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Maj Sjöwall
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Group read-alongs > Martin Beck Series October 2012

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message 1: by Ken, Moderator (U.S.A.) (last edited Oct 03, 2012 06:30PM) (new)

Ken Fredette (klfredette) | 4751 comments Mod
Let's go back to the start of the Scandinavian cop novel as it was originally put together! We've already read a few novels by Maj Sjöwall but there are 10 books to chose from.
They are: (not in order written)
The Locked Room: Martin Beck Series*
Roseanna
*
The Man Who Went Up In Smoke*
The Laughing Policeman*
The Abominable Man
The Terrorists
The Man on the Balcony
The Fire Engine That Disappeared
Murder at the Savoy
Cop Killer
*already read by Scandinavian & Nordic Crime Fiction
You choose the book to read for yourself.


message 2: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie (tomegnome) | 32 comments Would you recommend reading these in order?


message 3: by Ken, Moderator (U.S.A.) (new)

Ken Fredette (klfredette) | 4751 comments Mod
I think most of them are like stand alones other than they have Martin Beck in them. I am not reading them in order.


message 4: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie (tomegnome) | 32 comments Nice! Thanks!


message 5: by Florence (new)

Florence Wetzel (florencewetzel) | 111 comments This is a great choice! Almost every interview I read with Swedish writers cites these authors as the beginning of the modern Scandinavian crime novel. And yet the books don't feel dated, and the writing is superb.


message 6: by Ken, Moderator (U.S.A.) (new)

Ken Fredette (klfredette) | 4751 comments Mod
I'm starting with The Abominable Man and then to Cop Killer.


message 7: by Susan (new)

Susan (susanthomas) Much to my dismay, I'm skipping out on this month b/c of work and other obligations. Hope to catch up with the group again in November (fingers crossed)!


message 8: by Amy (new)

Amy | 3 comments I think reading them in order is good to do. They sometimes reference things that happened in earlier books.


message 9: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie (tomegnome) | 32 comments Well, I might as well start with Roseanne. My library has plenty of copies, so why not? I have to finish Far North first, which, by the way, is so good!


message 10: by Anna (last edited Oct 04, 2012 11:36AM) (new)

Anna (aetm) | 228 comments I haven't read them in order,but I recommend starting with Roseanna.
Bear in mind it was published in 1962 1965! Easy to see after reading it how much it has influenced the Scandinavian crime writing since.


message 11: by Amy (new)

Amy | 3 comments Is there any ore Martin Beck that has beentranslated? Just wondering what Nordic crime fiction was origionaly liken


message 12: by Linda (new)

Linda | 3 comments I have 3 of these in my personal collection: The Man on the balcony, the abominal man, and Roseanna. Read them 10 years ago. Might be worth another reading. Roseanna (1965) seems to be the first.


message 13: by Anna (last edited Oct 04, 2012 11:36AM) (new)

Anna (aetm) | 228 comments All of their books seem to be translated in English.

Novels - with publishing year and title
1965 – Roseanna (Roseanna)
1966 – Mannen som gick upp i rök (The Man who Went Up in Smoke)
1967 – Mannen på balkongen (The Man on the Balcony)
1968 – Den skrattande polisen (The Laughing Policeman)
1969 – Brandbilen som försvann (The Fire Engine That Disappeared)
1970 – Polis, polis, potatismos! (Murder at the Savoy)
1971 – Den vedervärdige mannen från Säffle (The Abominable Man)
1972 – Det slutna rummet (The Locked Room)
1974 – Polismördaren (Cop Killer)
1975 – Terroristerna (The Terrorists)

http://www.scandinaviancrimefiction.c...


message 14: by Pat (new)

Pat (infosleuth) | 75 comments This recent article gives some useful background to the Martin Beck series: http://inside.org.au/scandinavian-noir/


message 15: by Florence (new)

Florence Wetzel (florencewetzel) | 111 comments Pat wrote: "This recent article gives some useful background to the Martin Beck series: http://inside.org.au/scandinavian-noir/"

Great article! Thx for posting.


message 16: by Ken, Moderator (U.S.A.) (new)

Ken Fredette (klfredette) | 4751 comments Mod
Maj Sjöwall was beautiful then, she has the same features with white hair now.


message 17: by Michael (new)

Michael Ridpath I shared a panel with Maj Sjowal in 2001 in Frankfurt with 200 Germans in the audience. She was a little old lady reading in German. My German is not very good, but it was something about some policeman going to someone's apartment and a dog attacjing him. Or something. Anyway, the Germans laughed and laughed, all 200 of them. So whoever said that either a) the Swedes have no sense of humour or b) The Germans have no sense of humour, got it very wrong.

I have just read the Laughing Policeman, and I love her/their humour!


message 18: by Lili (new)

Lili | 64 comments I've only managed to read Roseanna so far but it was a fascinating book and discounting the lack of technology, it could have been written yesterday.


message 19: by Ken, Moderator (U.S.A.) (new)

Ken Fredette (klfredette) | 4751 comments Mod
Got two The Abominable Man and Cop Killer will get to them now that I finished with Kurt Wallander The Troubled Man. Wonder if they're the same kind of cop. The Abominable Man is a bad cop wonder if the Cop Killer is also.


message 20: by Michael (new)

Michael Ridpath In the bath this morning I heard on the radio that the Martin Beck series is being dramatized on the BBC's Radio 4 on Saturdays at 2.30pm. It should be possible to listen to this on the web in the United States. See
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01mnxnc


message 21: by Ken, Moderator (U.S.A.) (last edited Oct 23, 2012 06:30AM) (new)

Ken Fredette (klfredette) | 4751 comments Mod
Man, the BBC is ahead of the US in crime!


message 22: by Quentin (new)

Quentin (graskeggur) | 35 comments There's also a series of 15 short programmes on BBC Radio 4 about European crime fiction. The first two of these, on Poirot & Maigret, and Dürrenmatt, have been very good.
It's Josef Skvorecky's excellent Lieutentant Boruvka tomorrow, and then Sjöwall & Wahlöo later in the series.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01nq6s8


message 23: by Sue (new)

Sue | 81 comments Roseanna has just arrived in the library - better read fast before Sat!!!


message 24: by Ken, Moderator (U.S.A.) (new)

Ken Fredette (klfredette) | 4751 comments Mod
Michael wrote: "In the bath this morning I heard on the radio that the Martin Beck series is being dramatized on the BBC's Radio 4 on Saturdays at 2.30pm. It should be possible to listen to this on the web in the..."

We might get them in two years or so.


message 25: by Ken, Moderator (U.S.A.) (last edited Oct 24, 2012 11:55AM) (new)

Ken Fredette (klfredette) | 4751 comments Mod
I finished The Abominable Man it was realistic and I could see all the people in the end. I really liked this story and would recommend it to everybody. A lot of blood. Now to Cop Killer.


message 26: by Sue (new)

Sue | 81 comments 60 pages in I realised that I had already read Roseanna. Can't remember much so am going to finish - enjoying it anyway. Feel a bit stupid really!lol


message 27: by Pat (last edited Oct 25, 2012 12:52AM) (new)

Pat (infosleuth) | 75 comments I often find that the plot is way down on the list of attractions for many of the books I read. So if I find I'm reading something I read years ago, I usually enjoy it even more the second time around. There's nothing stupid in that. It's just one of the many phenomena that makes reading such a satisfying activity. That's why I have all 10 books of the Martin Beck series in my library. They are so re-readable!


message 28: by Sue (new)

Sue | 81 comments Finished Roseanna. Really enjoyed it. Atmosphere and the 'of its time' feeling. The way the police were made human - without going over the top. Although there was a lot of detail, the investigation was always at the centre of the story. Am going to try and pick up no 2 this afternoon!! Looking forward to the radio version on Saturday on BBC Radio 4 at 2.30. Don't think I'll be able to read all 10 though - may just have to listen.


message 29: by Sue (new)

Sue | 81 comments Read The Man Who Went up in Smoke. Didn't enjoy it as much as Roseanna but there were excellent descriptions. Love the way the tension is built up. Didn't realise what was happening until well into it. BTW liked the way Roseanna was done on the radio.


message 30: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie (tomegnome) | 32 comments I just finished Roseanna and can't believe it has taken me this long to get around to starting this series (I love this book group for the very reason that it inspires me to read all this great stuff that I would otherwise keep putting off). The book was written in a very efficient and concise manner, so I didn't feel that I was slogging through something that was overly wordy and strays from the plot. As mentioned by other members before, I never felt that Roseanna was at all dated, but found that the way things were done at the time to be extremely interesting and informative. I'm so eager to read more.


message 31: by Ancestral (new)

Ancestral Gaidheal (gaidheal) Michael wrote: "In the bath this morning I heard on the radio that the Martin Beck series is being dramatized on the BBC's Radio 4 on Saturdays at 2.30pm. It should be possible to listen to this on the web in the..."

This dramatisation is now available at Audible UK for download, too.


message 32: by Keith (new)

Keith | 41 comments The first five of the series were broadcast here in late October / November 2012.

They were:
Roseanna 27-10-12
The Man Who Went Up in Smoke 03-11-12
The Man on the Balcony 10-11-12
The Laughing Policeman 17-11-12
The Fire Engine That Disappeared 24-11-12

The BBC site states "The first five of the Beck stories will be broadcast in Autumn 2012, and the next five in the Spring of 2013. The Directors are Mary Peate and Sara Davies, and the writers are Katie Hims and Jennifer Howarth."

Unfortunately none of the previous broadcasts are currently available as repeats on the BBC iPlayer. However I believe they may be available as downloads from a commercial sites 'Audible.co.uk, AudioGO'


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