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The Martin Beck Stories

10 BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramatisations
Length: 10 hrs and 30 mins
4 out of 5 stars (4 ratings)
Non-member price: $32.95
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Publisher's Summary

The Martin Beck books are widely acknowledged as some of the most influential detective novels ever written. Written by Swedish husband and wife team Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö between 1965 and 1975, the 10-book series set a gold standard for all subsequent Scandinavian crime fiction. Long before Kurt Wallander or Harry Hole, Beck was the original flawed policeman, working with a motley collection of colleagues to uncover the cruelty and injustice lurking beneath the surface of Sweden's seemingly liberal, democratic society.

This complete collection includes:

  • Roseanna (1965) - translated by Lois Roth and dramatised by Jennifer Howarth.
  • The Man Who Went Up in Smoke (1966) - translated by Joan Tate and dramatised by Katie Hims.
  • The Man on the Balcony (1967) - translated by Alan Blair and dramatised by Katie Hims.
  • The Laughing Policeman (1968) - translated by Alan Blair and dramatised by Jennifer Howarth.
  • The Fire Engine That Disappeared (1969) - translated by Joan Tate and dramatised by Katie Hims.
  • Murder at the Savoy (1970) - translated by Amy and Ken Knoespel and dramatised by Jennifer Howarth.
  • The Abominable Man (1971) - translated by Thomas Teal and dramatised by Katie Hims.
  • The Locked Room (1972) - translated by Alan Blair and dramatised by Jennifer Howarth.
  • Cop Killer (1974) - translated by Thomas Teal and dramatised by Jennifer Howarth.
  • The Terrorists (1975) - translated by Joan Tate and dramatised by Katie Hims.

©2017 Maj Sjowell and Per Whaloo (P)2017 Penguin Random House

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

The best audio book I have ever listened to.

I am quite familiar with the books, and was impressed to see how well they had been converted into audio books. Steven Mackintosh and Neil Pearson were outstanding.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Anniebligh
  • 27-09-2017

Outstanding

This is good story telling in a play format. The adaptation is excellent, the acting is 'spot on'.
While reading each of the 10 novels in turn could be a rewarding experience, this 10 hour plus audio. presents the scope of Per Wahloo and Maj Sjowall's project so very well.

I understood Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö wanted to show the underbelly of their society in fiction form and their books do present social comment using a wide range of criminal offenses in a policing format.The police are human characters with individual personalities.

These stories capture a period in history for us now in 2017, looking back to the 1960's and 1970's.

The BBC Radio 4. with this superb production, and these talented writers and performers get a standing ovation and a few 'bravo' from my living room.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

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  • Kylie Ahern
  • 17-01-2018

One of the best narrations

I can see why this is such a popular series of books, the storylines and characters are excellent. This recording has a full cast and wow they are excellent! I felt like I was in the room with them. The attention to detail with background noises was just brilliant. Loved it.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • jill boggiss
  • 17-12-2018

Brilliant stories, compelling performances.

This is such a great work of fiction, interesting, characters who are utterly believable . The dialogue is perfectly judged and the plots twist and turn with a steady, relentless realism peppered with moments of sheer genius.

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  • Barclay
  • 06-11-2018

the grandparents of the swedish murder mystery

very enjoyable! flashes of humor and cynicism. my favorite character was Larsson, played by Ralph Inerson. this was my first foray into BBC radio plays, and I'm definitely going to listen to many more!

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  • Js
  • 29-09-2018

Highly Recommended. Compelling stories

Superb cast and orchestration of these compelling stories. Seeking out more of Maj Sjowall and Petr Wahloo! Wonderful works.

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  • R. Losciale
  • 05-08-2018

great swedish cop series with characters you 💘

martin beck and his Stockholm come alive and transports the listener to the place and time with intriguing characters and crimes...a great series!

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  • brian beirne
  • 07-07-2018

Very entertaining.

Well presented with a full cast. All 10 of the novels included. I enjoyed this title very much.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • SophNevie
  • 27-06-2018

Precusor of Scandi-noir

Very good performance. However for me the repeated pattern in the collection favoring a more grim but seemingly unlikely event becomes wearing.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Nigel
  • 20-08-2017

Gripping Swedish crime stories 5-stars* - Superb!


I seldom re-listen to books in my library, but the Martin Beck stories are superb. Actually I have already got them individually, but by buying them (again) all together has made it easier to download/ listen in order.

So good is this collection I would say they are near faultless - great performances by the actors and spot-on pacing. Gripping Swedish crime stories. Just wish there were more.

Fantastic, highly recommended 5*

14 of 14 people found this review helpful

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  • Peter
  • 30-08-2017

Fantastic adaption of a great series of books.

This is a fantastic adaption of the Sjöwall/Wahlöö books that gives them a new and fresh coat of paint. For me as a Swede who have heard about the books all my life and seen two tv-adaptations and more or less knows the story this felt fresh and at the same time familiar.
The cast do a great jobb portraying the characters and the production is well made.
Two thumbs up!

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • rob y
  • 27-10-2017

Excellent

One of a very few audio books that are even better than reading the actual books. V good dramatisation.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Sarah W
  • 21-10-2017

loved it

Really enjoyed listening to the short stories. Even got my husband and my adult son asking me to play it when we had to do long drives.. Sad it came to a end. I recommend this to everyone who enjoys drama and crime.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Mrs. Sue Bembridge
  • 13-10-2017

Loved this!

It was good in every way. Particularly liked Neil Pearson in lead role. The story was dramatic but human, with plenty of subtle humour. Interesting to see the early form of this genre.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Dragon
  • 06-02-2018

Superb

Loved the stories and dramatisation. The combination of narration and dialogue is great. I caught some of these on the radio but listening to them all in sequence is better - there’s humour and pathos in here that you pick up better when you listen to all the episodes in sequence. Highly recommended.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • M. Bradshaw
  • 13-12-2018

Bad endings

Overall I really enjoyed this but a nunber of the stories have very abrupt and unsatisfactory endings. The performance is great and the characters. The final story is by far the best

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Andrea
  • 27-08-2018

Brilliant

Although I did not always like the subject matter or the sexism; I found these stories gripping, atmospheric and well acted. It was a shame when they finished.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Harry Attwell
  • 10-07-2018

Fantastic.

Absolutely brilliant, from start to finish. The cast, production and adaptations are fantastic and it is one of the best crime dramas I've ever heard. I've ordered the book of the first story off of the back of them and look forward to listening to these again.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • andy furkins
  • 04-07-2018

brilliant BBC adaptation

brilliant... an appreciation and adaptation that should please most if not all. best of all the cast brings this to life

1 of 1 people found this review helpful