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Strindberg's Star

2.66  ·  Rating details ·  652 Ratings  ·  136 Reviews
A multilayered international thrill ride at breakneck pace, reminiscent of The Rule of Four

The Arctic, 1897: Nils Strindberg crashes his hydrogen balloon during the mysterious Andrée Expedition to the North Pole.
Germany, 1942: Gruesome and inexplicable experiments are performed on concentration camp prisoners.
Sweden, present-day: Cave diver Erik Hall finds a dead body wear
Hardcover, 447 pages
Published May 24th 2012 by Viking (first published 2010)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
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Apr 07, 2012 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: maybe crime fans?
Shelves: first-reads
I received this book through Goodreads First Reads.

Normally, this isn't my kind of genre. But the description for this giveaway boasted "Lisbeth Salander meets Robert Langdon!" A fan of the Millennium trilogy, as well as Angels & Demons, I decided to give this a shot. Instead, I was reminded why I steer away.

The writing is far from smooth. It switches between characters & plot lines like crazy, & I found it hard to follow. This is in addition to a far-fetched plot & characters th
May 19, 2012 rated it liked it
The year was 1897. Nils Strindberg traveled with several companions. Their balloon crashed in the North Pole during the Andree Expedition. What they left behind to this day still has people searching.

Erik Hall was checking out pictures of other mine explorers. One that had Erik's attention was of two women who went cave diving near where Erik lives. Erik decided to go explore the cave for himself. He finds more than he bargained for with a dead body. The body is holding an ankh.

Don Titelman is a
Jul 25, 2012 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: No one!
I couldn't put this book down because I wanted to finish it and get it over with. It's very rare indeed that I don't finish a book but I can't justify the time I spent reading this one. The characters are less than realistic, the plot was convoluted and not in a twisty, mystery way. There were so many things that were just out of synch with my thought processes. After I slogged through this book to the end I had hoped that something worth while would have happened, but no. Even the ending left t ...more
Učitaj se!
Jan 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: finished
U ovom zanimljivom romanu isprepliću se povijest i fantastika. Glede povijesti, dio povijesti s kojim su povezani događaji u ovoj knjizi je 2. svjetski rat, konkretnije vladavina Hitlera i nacista, no glavni fokus ipak je na onom fantastičnom dijelu, otkrivanju značenja tajanstvenog simbola ankha i toga tko stoji iza smrti ronioca koji ga je pronašao. Postojanje tajnog bunkera koji je Hitler dao izgraditi, a o kojem se nagađa i teoretizira u mnogim književnim djelima koja se bave nacistima i nji ...more
Bob Milne
Jan 31, 2012 rated it liked it
I'm not sure I've ever had such an aggravating experience in reading a book. What I had was an electronic review copy with the editor's notes in the margins. Interesting, sure, but that meant an already unwieldy format (DRM protected PDF) was almost useless on my Sony. The text was too small to read at normal size, and once you zoomed in . . . not only did the lines break in awkward places (as PDFs tend to do), but the editor's notes merged into the body of the text, making for some really confu ...more
Apr 10, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, arc, read-2012
I liked the historical aspects of this book the most. I was a little worried when the description mentioned Nazis, because they are overused when it comes to stories with secret artifacts, but I thought Wallentin used them cleverly in her story. I liked the multiple voices as the story goes back and forth through time. The story of the ankh and star is revealed at a nice pace and that is what kept me reading this book. The history of the ankh and star, from their discovery to present day, I foun ...more
Ronald Roseborough
I don't remember having this much fun reading an adventure story since first devouring the stories of Jules Verne. This is what an adventure story should be. It is loaded with action, exotic locals, deliciously evil villains, and a not too heroic, slightly neurotic, unsympathetic character who holds the parts of the story together. More specifically, he is holding the secret to Strindberg's Star, an otherworldly talisman shaped like an ankh surrounded by a star. This object of legend and desire ...more
I found this book mediocre. The story was quite interesting, but the characters surrounding Don Titelman did not feel "alive" to me - the lawyer, in particular, just came off as very arrogant to me.

This book, it must be said, is not at all unique - in the last years there have been several "suspense/crime" novels that touches the world war II - and the nazism in particular. Why it is such a popular subject, I don't know - but this was far from the first story I've read that works in Himmlers' oc
Jun 04, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-mystery
Tramsig bok tycker jag. Skummade slutet då jag hade tröttnat rejält.
Douglas Lord
Oct 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
Liking this book is a lot like being my wife: you have to be willing to overlook flaws. Imho, a book can still be okay even if it has one of the Three Most Commonest Flaws: 1) starting with a bang and then losing momentum; 2) basing the narrative on unlikeable characters; and 3) too damned much implausibility. Unfortunately, Wallentin has #s one through three. A Swedish diver (he’s a creep) finds a relic that’s been preserved in copper vitriol for hundreds, maybe thousands, of years. He loses th ...more
Naomi Blackburn
May 01, 2012 rated it it was ok
I have to say that I was hoping that this book was going to be more Nordic Noir than it was. To be honest, I almost felt the writing style of this author was almost Americanized compared to other Scandanavian authors I have read. There were aspects to it that I felt like I could have been reading a Vince Flynn novel with historical aspects thrown in. It was good but coming from its' country of origin, I know I expected more. And the book did start of incredibly strong, but then it kind of tapere ...more
May 07, 2012 rated it liked it
The first half of this book seemed pretty confusing to me. It also dragged (for about the first 200 pages), but I plowed through and was glad I did. The second half is very fast paced and I found it hard to put down. I had a hard time identifying with some of the main characters (Don, Eva, and Elena) and the plot seemed pretty far fetched. Would like to see more by this author in the future. This was a Goodreads giveaway, but is also one I would probably have bought after reading the synopsis o ...more
Apr 07, 2012 rated it did not like it
I received this book through Goodreads First Reads.

I couldn't even finish this book. My girlfriend warned me about it, & she was right. Like her, I was drawn to this book because the description compares it to Robert Langdon & Lisbeth Salander. I am a fan of both, but this book is neither. It has a jumpy plot, uninteresting characters, & mediocre writing.

Maybe if you're more into crime than I am you'd like it. But for me, this is a pass.
Aug 14, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Tvekar mellan 1 eller två stjärnor. Å ena sidan sträckläste jag ju ut den och ville veta hur det skulle gå - å den andra var det här en förskräcklig röra. Ihåliga och klyschiga karaktärer utan djup och personlighet. Storyn kändes som ett hopkast av olika 'coola' scener och idéer som egentligen inte hör ihop men författaren samlat på sig och ville visa upp. Men, den skulle nog göra sig helt ok som actionrulle - på netflix
Non ce l'ho potuta fare, dopo 300 pagine di nulla sono andata a leggermi direttamente il finale, che per altro fa cagare ed è completamente senza senso.
Una palla disumana, brutto, inutile, inverosimile e senza capo nè coda.
A confronto Dan Brown si merita il Nobel e ho detto tutto.

Voto: 2/10
May 10, 2012 rated it liked it
I won this book as a giveaway through Goodreads.
Strindberg's Star was mildly entertaining. It had some pretty decent action and mystery, but the main character was too odd to carry the story. I kept thinking that someone else was going to step forward as the main character, but unfortunately, it never happened.
Jakob Brønnum
Jul 14, 2015 rated it it was ok
A wonderful story with a beautiful plot, but reads like too many slices of light wheat toast, no real nutrition in the bread, you feel still hungry, swollen and fed up with eating too much
Harpa Dis
engin stjarna frá mér.
Aug 11, 2012 marked it as noway-josé
Mimal commented: it was promising but turned out it wanted to be something it wasn't. Final verdict=don't was mainly swedish media trying to promote it
Jun 05, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: avventura, storia, ebook
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 21, 2017 rated it did not like it
There are some books which make you wonder how an agent, an acquisition's editor, and the rest of the editorial team at a publishing company could have allowed it to get published. This is one of them. When I picked it up, I thought "hey, it's compared to Dan Brown, and while I don't think his books are great literature, they do pass the time. So sure, why not?" Mistake. This book tries to capture Dan Brown's style, but manages to make it boring. I don't know how many times I fell asleep reading ...more
May 26, 2017 rated it liked it
A thriller? This novel? I'd call it a suspence novel because there's very little action and dangerous situations, I can count them on one hand, maybe two. And them running across europe with bad guys right at their heels? Pfft! They escape from Sweden and go to Belgium in a secret train coupé, noone chasing them until they get to Ypres, where the bad guys have their lair, so to speak. They get captured, but it's not very dramatic either. They deside to find the location the ankh and the star poi ...more
Chiara Rasi
Sep 30, 2017 rated it it was ok
Here comes another book which looks very promising in the beginning but starts accumulating bullsh*t soon after, to end up in a very inconclusive and frustrating way. Even without taking into account the improbable background science (if you manage) and you start reading it as an adventure book, it's really hard to digest the rest: the nazi conspiracy, secret societies and secret police.. Even paranormal powers.. That was a bit too much for me!
Feb 25, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-thrillers
Det är säkert möjligt att skriva en bra bok som blandar historiska händelser, konspirationsteorier och övernaturliga händelser. Det här är, dessvärre, inte den boken. Om det som utspelar sig i den "verkliga" världen hade varit trovärdigt så kanske boken inte verkat fullt så löjeväckande. Men efter episoderna med Säpo, tyska ambassaden och Green cargo så kan det inte hjälpas att resten av boken läses enbart för att se om dom dumheterna kan överträffas. En riktig kalkon!
Miranda Gow
Kan inte ge en rättvis review då jag inte fortsatte läsa. Kanske blev det bättre när man läst hela, men det kändes som att boken svävade ut mycket till sidoinfo som (hittils) inte riktigt var relevant. Kändes långsamt framfört och lite gubbigt. Inget som kunde hålla kvar mitt intresse, men så är detta inte heller min typ av genre.
Bogdan Badea
O pierdere imensă de timp. Are vreo 50 de pagini în care se trece de la aventură la o prezentare științifică. În rest ai senzația că autorul a găsit căteva fapte interesante în istorie și a legat forțat cartea de aceste povești. Păcat că unele părți au potențial imens. Rezumat: nu recomand.
Helena Frisk
En bok om gamla hemligheter och mystik... blev spännande på slutet...
Feb 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Underbart underhållande med olika myter infiltrerade i en påhittad äventyrsberättelse.
Dec 31, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed, used-to-own
Fiction seems to go in waves and one of the recent trends seems to be for Scandinavian authors. First there was "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" by Stieg Larsson and its trilogy. Then, "The Snowman" by Jo Nesbo was named as one of Richard and Judy's Book Club selections. Now, we have ''Strindberg's Star'', a debut novel from Swedish journalist Jan Wallentin who, if he repeats the success of those others, we will be hearing lots more about.

Just as he is preparing for an appearance on a televisio
Sep 24, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: with-mom
This is a Swedish book translated into English. It takes place in Europe as the main characters travel around in search of the truth.


Ok, so our main character, Don, is arrested for the murder of a diver who found a body while diving in a mine. The body is perfectly preserved by some trick of the mine, so it's super old, and appears to be the victim of either an accident or a suicide. So, there's no crime there. The diver, however, took a few things from the cave where he found the body, go
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Jan Wallentin is a Swedish journalist and author who previously worked for SVT (Sweden's national television broadcaster).

His debut novel, Strindbergs stjärna, was published in October of 2010. Even before its Swedish publication date the foreign rights to the book had been sold in 12 countries.
More about Jan Wallentin