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The Pyramid: And Four Other Kurt Wallander Mysteries (Kurt Wallander #9)

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3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  4,472 ratings  ·  436 reviews
When Kurt Wallander first appeared in "Faceless Killers" back in 1990, he was a senior police officer, just turned forty, with his life in a mess. His wife had left him, his father barely acknowledged him; he ate badly and drank alone at night. "The Pyramid" chronicles the events that led him to such a place. We see him in the early years, doing hours on the beat whilst tr...more
Hardcover, 392 pages
Published September 22nd 2008 by New Press, The (first published 1999)
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12th out of 158 books — 19 voters


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Community Reviews

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Jeffrey Keeten
"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."

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Mal Warwick
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...more
Brad
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,...more
John
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
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...more
Carolyn
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
Lobstergirl
Mar 12, 2010 Lobstergirl rated it 2 of 5 stars
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
Tim
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...more
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
Beth


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...more
Shari
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...more
Ruthanne Davis
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...more
Sarah ( Paris )
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...more
Nick
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
Eugene
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...more
Myer Kutz
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
Cynthia
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
Karschtl
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...more
Andrew
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
Alisonpaddock
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...more
Yngvild
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...more
Jessica
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...more
Procyon Lotor
Chillout con Wallander Il libro � una raccolta dicono di racconti, ma sono romanzi brevi o, pensando allo sviluppo medio dei Maigret cui Wallander si ispira come costruzione dei plot, romanzi e basta. Quello che da il titolo, l'ultimo � anche il meglio sviluppato. Curioso l'effetto di applicare uno schema simenoniano freddo a una popolazione gi� di suo non particolarmente solare. La Svezia di Mankell - narrata come un flashback, visto che sarebbero gli esordi di Wallander giovane ancora all'anti...more
John Martin
This is a prequel to the Wallander series, most of which have been turned into TV movies. it is a series of five short stories, beginning when Kurt was a young uniform cop with aspirations to be an investigator, and exploring his difficult relationships he had from the start with his father and wife to be. The title story, longer than the others, is a cracker of a story.
Jenn Estepp
i'm a huge wallander/mankell fan and this collection of short stories reminded me why i love them so. although it also made me a wee bit sad because i want *more* and that's apparently not going to happen ... it was great to revisit the characters though and i quite enjoyed the insight this book offered into the characters, while also serving up a handful of great mysteries.
Stuart
It's another typical Henning Mankell book. If you like the melancholic strain that runs through all his works, you will like this one. All of his works are a cut above the average thriller, although some books have smoother translations than others.
Brenda Dickenson
Henning MankellTHis is a grand view of the growth of Henning Mankell's character...Wallander. A sequence of stories through the beginning of Kurt as a young policeman to his time towards retirement. You get a very wonderful view of the stages of the characters' lives and how they handle the changing world around. Social strifes, loves gained and lost, family changes, etc. that affect the work and times of the various decades. From the late 1960's to the new years of 21st century. As someone who...more
Susie
J'ai de beaucoup préféré les autres livres avec Wallander, mais il faut dire je n'aime jamais beaucoup les histoires courtes parce je trouve toujours que ça manque de profondeur. Quand je commence à embarquer dans une histoire, ça finit déjà.
J'ai aussi trouvé que les histoires n'ont pas vraiment atteintes le but que s'était donné ManKell , soit de nous raconter le Wallander d'avant le 8 janvier 1990. Nous n'apprenons vraiment rien de nouveau sur Wallander. Comment en est-il venu à vouloir deveni...more
David Lowther
If you ever need to be convinced who really is the king or queen of Nordic noir, just read a Henning Mankell. The Pyramid is collection of short stories, novellas and a full length novel featuring Kurt Wallender which plug the gap between the start of his career as a policeman and the first published Wallender full length novel Faceless Killers.

The collection plots the course of his marriage to its eventual breakdown, his daughter Linda growing up, the slow deterioration of his grumpy father but...more
Carolyn Mck
I generally appreciate the Wallander detective series, with their flawed hero, their concern about Swedish democracy, their atmospheric Scandinavian weather and their strong story lines. This one seems to be an add on - by his own admission, Mankell wanted to fill in some of the gaps by writing about Wallander at different stages of his life that hadn't been covered by the main stories in the series. These short(ish) stories were an interesting enough read but I much prefer the longer, sustained...more
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Goodreads Librari...: Please combine 2 20 Jul 11, 2012 06:25AM  
  • The Fire Engine That Disappeared  (Martin Beck #5)
  • Woman with Birthmark (Inspector Van Veeteren #4)
  • Never End (Inspector Winter, #4)
  • The Cruel Stars of the Night (Ann Lindell, #6)
  • Arctic Chill (Inspector Erlendur #7)
  • The Fourth Man
22339
Henning Mankell is an internationally known Swedish crime writer, children's author and playwright. He is best known for his literary character Kurt Wallander.

Mankell splits his time between Sweden and Mozambique. He is married to Eva Bergman, Swedish director and daughter of Ingmar Bergman.
More about Henning Mankell...
Faceless Killers (Wallander #1) The Fifth Woman (Wallander, #6) Sidetracked (Wallander #5) The Dogs of Riga (Wallander #2) The Man Who Smiled (Wallander #4)

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