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A Bridge to the Stars by Henning Mankell

A Bridge to the Stars (1990)

by Henning Mankell

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227651,069 (3.55)6



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I love Henning Mankell's writing, and his ability to craft characters and situations that draw you into a story. This one's a bit different from many of the books of his that I've read, in that it is about a twelve year old boy in northern Sweden, and doesn't involve murder or detective-work. Instead, it is a examination of life and connections, father-son, friends, the past, and is a gently told story of Joel's life, as he comes to terms with some various aspects of his world. I noticed somewhere that this is listed as book #! in a series bearing Joel's name, so I expect there may be more coming. While I probably won't seek them out, I may read if they come my way. I will, however, continue to follow Mankell's writing as he leaves Wallander behind. ( )
  bookczuk | Nov 8, 2013 |
Some very stirring scenes in this one. A young boy, unhappy because his mother has left him and his father, falls under the spell of a friend. Together the two flirt with evil . . . our hero drawn in by the spell the other boys casts on him. The climactic scene--our hero climbs a railway trestle because of a dare--is wonderful. Too much of the book is predictable. Unhappy boy meets eccentric adults (noseless woman, crazy man) who show him that life encompasses more than the ordinary and teach him lessons he'd never learn in school. Definitely uneven. ( )
  cdeuker | Jun 18, 2009 |
For older children, but an entertaining "coming of age" novel ( )
  Prop2gether | Dec 3, 2008 |
Exquisitely written, translated from Swedish. A boy whose mother abandoned him and his father, longs to know about his mother amidst his father's refusal to discuss it. On his own, he pursues a dog he saw out the window late at night, a dog on his way to a star. While seeking the dog, he learns about right and wrong, about adults and their world, and about being different. This opens up a new door to his relationship with his Dad. A beautiful story. ( )
  ohioyalibrarian | Mar 21, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0440240425, Paperback)

This poignant novel explores how a unilateral decision can change a life.

Two things are hard for Joel Gustafson to cope with: not knowing why, and not being able to do anything about it. Joel’s father was once a sailor who lived by the sea. Joel’s mother once lived with them. Joel’s father abandoned the sea. Joel’s mother abandoned Joel and his father.

While looking out his window one night, Joel sees a lonely dog on the street. Joel spots the animal again and begins sneaking out night after night, trying to find it. During these nocturnal outings, Joel discovers aspects of life he has never imagined. And then one night he discovers that his father’s bed, too, is empty.

As Joel investigates his father’s mysterious absences and continues to search for the dog, he discovers his own inner strength and learns about adult disappointments and needs.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:41 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

In 1956 Sweden, eleven-year-old Joel and his father, a logger who was once a sailor, live alone with their secrets, including Joel's secret society that meets at night and his father's new romantic interest.

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