Strindberg's Star

Strindberg's Star

3.2 5
by Jan Wallentin
     
 

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A multilayered international thrill ride at breakneck pace, reminiscent of The Rule of Four

The Arctic, 1897: Nils Strindberg crashes his hydrogen balloon during the mysterious Andrée Expedition to the North Pole.
Germany, 1942: Gruesome and inexplicable experiments are performed on concentration camp prisoners.
Sweden

Overview

A multilayered international thrill ride at breakneck pace, reminiscent of The Rule of Four

The Arctic, 1897: Nils Strindberg crashes his hydrogen balloon during the mysterious Andrée Expedition to the North Pole.
Germany, 1942: Gruesome and inexplicable experiments are performed on concentration camp prisoners.
Sweden, present-day: Cave diver Erik Hall finds a dead body wearing an ancient ankh, buried deep in an abandoned mine. Religious symbol expert Don Titelman seeks out Erik to study the ankh—but finds Erik dead. Don is the prime suspect, and soon he’s being chased across Europe to escape a secret society that will do anything to get their hands on the ankh. . . .

In this international bestseller, each of these fascinating strands weaves together to create a mind-blowing cross-genre thriller that includes arctic explorers, a secret railroad network, Norse mythology, Nazis, and ancient symbols—and a shocking secret that’s been hidden for centuries.

Editorial Reviews

Katherine Neville
"In this breathtaking debut novel, lavish with historic detail and colorful panorama, Jan Wallentin brilliantly evokes the mysterious, underwater, middle-earth worlds of Jules Verne, interwoven with the pulse-pounding, countdown thrillers of James Bond. STRINDBERG'S STAR is a tale of eternal evil - with two diabolical "fathers," more deeply disturbed than Darth Vader, pulling the hidden strings.”
—Katherine Neville, author of THE EIGHT and THE FIRE
From the Publisher
"...An intriguing thrill ride...a combination of the secrets and symbols of Dan Brown with the adventures of Jules Verne...unlike anything else you'll read this year."
AP

"An audacious adventure novel a la Jules Verne steeped in Norse mythology and Nazi esotericism."
Publishers Weekly - Publishers Weekly

"In this breathtaking debut novel, lavish with historic detail and colorful panorama, Jan Wallentin brilliantly evokes the mysterious, underwater, middle-earth worlds of Jules Verne, interwoven with the pulse-pounding, countdown thrillers of James Bond. STRINDBERG'S STAR is a tale of eternal evil - with two diabolical "fathers," more deeply disturbed than Darth Vader, pulling the hidden strings."
Katherine Neville, author of THE EIGHT and THE FIRE - Katherine Neville

"Evil Nazi schemes, Norse mythology, Pompeian legend and a balloon expedition to the North Pole are narrative bedfellows in this sprawling, fanciful tale…it scores as a larkishly offbeat alternative to the dour mysteries Swedes are known for."
Kirkus - Kirkus

"All the elements of a Dan Brown thriller…A perfect vacation read."
Booklist - Booklist

AP
"...An intriguing thrill ride...a combination of the secrets and symbols of Dan Brown with the adventures of Jules Verne...unlike anything else you'll read this year."
Booklist
“All the elements of a Dan Brown thriller…A perfect vacation read.”
—Booklist
Library Journal
This international best seller—Stockholm-based Wallentin's first novel to be published abroad and in the United States—is a suspenseful mix of history, crime story, and adventure thriller about a man pursued for a crime he didn't commit who gets caught up in a quest for a lost artifact. Can he escape the authorities and the secret society seeking the ancient ankh it believes is in his possession. Is there anyone he can trust? VERDICT Swedish journalist Wallentin has crafted a compelling cross-genre thriller involving Norse mythology, 19th-century Arctic exploration, and Nazi crimes that keeps the reader glued until the nail-biting conclusion. However, he gets bogged down in describing the background and history involved, as if readers would not know enough about Nazi Germany or the Nazis' medical experiments to understand the plot. In addition, the protagonist is an antihero, a pill-popping addict who is not particularly likable or appealing. Despite these flaws, the book offers enough entertainment value to recommend it to readers seeking escapist summer fare. [See Prepub Alert, 11/21/11.]—Cynde Suite, Bartow Cty. Lib. Syst., Cartersville, GA
Kirkus Reviews
Evil Nazi schemes, Norse mythology, Pompeian legend and a balloon expedition to the North Pole are narrative bedfellows in this sprawling, fanciful tale driven by the desperate pursuit of a metal ankh, or amulet, discovered on a corpse in an abandoned copper mine. A bestseller in Sweden, Germany and France, Swedish journalist Wallentin's first novel is an Energizer bunny effort that keeps going and going across continents and time periods, piling on plot details as it does. After the bizarre murder of the diver who discovered the ankh, a history professor known for his research in symbols and myths, Don Titelman, is held for the crime. The son of a Holocaust survivor whose horrific accounts of torture have made him a pill-popping wreck, Titelman is mysteriously abducted by Germans from the Swedish Embassy and locked with his lawyer in a wine cellar. They escape and hook up with Titelman's strange, reclusive sister, Hex, who literally lives underground. The action leads to the Arctic, where Titelman uncovers the truth behind an ill-fated 1897 balloon expedition, during which three men perished, including Swedish photographer Nils Strindberg. For fans of overstuffed adventures who are adept at keeping up with slippery plot developments, this book has much to offer. In the early going, it scores as a larkishly offbeat alternative to the dour mysteries Swedes are known for, and its evocations of the Holocaust can be oddly affecting. But the deeper Wallentin gets into his grandiose concepts, which include the discovery of an ancient buried city in China's Taklimakan desert, the more he loses his narrative thread. Better suited to the role of odd-duck supporting character than protagonist, Titelman fails to elicit the rooting interest he should. Any one of the plot strains in this ambitious debut might have made for a satisfying novel, but woven together, they create more confusion than excitement.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780670023578
Publisher:
Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
Publication date:
05/24/2012
Pages:
464
Product dimensions:
6.52(w) x 9.34(h) x 1.48(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Related Subjects

What People are saying about this

Katherine Neville
In this breathtaking debut novel, lavish with historic detail and colorful panorama, Jan Wallentin brilliantly evokes the mysterious, underwater, middle-earth worlds of Jules Verne, interwoven with the pulse-pounding, countdown thrillers of James Bond. STRINDBERG'S STAR is a tale of eternal evil - with two diabolical "fathers," more deeply disturbed than Darth Vader, pulling the hidden strings.”
—Katherine Neville, author of THE EIGHT and THE FIRE

Meet the Author

Jan Wallentin is a journalist. He is forty-one years old and has three children. He lives in Stockholm and is currently working on his next book. This is his first novel.

Rachel Willson-Broyles has translated Invasion and Montecore, both by Jonas Hassan Khemiri. She lives in Madison, Wisconsin.

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Strindberg's Star 3.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Ronrose More than 1 year ago
I don't remember having this much fun reading an adventure story since first devouring the stories of Jules Verne. This is what an adventure story should be. It is loaded with action, exotic locals, deliciously evil villains, and a not too heroic, slightly neurotic, unsympathetic character who holds the parts of the story together. More specifically, he is holding the secret to Strindberg's Star, an otherworldly talisman shaped like an ankh surrounded by a star. This object of legend and desire has been the center of a quest for well over a hundred years. The star, a reputed key to the underworld and untold secrets, has reappeared after being lost for a century. From the depths of a water filled cave in Sweden, across Europe to the dank crypts surrounded by memories of the dead from two wars, deep into the freezing Russian winter, and across the vast ice covered reaches deep in the Arctic Circle the search goes on. Will the ankh finally reveal it's secrets or be lost for all time? This book was provided for review by the well read folks at Viking Press.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love this book its really good for young readers
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was by far one of the stupidest books I have ever read and I read 2 per week. The characters were poorly written, had zero chemistry and the plot..........well the plot was all over the place and it had no point. It went nowhere. The author tried to make the book a cross between The Da Vinci Code, Dragon Tattoo and The Terror, and failed miserably. I am just so annoyed to have wasted my hard earned money.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago