- 115,00 kr
‘Absorbing, chilling and dripping with evil atmosphere’ The Times
Since his mother’s disappearance, Hans Olofson has led an isolated life. When he loses his girlfriend in tragic circumstances, he decides to fulfil her dream: to visit the grave of a legendary missionary in Zambia.
On reaching Africa, Hans is struck by its beauty and mystery, and an opportunity of employment tempts him to stay. But he soon becomes embroiled in the issues of the local community. As relationships splinter and fray, Hans realises that his African dream is rapidly turning into a nightmare…
Best known for his Kurt Wallander mysteries (Firewall, etc.), Mankell alternates between the coming-of-age story of Hans Olofson, a provincial Swede who grows up in a motherless home with an alcoholic father, and Olofson's later experiences in Zambia in this fine, unsentimental exploration of vastly different cultures. Having come to believe that Sweden holds nothing for him, Olofson decides to go to Africa to visit a mission, prompted by the strangest woman in town, Janine, who's shunned because of an operation that left her with no nose. Olofson stays in Zambia for 18 years, running a struggling egg farm and dealing with a culture he never fully understands. Mankell is terrific at sketching the cultural differences between the West and Africa in particular, "the anguish of the independent states." Sweden and the West may be more pragmatic and less superstitious than Africa, but greed and corruption are universal. Still, it's the character of Olofson and his complex, unsettling relationship with the Zambians and Africa that make this disquieting novel so compelling.