Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist

The White Lioness: Henning Mankell

Not only a Wallander story, but an informative if not very subtle story about the birth of the new South Africa. Branagh hasn't filmed this one yet, which is one reason I chose it for my first dip into the oeuvre. When he does come to film it (and he's said he's going to)  the specificity of the historical setting (it's 1992 and De Klerk and Mandela are both characters) and the absence of Wallander from much of the action will present the adaptor with some interesting problems.

Wallander on the page is very like Wallander on the screen. Our hero is just as put-upon, and the Swedish landscape (I was pleased to find) is just as large a presence.  

At times I felt I was reading a proper novel with real people in it- and then the characters started doing things people only ever do in detective stories and the narrative turned thrilling and flat. There's a reason detective novels are rarely considered for the big literary prizes and it's this: that detective fiction lies about human nature.
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