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The Pyramid: The First Wallander Cases by…

The Pyramid: The First Wallander Cases (1999)

by Henning Mankell

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The Pyramid: The First Wallander Cases by Henning Mankell; (3*);

There are 5 stories in this book. Their events occur prior to the novels and they include Wallander's first case, when he was a uniformed officer but was striving to be a detective.
Although the stories are about a younger man, they are unmistakably Wallander. He is cranky, absent-minded & moody. He means well but does not always behave well. He worries a lot. He takes unnecessary risks. He has the makings of a good detective and he knows that as well. Events in his job affect him emotionally. He has lapses in confidence. Sometimes he wants to quit but he has no idea what else he might do.
It could be said that while the Wallander books are mysteries, they are also very much about life in Sweden toward the end of the twentieth century. Mankell wrote in the forward to this book that the Wallander novels could be subtitled, Novels about the Swedish Anxiety. One of the reasons I enjoy these stories so much is that I know very little about Sweden. And though there is much in life there which is similiar to life here there is a certain excitement involved with reading books set in a faraway place.
This book of shorts seems like each was a chapter in Wallander's life in Sweden. These stories occur prior to the novels and I found that in reading them before the series provided me a good background into the man, Wallender. ( )
  rainpebble | Nov 25, 2016 |
This is a collection of three short stories and two novellas, written as a prequel to the earlier books in the Kurt Wallander series. The author states that he wanted to fill in some of the details of Wallander's earlier cases that are sometimes mentioned in the other novels.

* Wallander's First Case
* The Man with the Mask
* The Man at the Beach
* The Death of the Photographer
* The Pyramid

In the first three short stories, we find Wallendar meeting and marrying his wife, while finding his way through the police detective process. (The poor guy's marriage was doomed from the start.). The two novellas are better, and the Pyramid is probably a must for the Wallander completist. I enjoyed the part where his father takes a trip to visit the pyramids, and gets arrested for trying to climb to the top.

This was my least favorite of the Wallander series, but I'm not sorry I read it.
  NanaCC | May 16, 2016 |

Sadly, this is not as great as his novels. Which is weird, as I thought his short stories would be more thematically to the point.

It's clear to me that in order for him to discuss the state of Sweden in the 90s, he needed more time. This could be because his novels have always been procedurals (and then this, and then that, and let me show you all the details), and you need many pages to get a procedural right. It could be because instead of being able to show all the pieces needed to comment on his main theme, he could only show some pieces and then had to blatantly comment on the theme at the end of the story. In essence, "I didn't have time, so here it is spelled out for you, sorry about that".

I did enjoy how these 5 stories tell the tale of Wallander's past life, before Ystad, before Mona left him, before almost everything we know about him from the novels. I think Mankell may have forgotten about his prior characterization of Linda, though - he calls her chatty, and in subsequent novels she is absolutely nothing like chatty (same in the TV series). ( )
  khage | Jan 17, 2016 |
Esta no es una nueva novela de Wallander, en lugar de eso es una colección de pequeñas novelas o largos relatos que rellenan el universo de Wallander al expandir y contar hechos que son tan solo mencionados en las novelas.

Así es como vemos vivos a personajes que ya han muertos en algunas novelas, o incluso a personajes que ya estaban muertos al comenzar la primer novela y son recordados siempre. ( )
  gedece | Jul 27, 2015 |
This collection comprises three short stories and two novellas. They tell us about Wallender's early cases and fill us in on several facts missing from the later stories. I particularly liked the bit in the last story,'The Pyramid' in which Wallender's father goes on holiday to Egypt and gets arrested for attempting to climb the Pyramids.Wallender has to fly out to extricate him.
This is not quite such a good read as most of the series,but nevertheless is still essential reading for the completist. ( )
  devenish | Feb 18, 2015 |
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To Rolf Lassgård
with great warmth, gratitude,
and not a little admiration.
He has told me so much
about about Wallander that I myself
did not know.
First words
In the beginning, everything was just a fog.
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Disambiguation notice
Contains the short stories:
- Wallander's First Case
- The Man with the Mask
- The Man on the Beach
- The Death of the Photographer
- The Pyramid

Do NOT combine the single short stories with the omnibus!
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A volume of short works featuring the popular investigator features Wallander as a young patrolman on his first case, a new father facing unexpected danger on Christmas Eve, a middle-aged man solving a poisoning death, a separated husband investigating a photographer's murder, and a veteran detective connecting a dual murder to a plane crash.… (more)

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