After the Fire

After the Fire

Book - 2017
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"Henning Mankell's last novel about an aging man whose quiet, solitary life on an isolated island off the coast of Sweden is turned upside down when his house catches fire. Fredrik Welin is a former surgeon who retired in disgrace decades earlier to a tiny island on which he is the only resident. He has a daughter he rarely sees and his mailman Jansson is the closest thing he has to a friend, and to an adversary. He is perfectly content to live out his days in quiet solitude. One autumn evening, he is startled awake by a blinding light--only to discover that his house is on fire. With the help of Jansson, he escapes the flames just in time wearing two left boots. Dawn reveals that everything he owns is now a smoldering pile of ash and his house is destroyed--forcing him to move into an abandoned trailer on his island. A local journalist, Lisa Modin, who wants to write a story about the fire, comes into his life. In doing so, she awakens in him something that he thought was long dead. Soon after, his daughter comes to the island with surprising news of her own. Meanwhile, the police suspect Fredrik of arson because he had a sizable insurance claim on his house. When Fredrik is away from the archipelago, another house goes up in flames and the community realizes they have an arsonist in their midst. After the Fireis an intimate portrait of an elderly recluse who is forced to open himself up to a world he'd left behind"-- Provided by publisher.
"Fredrik Welin is a seventy-year-old former surgeon who retired in disgrace years ago. He has retreated to a Swedish archipelago, where he lives alone on an island. He swims in the sea every day, cutting a hole in the ice if necessary. He is perfectly content to live out his days in quiet solitude. Until he wakes up one autumn evening to find his house on fire. Fredrik escapes just in time, wearing two left-footed boots. All that remains in the morning is a stinking ruin and evidence of arson. Fredrik cannot imagine why someone would do such a thing. The police are also stumped, and without another suspect, they begin to think Fredrik started the fire himself. Fredrik's peaceful, simple life has slipped away from him. Then, Lisa Modin, a local journalist who wants to write a story about the fire, comes into his life, and she awakens in him something that he thought was long dead. After the Fire is an intimate portrait of a recluse who is forced to open himself up to a world he'd left behind"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Vintage Books, A Division of Penguin Random House LLC, 2017
ISBN: 9780525435082
0525435085
Branch Call Number: FICTION MANKELL 2017
Characteristics: 401 pages ; 21 cm
Additional Contributors: Delargy, Marlaine - Translator

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multcolib_susannel Dec 04, 2017

Sixty-nine year old Fredrik Werlin wakes to his house exploding in flames.
Companion novel to Italian Shoes.


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genepy
May 16, 2018

A novel about loneliness, empathy and the complexity of human relationships : a deep, sensitive psychological journey into the souls of some unforgettable individuals. This is the sequel to “Italian Shoes “which should be read first to comprehend the characters’ development and accomplishments.
Hennning Mankell’s incisive and analytical style reminds me of George Simenon’s

c
carlosgil
Mar 27, 2018

The creator of the Kurt Wallander police inspector series wrote this book which I can honestly describe as beautiful. Despite his use of a simply worded narrative, Mankel infuses it with a quiet human spirit that grew as I read. Fredrik, the main character in this novel, is an aging Swedish doctor whose life decisions have brought him to a lonely retirement. He claims to prefer isolation, but his actions contradict him. A strange fire that consumes his home drives him to look inside himself like never before.

There were times, during my reading, that I would tire of lateral references and descriptions that struck me as tangential. But looking back, I concluded that in this novel the author writes akin to the way our brain operates, by observing multiple details or happenings even as it zeroes in on a person or thing that drives the story forward. In this way Mankel unveils the doctor’s musings but also his genuine worries and fears about aging.
[
After the fire is a fine piece of reading. It is an intelligent tale about growing old.

g
GrandCru
Mar 23, 2018

I enjoy mankell's novels. There is a lot of talk about death in this one so perhaps shouldn't be read if feeling old, depressed. Very introspective i think. One should read his Italian Shoes first because this is a sequel.

j
johncruse
Feb 03, 2018

A rambling string of words with no plot or point. A boat comes, the wind blows and the author rows his little boat. Blah.

ArapahoeAnnaL Dec 19, 2017

The setting on the Swedish archipelago is desolate and bleak as is the life of the main character as the book begins. Arson as well as difficulties with an adult daughter set up a quiet tension. Atmospheric and tense!

multcolib_susannel Dec 04, 2017

Sixty-nine year old Fredrik Werlin wakes to his house exploding in flames.
Companion novel to Italian Shoes.

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