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message 1: by Jan C (new)

Jan C (woeisme) | 35288 comments I've read a few of Henning Mankell's books. I don't know that I pay that much attention to his politics. But, then, I probably would be totally turned off if he was a right wing writer.

But I think I just accept it as being from a different society than the one I live in.

I haven't tried Stieg Larsson. One of my co-workers likes him and I don't think he reads that many books, certainly not in the mystery/detective category.


message 2: by Andy (new)

Andy (amarinko) | 4 comments I've read the first two books in the Stieg Larsson trilogy, and Jar City by Arnaldur Indridason (Icelandic author), which were all great reads. I didn't notice anything particular political in their writings.


message 3: by Donna, Co-Moderator (new)

Donna | 2178 comments Mod
I've read a number of Scandianavian authors including, Hakan Nesser, Kjell Eriksson, Karin Fossum, and Asa Larsson and I would not say they were overly political.

Actually, I think that the Scandinavian authors are popular precisely because they are different. The setting is often unusual such as a small village above the Arctic Circle and the pacing is often slower and more psychological.


message 4: by Linton (last edited Feb 26, 2010 08:10PM) (new)

Linton Lewis (kemosabe) I can't speak for Nesser but Larsson was an excellent writer. His novels have everything I look for: depth, action, violence, though female protagonist. I really didn't notice anything political in his writing except he didn't like nazis. That hurt his story slightly but he just touched on it. Overall Scandinavia makes a good backdrop for a novel. But mainly they are churning out good writers. I don't remember the names of the authors besides Larsson but I remember at leat three excellent novels coming from there. And I'm very hard to please.

linton


message 5: by Lobstergirl (new)

Lobstergirl I've read 7 Mankell books; all of Arnaldur Indridason; 4 of Karin Fossum; and the first Stieg Larsson. Mankell is the most political, but his politics come out more in his non-Wallander books, some of which are mysteries, some not. Mankell's Wallander series is my favorite of the listed authors. What I like so much about it is the dark, gloomy, cold, foggy, snowy setting, and Wallander's gloomy personality. Fossum too has created a very appealing detective, but her narratives I don't find all that interesting.

Overall I've been disappointed with Indridason. He seems to be modeling himself after Mankell (gloomy, divorced detective who is alienated from daughter) but not rising to Mankell's level of writing. I was also disappointed with Larsson. I wonder how many of the Larsson readers are new to crime/mystery fiction and were reading the books because they got so much buzz. I seemed to be one of the few readers who didn't fall in love with Lisbeth Salander.


message 6: by Bluedaizy (new)

Bluedaizy | 4 comments I love reading mysteries and thrillers. I enjoy reading Scandanavian authors as my family is originally from Sweden. I'm hoping to glean a little culture from these authors.


message 7: by Barbara (last edited Feb 28, 2010 06:39PM) (new)

Barbara (cinnabarb) | 8053 comments I like some of the Scandinavian authors because they write good stories in unique (to me) settings. I'm a political liberal myself so I guess their "left wing politics" don't bother me.


message 8: by Shannon (new)

Shannon (darwindog96) Jumping in a little late here but I have read several Nessers, one K. Ericksson and one Larsson. If anything I find them very dark and their characters a bit depressing (or maybe just too realistic??) but the stories are good and give me a whole different perspective.

I agree with Lobstergirl - I definitely didn't fall in love with Lisbeth Salander but as for her being a completely unique character - absolutely. I am going to give the second book in that series a try (there's only three so I'm sure I'll finish it out). I've stayed away from the movie because I'm not sure I could handle the graphic sex scenes in it.


message 9: by Andy (new)

Andy (amarinko) | 4 comments I just finished the third Larsson book (The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest) and I will agree that I wasn't enamored with Lisbeth Salander after the first book, and I thought even worse of her through much of the second book. But, there is still great storytelling going on and such a wide cast of interesting characters that there is plenty for the reader to chew on. While Salander is primarily the central character in this trilogy, there is so much else going on that I can't imagine many readers will not be totally engaged with the story, even if they're not feeling great empathy for Salander. If you haven't read past the first book, I urge you all to stick with it and read the next two. The second and third installments are amazing, and quite a bit different than the first book.


message 10: by Lobstergirl (new)

Lobstergirl Shannon wrote: "Jumping in a little late here but I have read several Nessers, one K. Ericksson and one Larsson. If anything I find them very dark and their characters a bit depressing (or maybe just too realisti..."

I enjoyed the second Larsson more than the first. It was more suspenseful, I thought. There are still things about Salander that bug me, but I definitely wanted her to defeat her enemies...


message 11: by Yassemin (last edited Apr 04, 2010 03:53AM) (new)

Yassemin (yas666) I loves Larssons books and I have to say I fail to understand why people didn't like Lisbeth. I mean she was exploited by the system, treated pretty badly by her father and therefore is it any wonder she was the way she was. I think mental issues of some kind in her persona would be understandable. I loved Lisbeth, I thought she was fascinating.

I can see the politics in Larsonns books. Very subtle but there nonetheless. He has been portrayed [in the media:] as a anti establishment kind of person but this wouldnt put me off reading his books. Shame he won't be writing any more!


message 12: by James (new)

James Thane (jameslthane) | 123 comments Admittedly, Lisbeth is not the stereotypical character that you generally encounter in crime fiction, but I think that's what makes her so interesting.

Thus far I've read only the first of the three books, but I think that Larsson created a unique and interesting universe and then set a very diverse and well-drawn cast of characters into motion within it. I'm really anxious to read the next two books in this series.


message 13: by Hayes, Co-Moderator (last edited Apr 04, 2010 01:56PM) (new)

Hayes (hayes13) | 2060 comments Mod
I agree, James. She is different, and disturbing, and I think Larsson did a really good job of introducing just enough information aobut her to keep me interested, but not too much, so that I wasn't able to "pigeon hole" her, or write her off as "that kind of character". I was kept guessing... what's she gonna do next?

I too have only read the first one. Am really looking forward to #2.


message 14: by Lobstergirl (new)

Lobstergirl Yas wrote: "I loves Larssons books and I have to say I fail to understand why people didn't like Lisbeth. I mean she was exploited by the system, treated pretty badly by her father and therefore is it any wond..."

After the second book it is much easier to understand why Salander is the way she is. If one has only read the first book, one is less likely to be sympathetic to her. Still, I can't excuse her system of morality. It's not OK to steal billions of kroner from a billionaire just because he was a bad billionaire, and it's not okay to always be hacking into other people's email and bank accounts. I'm a stickler, I guess.


The Pfaeffle Journal (Diane) (the_pfaeffle_journal) I guess it was the Larsson books that got me interested. Have started reading Arnaldur Indridason they are about a detective in Iceland. There are about six in the series and I have only read the first two. I thought they pretty good.


message 16: by Andy (new)

Andy (amarinko) | 4 comments I read JAR CITY by Indridason and really liked it. I'll be reading more of that series for sure.


message 17: by Hayes, Co-Moderator (new)

Hayes (hayes13) | 2060 comments Mod
Diane wrote: "I guess it was the Larsson books that got me interested. Have started reading Arnaldur Indridason they are about a detective in Iceland. There are about six in the series and I have..."

Don't know Indridason... thanks Diane and Andy!


The Pfaeffle Journal (Diane) (the_pfaeffle_journal) Lobstergirl wrote: "I've read 7 Mankell books; all of Arnaldur Indridason; 4 of Karin Fossum; and the first Stieg Larsson. Mankell is the most political, but his politics come out more in his non-Wallander books, som..."

Lisbeth is similar to Carol Oconnell Mallory series. A Robin Hood of the dysfunctional.
Can't speak to Indridason and Mankell's as I have yet to read any Mankell's books. Guess I need to start looking into that...


message 19: by [deleted user] (new)

I don't find the Scandinavian stuff that I've read any more or less political than books from other regions. James Lee Burke's The Tin Roof Blowdown: A Dave Robicheaux Novel was the most political (left wing at that) book I've read recently and he's as American as apple pie. I like most of the Scandinavian stuff because it tends to feel more realistic - ordinary people committing ordinary crimes - rather than the making-suits-from-human-skin serial killer books that the anglo world seems to be producing right now. Stieg Larsson is the big exception for me - his stuff is overtly political but for the most part it was incorporated well and I loved the books.


message 20: by [deleted user] (new)

For those who are interested a book blog called The Black Sheep Dances is hosting a Scandinavian Reading Challenge - read 6 Scandinavian books between now and the end of the year.
http://theblacksheepdances.blogspot.c...

full disclosure: It's not my blog but I am participating in the challenge - might be a good place to get more recommendations for those who like this kind of thing.


message 21: by Hayes, Co-Moderator (new)

Hayes (hayes13) | 2060 comments Mod
Bernadette wrote: "For those who are interested a book blog called The Black Sheep Dances is hosting a Scandinavian Reading Challenge - read 6 Scandinavian books between now and the end of the year.
http://theblacksh..."


Hi Bernadette, thanks for the info... could you post this in the Blog folder, please? so more people are likely to find it. Thank you!


message 22: by Maxine (new)

Maxine (maxineclarke) I read a lot of crime fiction, particuarly translated crime fiction, which includes Scandinavian, obviously. I,too, enjoy S Larsson, Henning Mankell, Hakan Nesser, Asa Larsson, Liza Marklund, Helene Tursten, Kjell Eriksson, Inger Frimansson, Ake Edwardson, Arnaldur Indridason, Yrsa Sigurdadottir, Jo Nesbo, Karin Fossum, Lief Davidsen, Mari Jungstedt, Karin Alvtegen (brilliant!), Anne Holt, etc. Sorry for the laundry list, but political? No more than any group of novels from a region would be. Some of these concern politics and I suppose most of the books in which the authors show some political leanings,it is of the liberal variety. But that's the case for most books, these days, isn't it? I read the novels for their sense of place, plots, characters and atmosphere.


message 23: by Maryann (new)

Maryann | 3 comments Charlotte said: "Many of them (e.g. MANKELL HENNING and Stieg Larsson) come from a very typical Scandinavian left wing tradition, which I find very noticeable in their writing. This is a world view which does not seem to be comparable to the Anglophone world view..."

That's one of the reasons I like Scandanavian fiction - I get to see a different world view! I think being able to glimpse a part of a different type of society is fascinating.


message 24: by Donna, Co-Moderator (new)

Donna | 2178 comments Mod
I haven't read any of the Martin Beck novels yet but a number of years ago the Swedish(?) television series of Martin Beck was shown on our PBS station. It was terrific and it was what got me reading Scandinavian fiction.


message 25: by Maxine (new)

Maxine (maxineclarke) I have almost finished the Martin Beck series - one more to go. It is very good, quite political but each one is an excellent crime story (usually a different aspect) in its own right. The Harper Perennial edition is really good because modern crime writers (eg Michael Connelly, Andrew Taylor) each write a preface as to how the books/authors influenced them. The backs of the books also recommend other authors, which is how I have discovered a few. Although most of these books were written in the 1970s, they have not dated in terms of crime plots and characterisation of the police team (though the politics seems naive these days of wide cynicism).


message 26: by Donna, Co-Moderator (new)

Donna | 2178 comments Mod
Hi Maxine, I'll have to look for the Harper editions. I would be interested to read what the modern writers think. Thanks for the tip.


message 27: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (cinnabarb) | 8053 comments Maxine wrote: "I have almost finished the Martin Beck series - one more to go. It is very good, quite political but each one is an excellent crime story (usually a different aspect) in its own right. The Harper P..."

I appreciate your comments Maxine. I've read a few of the Martin Beck books but hadn't thought of them in a long time. I've now added the series to my TBR list. Like many others here I enjoy many of the Scandinavian authors. Their politics generally don't bother me - probably because I mostly agree with them :) - and the settings are unique and evocative.


message 28: by Katie (new)

Katie Flora Wilkins (kflora) Although I don't find these books have a particular political slant, the trend doesn't put me off at all, as I consider myself left-wing (it does happen here in the US every once in awhile). It would be a dark mystery to me if everyone around me was touting Ann Coulter and Glenn Beck books.


message 29: by Lobstergirl (new)

Lobstergirl I read a Per Wahloo book last year (Murder on the Thirty-first Floor) and it was weird. It was about a police detective who was trying to figure out who had called in a bomb threat to an office building, but it had a kind of sci-fi, dystopian, 60s flavor. I pretty much hated it.


message 30: by Lobstergirl (new)

Lobstergirl Katie wrote: "Although I don't find these books have a particular political slant, the trend doesn't put me off at all, as I consider myself left-wing (it does happen here in the US every once in awhile). It would be a dark mystery to me if everyone around me was touting Ann Coulter and Glenn Beck books. ..."

Indeed. It would feel like a nightmare you were praying to wake up from.


message 31: by Donna, Co-Moderator (new)

Donna | 2178 comments Mod
Lobstergirl wrote: "I read a Per Wahloo book last year (Murder on the Thirty-first Floor) and it was weird. It was about a police detective who was trying to figure out who had called in a bomb threat t..."

I haven't read this one of Wahloo's books but I have enjoyed the Martin Beck series and the TV/film version of the Beck series.


message 32: by Donna, Co-Moderator (new)

Donna | 2178 comments Mod
Interesting article in the NY Times yesterday about the surge in interes in Scandinavian crime fiction.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/16/boo...


message 33: by Lobstergirl (new)

Lobstergirl Donna wrote: "Interesting article in the NY Times yesterday about the surge in interes in Scandinavian crime fiction.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/16/boo..."


Thanks! Funny:

At Powell’s in Portland, Mr. Larsson’s books are selling so quickly — at least 1,500 a week — that the store’s grateful employees have given them a nickname.

“We call them ‘The Girl Who’s Paying Our Salaries for the Next Few Months,’ ” said Gerry Donaghy, the new-book purchasing supervisor.



message 34: by Hillamonster (new)

Hillamonster | 21 comments I read all of the Stieg Larsson books and enjoyed them very much. I like mystery thrillers that keep up a good pace and have interesting characters.

I also read Mind's Eye by Hakan Nesser, and while I liked the plot, I only found it to be so-so. I think because it was in the middle of the series I felt out of the loop with the characters. At some point I am going to give another of his books a shot.

Listened to Faceless Killers on audiobook and found the narrator, Dick Hill, to be perfect for Wallander. If I ever read another of the books I will hear the voice in my head.

Listened to The Fire Engine That Disappeared on audiobook and really liked Sjowall/Wahloo's style. I'm not sure I quite understood what happened at the end however...but I may have been distracted.

I've started Smilla's Sense of Snow and I like it so far, but I'm not into it enough to have much of an opinion!

Love the posts so far. I am getting a bunch of recommendations!


message 35: by Hayes, Co-Moderator (new)

Hayes (hayes13) | 2060 comments Mod
Hi, Hillamonster. Thanks for joining us. I really liked Smilla, and the movie is good too. It's a little weird at the end, but a good weird.

Glad we are filling up your TBR too!


message 36: by [deleted user] (new)

Hi, how nice to find a Scandinavia topic!

I was surprised not to find anything on Camilla Läckberg here. After reading quite some Nordic Crime Novels, she is still my favorite. Lovely characters (Lady Writer and out-of-home-investigator Erica Falck and Policeman Patrik Hedström), nice setting in Sweden and an interesting story apart from the crime mistery. Very different from the 'old men's novels' by Mankel and Edwardson - no insult meant, read them and liked them too! Lackberg might be writing in some typical modern female style. You have any thoughts on that?

Anyone tried Unni Lindell? I'm curiuous to hear what you say on her books. I've enjoyed most of them, I found the story on the side intriguing. Curious about your findings!

To comment on earlier posts: I loved the Larsson Trilogy, the first en third best. They could have been a few pages shorter for me, but it didn't spoil the fun.

I will be trying some of your suggestions, always good to find new inspiration. Thanks!


message 37: by Hayes, Co-Moderator (new)

Hayes (hayes13) | 2060 comments Mod
Oh good. You found this thread! Thanks for your suggestions.


message 38: by Donna, Co-Moderator (new)

Donna | 2178 comments Mod
Hi Laura, It looks like maybe Camilla Lackberg's books have just recently been translated into English but I do have The Ice Princess and The Preacher on my TBR list. Good to know they come highly recommended.

I can't seem to find an English translation of Unni Lindell but I will keep an eye out for them.


message 39: by [deleted user] (new)

Donna wrote: "Hi Laura, It looks like maybe Camilla Lackberg's books have just recently been translated into English but I do have The Ice Princess and The Preacher on my TBR list. Good to know they come highly ..."

Hi Donna, I'm sorry - didn't think it possible to not have an English edition! Mostly we have to wait for the Dutch version much longer than the US/UK one.


message 40: by Donna, Co-Moderator (new)

Donna | 2178 comments Mod
Sometimes an English translation first appears in the UK then we have to wait even longer for a translation to show up in the US. One of my pet peeves is that many books have a second translation from British English to American English. Like the extra "u" in words is too hard for Americans to understand! Frustrating!


message 41: by Lobstergirl (new)

Lobstergirl I am addicted to Mankell too. I've reached the point where I'm rationing the remaining books because I don't want to be finished with Wallander. Reading Mankell made me turn to Fossum and Indridason, although I think their books and their detectives are weaker. There's just something about Wallander.


message 42: by Nancy, Co-Moderator (new)

Nancy Oakes (quinnsmom) | 8549 comments Mod
Hi. I'm new to this group, but not to goodreads or to Scandinavian crime fiction. No one's mentioned (or if they did, my apologies, I missed it) Johan Theorin's excellent novels.

Also, @#43 (Donna): You can buy the books from the Book Depository in the UK. They charge reasonable prices, mark the cost in US dollars, and the shipping is free.


message 43: by Donna, Co-Moderator (new)

Donna | 2178 comments Mod
Hi Nancy, Welcome to the group and thanks for the tip about the Book Depository and Johan Theorin.


message 44: by Vince (last edited Jul 18, 2010 04:38AM) (new)

Vince (vchile) | 163 comments Maybe you folks can help-I just saw a Danish film entitled "Terribly Happy", and I'm wondering if it's based on a novel. It's a pretty creepy small-town noir you Scandinavian buffs might enjoy. I might have to check out a few more of the books you've discussed once I get done with the Millennium trilogy.


message 45: by Vince (new)

Vince (vchile) | 163 comments Just answered my own question. The movie "Terribly Happy" is from a novel Frygtelig lykkelig by Jepsen, Erling. It was Denmark's bid for an Oscar this year.


message 46: by Donna, Co-Moderator (new)

Donna | 2178 comments Mod
Hi Vince, I did a little Googling and "Terribly Happy" is based on a novel by Erling Jepsen but it doesn't seem to be available in English.

The movies does sound interesting and here is a link to the NYT review of it.

http://movies.nytimes.com/2010/02/05/...

I'll have to see if Netflix has it.


message 47: by Donna, Co-Moderator (new)

Donna | 2178 comments Mod
Hi Vince, Looks like you and I were investigating Erling Jepsen at that same time!


message 48: by [deleted user] (new)

Hi Vince, was it any good? Oscar nominated I heard. Haven't seen it, been wanting to read the book. So yes, it is!, by Erling Jepsen and it has the same title as the film. Here on GR, they only have the original edition listed - Frygtelig lykkelig. Hope to get the chance to see the film soon.

Jepsen has written two more books that I know of. The Art Of Crying, that was made into a film too. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1087890/.
The other is kind of a sequel to this, called something like With Sincere Condolences.
Haven't seen or read these either so don't know really. I would guess a little less Thrillerish.

Hope you're enjoying the Trilogy, I did very much - 1st and 3rd were best I think, 2nd was a little passive.


message 49: by [deleted user] (new)

I did too - I see now. Well, at least we all know...


message 50: by Vince (last edited Jul 18, 2010 02:39PM) (new)

Vince (vchile) | 163 comments Sometimes I forget we can google everything. (When I was a boy, we didn't have all this fancy...) The movie is just now available on Netflix in US for rent or to stream instantly. And yes, it's quite good. (I'm loving"...Hornet's Nest")


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