch Zufall bei den Ermittlungen für einen Kriminalfall miteinbezogen wird. Er war es nämlich, der die Leiche entdeckt hat.
Im Buch werden mehrere Fälle erzählt, zwischen denen manchmal Jahre liegen. Auch wenn ich normalerweise einen kompletten Roman Kurzgeschichten vorziehe, fand ich dieses
Nov 25, 2014 Christine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A collection of stories about Wallander, the main character in many of Henning Mankell's novels. These take place when Wallander is still a patrolman and when he first became a detective. I enjoyed the stories even more than the novels. I felt closer to Wallander; it was interesting to learn along with him how to proceed in an investigation and what line of thought to follow. I went to bed in the middle of one story and spent much of the night lying awake trying to work out who had killed the ph ...more
Jan 29, 2012 Andrew rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
These five short tales appeared last in the Wallander series but are chronologically first, making for a belated introduction of the character. There are no major surprises here - Wallander was ever unhealthy and overworked - and no changes to Mankell's method. Using his almost staccato timeline approach, things moving always compellingly forward, the stories never really catch as bona fide mysteries. The resolutions are always due to intuitions of Wallander's that are not really prepared by the ...more
Feb 12, 2014 Alisonpaddock rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I certainly agree with the reader who called this book "austere". I had read other, later, Wallander stories and was interested in how he got started as a detective. It seems almost as if Kurt became a detective by accident - a beat cop who is caught up in the mystery surrounding a neighbor's death,

I don't know if the landscape fashions the personality of the character or not, but Wallander seems almost Man stripped to the essentials. He has his work, he occasionally has encounters with his wor
Dec 25, 2009 Yngvild rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, detective
The Pyramid was a disappointment for a long-standing fan of the fictional Swedish detective. I am used to Henning Mankell’s writing being rather uneven, but the Detective Wallander stories set in Sweden have been reliable until now. I simply lose him when he moves the setting to Africa.

The book is apparently a collection of bits and bobs lying around on the writer’s desk – and, in fact, he pretty much says that in the foreword. The problem is that no one piece scores as a standalone short story
I chose this because it seemed to be among the most highly rated of the author's books. I am not sure whether these stories were written throughout Mankell's career and are being collected here, or whether they were written specifically for this volume - my guess, given how the style improves and the sophistication increases, is the former. The book presents 5 stories of varying lengths, closing with the novella-sized title piece. It shows Detective Kurt Wallender at various stages of his life a ...more
Dec 28, 2014 Rod rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’ve read all the Wallander books except this one. I picked them up after seeing a tele movie staring Kenneth Brannagh. It was brilliant, with a lead character whose life was a mess, who doubted himself in almost every thing he did and who was torn with guilt when he killed a man in the line of duty. Flawed, to say the least. But it seemed realistic, and so i thought ‘maybe the books are good too’.

First impressions
Mankell is Swedish and his books are translated into English (and not necessaril
Jon Frum
I gave this collection three stars but 2.5 would be more accurate. I read through the stories and enjoyed them enough to keep reading, but I can't say I loved them. I like the idea of the stories more than I like the execution, with several small matters subtracting from my pleasure.

My first issue with Wallander is the repeated 'I know I shouldn't go there alone - it's against regulation - but I'm doing it anyway' thing. Just what I want to read - a Swedish cowboy cop. The whole 'cop breaking t
Nov 10, 2014 Andrew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Five gripping stories of the earliest exploits of Kurt Wallander before his first proper debut in 'Faceless Killers', the opening novel in a fine series of Nordic crime by Henning Mankell...the first, to me, of a veritable wave of Scandanavian thrillers/crime novels. These high-quality stories fill-in some of Wallander's personal background - his failed romances ,his earliest close-calls with death while a young foot-patrol policeman in Malmo, his tortured relationship with his difficult father ...more
May 07, 2016 Eyal rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ill start with saying this was my very first (and at least currently, only) book of Kurt Wallander. Reading other reviews, I see that people already familiar with Kurt and his personality enjoyed the book more than I did.

The book was nice, five stories (4 of which are extremely short), which are do not sound too fictional, rather a normal case somewhere in the world.
However, not once I've felt Im ahead of Kurt, and pages before hos great 'epipheny' I've already waited for him to realize.

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Goodreads Librari...: Please combine 2 20 Jul 11, 2012 06:25AM  
  • Murder at the Savoy (Martin Beck, #6)
  • Woman with Birthmark (Inspector Van Veeteren #4)
  • The Demon of Dakar (Ann Lindell, #7)
  • Never End (Inspector Winter, #4)
  • Arctic Chill (Inspector Erlendur #7)
  • The Indian Bride (Inspector Konrad Sejer, #5)
  • The Glass Devil (Inspector Huss #4)
  • The Fourth Man
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

Kurt Wallander (10 books)
  • Faceless Killers (Wallander #1)
  • The Dogs of Riga (Wallander #2)
  • The White Lioness (Wallander, #3)
  • The Man Who Smiled (Wallander #4)
  • Sidetracked (Wallander #5)
  • The Fifth Woman (Wallander, #6)
  • One Step Behind (Wallander, #7)
  • Firewall (Wallander, #8)
  • The Troubled Man (Wallander #10)

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