Al's Reviews > The Man from Beijing

The Man from Beijing by Henning Mankell
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U 50x66
's review
Jul 06, 2011

it was ok
Read in July, 2011

I was disappointed in this book. It's like Mr. Mankell suddenly decided to write something about China politics, and had to fabricate a plot to support his subject. The plot is disjointed, and the few loosely connected acts of violence do little to support it. The protagonist, a female Swedish judge, has the requisite existential angst seemingly required in Swedish detective novels, but floats in a cloud of vague dread and foreboding throughout most of the book. She's aware something is wrong, and feels threatened, but although she makes several honest efforts to escape the author is against her and so the bad guys find her with amazing ease. On the other hand, since the author is really FOR her, not against her, everything is effortlessly cleared up at the end.
As for the writing, I couldn't figure out if this was a badly written-book which had been well translated, or a well-written book poorly translated. In either case, the style seemed clunky and graceless.
Except for all that, it was great.
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