An extraordinarily moving book… The chief strength of this book – and what makes it such a beautiful, moving document – is in the descriptions that Mankell gives of the joy and suffering he has seen, especially in Africa… Throughout Quicksand, there are scenes [of] joy and triumph in the midst of suffering and loss. This grave book, intensely beautiful in spirit, takes us to these places in the thoughtful company of a great soul
Alexander McCall Smith, New Statesman
An honourable, courageous piece of work… A work of considerable scope… A remarkable man
An extraordinary book, mixing the intimate detail of memoir (the incidents from his childhood and early life are told beautifully, and with wonderful economy) with the moral beliefs of a man whose concern with social justice has dictated the pattern of his mature years. At times Mankell can sound like a latter-day Seneca, and he brings the same gravitas and moral authority to bear on his arguments… A deeply serious, and highly uplifting book…profoundly moving.
John Burnside, Guardian
Potent and evocative
Nick Rennison, The Sunday Times
Quicksand, a hybrid of essay and memoir, reflects knowledgeably on art, religion, childhood and the “final insensibility” that is our dying. Rarely has a writer contemplated the mystery of the end of life with such a wide-ranging curiosity
Ian Thomson, Evening Standard
Quicksand…defines life not by its ending but by the creative and humanitarian content that filled — and fulfilled — Mankell’s life
Quicksand, Mankell’s final book, is his most excoriating indictment of human folly… An extremely moving swansong
Jake Kerridge, Sunday Telegraph
A deeply sombre book… Fans of Mankell’s magnificently gloomy fiction will have no difficulty in recognising the blueprint for his literary alter ego, Kurt Wallander… Compelling
Daisy Goodwin, The Times
Although written in the final year of his life…the result is uplifting and, as a memoir, as unusual a creation as his Nordic detective, Kurt Wallander
A collection of essays that are not limited to his illness, but enriched by it.
Mankell confronts his own mortality with moving intelligence and honesty, meditating on vast spans of time that cannot be fully apprehended by intellect or imagination, from the last ice age to the ones to come, and from the earliest civilisations to modern society.
Lettie Kennedy, Observer
Delivered in a no-nonsense style, never striving for melodrama or controversy…making us think deeply about what it means to live, and to die, as a result.
The Big Issue
In calm, limpid writing [Mankell] contemplates his illness – cancer – but is determined to hold on to the good things in life.
The effect is more like poetry than prose, as we are transported from cave paintings to motorways, seedy hotels to dazzling cathedrals, hospital wards to the Louvre, the Prado, the Thassos ampitheatre.
Sheena Joughin, Times Literary Supplement
Although written in the final year of his life, after his diagnosis with cancer, the result is uplifting and, as a memoir, as unusual a creation as his Nordic detective, Kurt Wallander.
Olivia Cole, GQ Magazine
January 30, 2017
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