Customer Reviews for

The Shadow Girls

Average Rating 4.5
( 15 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(10)

4 Star

(2)

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(3)

2 Star

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

Very different kind of adventure

Everybody needs to escape. Everybody buys crime novels. Reality and poetry aren't popular because people don't want to be reminded of what the world really is. So, escapust crime novels make people happy, and publishers rich...

A sort of has-been esoteric Swedish poet ...
Everybody needs to escape. Everybody buys crime novels. Reality and poetry aren't popular because people don't want to be reminded of what the world really is. So, escapust crime novels make people happy, and publishers rich...

A sort of has-been esoteric Swedish poet wakes up from his esoteric life when he is confronted with major changes in his world when he meets three girls who escape from their lives in war-torn countries, and even their "new lives". They ned to tell their stories. Question is, to who?

posted by rokinrev on February 10, 2013

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

Henning Mankell is widely known for his Kurt Wallender crime se


Henning Mankell is widely known for his Kurt Wallender crime series, as well as for his deep social conscience. In his various novels and other works, he has exhibited his concerns on a wide assortment of such issues. In this novel, he turns his attention to the plig...

Henning Mankell is widely known for his Kurt Wallender crime series, as well as for his deep social conscience. In his various novels and other works, he has exhibited his concerns on a wide assortment of such issues. In this novel, he turns his attention to the plight of immigrants seeking permanent asylum in Sweden.

The protagonist seems to be a writer of obscure poetry, Jesper Humlin, whose books account for little sales. His publisher provides a light touch to the book, insisting he write a crime novel which would sell many more copies. Of course, he refuses. Instead, Humlin becomes involved with three immigrant girls, two of whom are undocumented. Listening to them tell their stories, he learns of their attempts to leave their homeland and sneak into Sweden. As a result, he determines to write a book about them.

This then is the thrust of “The Shadow Girls.” It is a dry polemic. But more importantly, the three girls who relate their tales in italicized segments use language that seemed to this reader as not likely available to uneducated persons. Clearly, it is the voice of the author and might as well be non-fiction. The novel’s purpose is laudable, especially in view of the current efforts to do something about immigration policy in the United States. But it really is not a piece of fiction. The only reason to consider recommending it is that it is written by Henning Mankell.

posted by tedfeit0 on March 2, 2013

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  • Posted March 2, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Henning Mankell is widely known for his Kurt Wallender crime se


    Henning Mankell is widely known for his Kurt Wallender crime series, as well as for his deep social conscience. In his various novels and other works, he has exhibited his concerns on a wide assortment of such issues. In this novel, he turns his attention to the plight of immigrants seeking permanent asylum in Sweden.

    The protagonist seems to be a writer of obscure poetry, Jesper Humlin, whose books account for little sales. His publisher provides a light touch to the book, insisting he write a crime novel which would sell many more copies. Of course, he refuses. Instead, Humlin becomes involved with three immigrant girls, two of whom are undocumented. Listening to them tell their stories, he learns of their attempts to leave their homeland and sneak into Sweden. As a result, he determines to write a book about them.

    This then is the thrust of “The Shadow Girls.” It is a dry polemic. But more importantly, the three girls who relate their tales in italicized segments use language that seemed to this reader as not likely available to uneducated persons. Clearly, it is the voice of the author and might as well be non-fiction. The novel’s purpose is laudable, especially in view of the current efforts to do something about immigration policy in the United States. But it really is not a piece of fiction. The only reason to consider recommending it is that it is written by Henning Mankell.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 1, 2014

    Mankell is often categorized as a crime writer, but this novel,

    Mankell is often categorized as a crime writer, but this novel, although it contains some undocumented, and thus illegal, visitors in Sweden, is primarily about the human condition.  Protagonist Jesper Humlin is writer of poetry, and poets communicate, right? Wrong.  Humlin and every other character fail to convey their thoughts and feelings, understandable when some are non-native Swedish speakers, bewildering when his mother, publisher, stock broker, and other friends also seem to be talking only to themselves. Faced with the challenge of conveying the appalling stories of the three women, or helping them to do so, Humlin finally turns from poetry to narration.  And as Humlin wanders from place to place seeking solutions on behalf of the women, rather like Diogenes searching for an honest man, the author manages to bring humor to the situation.  Mankell exposes readers to a side of society becoming common across the globe, although many are unaware of it. This is a first-rate novel with no conditions or exceptions.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 13, 2013

    ok, nowhere near quality of A Treacherous Paradise

    would have been better with less narrative about the fictional author and more about the 3 refugee women.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2013

    Very different kind of adventure

    Everybody needs to escape. Everybody buys crime novels. Reality and poetry aren't popular because people don't want to be reminded of what the world really is. So, escapust crime novels make people happy, and publishers rich...

    A sort of has-been esoteric Swedish poet wakes up from his esoteric life when he is confronted with major changes in his world when he meets three girls who escape from their lives in war-torn countries, and even their "new lives". They ned to tell their stories. Question is, to who?

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2013

    Vool!

    Cll me Star. I wrote The Other-World. P.S. i read your stories an i LOVED them

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2013

    Lichentail will be a co-judge

    Please?

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2013

    Ash

    Should i go ahead and write a short story?

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2013

    Jaysoar

    I am hosting a writing contest at 'write right now' results 1-3.

    0 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2013

    Falcon

    When do you judge?

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2013

    Starrykit

    I can co-judge... I have too hard of a time writing three pages at once. You can also read my stories at born to run res four and below. I appreciate negative feedback, but please tell me what I did wrong instead of just telling me you didn't like it.

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2013

    Azulfire

    Oh, yes that one! I couldnt see the chapter. I liked the one at clash res two. I forgot the name though.... it was by Glimmer...

    0 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2013

    The shadow writer

    Winners r announced

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2013

    Luckyleaf to the shadow writer

    Can i be the judge? If not can i be the co judge?

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 19, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 24, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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