The Pyramid: Kurt Wallander

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Filling in the missing pieces of the internationally bestselling Kurt Wallander mystery series, The Pyramid tells the story of Wallander's beginnings through five gripping short mysteries. Get A Copy.

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Hardcover , pages. Published September 22nd by New Press, The first published More Details Original Title. Kurt Wallander 9.


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The Pyramid: Kurt Wallander - AbeBooks - Henning Mankell:

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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He works too many hours, his eating schedule is haphazard at best, and he goes days sometimes with little or no sleep. Really the only time he can catch up on his sleep is when he is sick and he does get sick He suffers from crippling depression especially when he is between cases. His wife has left him. His daughter is a floating presence just off stage most of the time. His father is cranky, disappointed that his son became a cop, and like Kurt mostly lost in his own world only instead of puzzling over a murder he is painting the same landscape picture over and over sometimes with a grouse and sometimes without.

Henning Mankell

Krister Henriksson as Wallander in the Swedish version This is a compilation of five short stories. I was under the impression that these would all be cases from his days before the novels begin. The first story is of his first case where Wallander is still in uniform, but already displaying the tenacity that makes him a valued investigating detective. The best story is also the longest story called The Pyramid which is with Kurt in his forties already divorced and in the time line falls much later in his career. Over the course of these stories Wallander does find himself bludgeoned, smacked, knifed, tied up, attacked by a dog, and in a position where he has to use his gun to return fire at an assailant.

He closes his eyes when he shoots; so his aim, to say the least, is less than perfect. Dirty Harry he is not. Despite these near death experiences Wallander seems impervious to changing the way he investigates. Once he lands on a new line of inquiry he rarely has time to find a partner to go with him. People are just annoying distractions to his thinking process. Going solo does put him at risk, but the rewards, in his mind, outweigh a potentially carelessly achieved early death.

Usually in a book series we are supposed to root for our hero to find romance. In the case of Wallander whenever a new woman has caught his attention I'm yelling, run, run for your sanity. He is mysterious and intriguing to women. They think this quiet man is thoughtful, smart, and successful. When they can get his attention away from a case he must provide all the proper responses to keep the relationship moving forward.

It doesn't take long for them to learn that he is absolutely obsessed with his case load. At first they can believe that it is just THIS case and that once the case is solved Kurt will go back to being the person they perceive him to be. After several cancellations for dinner, the calls in the middle of the night that have him dashing away, and their inability to pry him away for a vacation the women start to realize that this is the way Wallander is all the time and there is no chance of them changing him into the man they want him to be.

His mind is too inverted to share his thoughts with colleagues or with people who care about him. He may stop mid-sentence to follow another clue that has suddenly clicked into place leaving the person he was talking with hanging on his last word, desperately wishing they could be a part of the world in Wallander's head.

The Pyramid - Kurt Wallander

I sometimes feel the need to give Kurt a good shake, but if I am found deceased under suspicious circumstances there is no doubt in my mind I want Wallander on the case. Ystad, Sweden the setting for the Wallander series When I started this book I thought it would be a good place for anyone to ease into the Wallander series, but after reading it I believe that readers will like this book more after they have read a couple of the novels.

View all 11 comments. Jan 02, Mal Warwick rated it really liked it Shelves: mysteries-thrillers. 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 to 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 What is it about Swedish mystery writers? In between there was Kurt Wallender, the moody small-town police inspector created by another masterful Swedish writer, Henning Mankell. Wallender made his first appearance in English in in the novel Faceless Killers. Wallender lived on through seven other novels, the last of which, Firewall, appeared in English translation in An eighth, and reportedly last, Wallender novel is due in under the title The Troubled Man.

The series has won numerous awards and gained a large audience in the English-speaking world -- deservedly so, in my opinion. The Pyramid is something of an afterthought but no less worth reading than the Wallender novels. It's a collection of five stories that span the time from Wallender's rookie year on the police force until the period when, a mature and respected inspector, the crimes detailed in Faceless Killers took place. As he ages from his early 20s to his 50s, Wallender grows increasingly morose in the face of his dysfunctional family relationships and the senseless crimes he is called upon to solve.

The Pyramid lays bare the roots of his problems. For any Kurt Wallender fan, it's well worth reading. Mankell is a serious writer. Like Sjowall, Wahloo, and Larsson, he is a man of the Left, and his writing explores the changes in Swedish society that have come about under the impact of drugs, immigration, and the newly competitive political environment which has brought conservatives as well as socialists into power.


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View 1 comment. 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. This volume is a nice beginning of the end for me.


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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, 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.

It has the added benefit of being the perfect book for a vacation trip: five self-contained mysteries, five perfectly digestible mini-Wallander tales. This is a summer read extraordinaire. Wallander's First Case -- The mystery itself is interesting enough, and the early hints of Wallander's uneasy relationship with the rules is just what I expected, but what made me devour this story was the abuse of Wallander at the hands and tongue of Mona, who would become his wife then ex-wife, and the abuse of Wallander at the tongue of his not yet dementia reduced father.

So much of Wallander's personal life, so much of his failures as a friend and father and lover, so much of his obsession with the lonely victims he comes across, is tied up in these two unhealthy relationships. End it. Let it end," and when Kurt considers never seeing his father again, considers cutting off the old man after a particularly nasty bit of passive aggressive manipulation, I was thinking the same thing. Of course, I know Kurt's going to go ahead and make his mistakes, but it didn't stop me wishing for a different outcome. Slightly aside: this story takes place in the early seventies, and I couldn't help wondering when Martin Beck was going to show up.

He never did, but I dearly wanted him to. I wonder how hard it was for Mankell to keep Beck out of the story? Only this time, I couldn't help noticing how much the character of Wallander owes to Sjowall and Wahloo's chief protagonists, Martin Beck and Lennart Kollberg. The pair are partners and completely realized characters in their own rights -- not mere archetypes -- but much that Wallander is, especially in this story, can be found in those men.

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He is a complex blending of the two, and when this story engages in a consideration of apartheid South Africa did this early case of Wallander's ever come up in The White Lioness? The Man on the Beach -- There is a lot of suicide going on in this book, but somehow that feels perfectly in place with the mood that the Wallander books have created through the years.

The bleak landscape of rural Sweden might make suicide seem fitting, but I think it is more about the quiet despair of people living rurally in a modern society than about the space they live in. It certainly feels that way to me in this story where murder comes first, then suicide follows as a result. This is the most depressing story of the bunch -- so far. The Death of the Photographer -- Two things: 1. It never ceases to amaze me when an author hits on something that speaks to me directly. It is why I read, I suspect. Instead, they devote themselves to rites. If this is the case, our nation is in trouble.

If you've read the Wallander books to this point you are aware of what has gone on between Martinsson and Wallander view spoiler [, and you know that Martinsson betrays his mentor, specifically citing Wallander's unorthodoxy in his attacks on him to the higher-ups. Reading this story now, which falls right at the beginning of Martinsson's time on the force and his relationship with Wallander, I was shocked to see how clearly his feelings and his inevitable betrayal informed their interactions and Martinsson's attitudes.

The Pyramid -- This felt much more like the Wallander stories I'm used to. I think this is both because the story directly precedes Faceless Killers , so all of his relationships are reaching the place I am familiar with, and because the story was much longer than the other four in this volume, putting it closer to the level of plot complexity in the novels.

Yet I don't think this is the best story in the book. In fact, it almost felt like this story was something discarded rather than a story that Mankell felt he really needed to tell. The other short stories felt like little explorations that Mankell needed to produce for himself, but they were complete and packed enough of worth that Mankell could share them without reservation.

The Pyramid, however, felt like an idea Mankell played with but couldn't imbue with enough complexity to suit his needs, an idea that aspired to but didn't reach the high standard of plotting in his other Wallander novels, an idea that took much too much of Mankell's writing energy to simply let go and was published merely to clear the docket.

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