Nordic Noir discussion

Jar City (Inspector Erlendur, #3)
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Book of the Month > Jar City - SPOILERS

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message 1: by Dee, the Insanity Check (new)

Dee (austhokie) | 652 comments let's get down and dirty


message 2: by Naomi, the Sanity Check (new) - rated it 4 stars

Naomi (nblackburn) | 932 comments Good book!


Lucie Šturcová (asenath) I can´t help it, but it wasn´t great at all, what´s the fuss about? Impressive atmosphere of Icelandic rainy autumn, but that´s about it.


Martha (marthas48) I'll be starting it tomorrow. Hoping to make significant progress in a couple of others that I'm reading.


message 5: by Tom (last edited Nov 10, 2011 04:56PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Tom Torkelson I rated it 3 stars, but had to think about it.
The character of Erlendur wasn't anyone who really held my attention (like Harry Hole or Kurt Wallander have).
I never really caught what the runaway bride story-line had to do with anything else in the plot. I was waiting for her to get tied into the Holberg murder somehow.
And to put it mildly, a really klunky ending. Or at least I've never liked books that end with a suicide. In literature, as in life, a symbolically weak method.
Or at the very least, we could have Einar do himself in a bit more theatrically...

(RE-WRITE) Einar shivered, naked in the cold warehouse room, took one last breath of worldly air, plunged himself into the glass drum of formalin, and pulled the lid down above him. The split second of panic was all it took to inhale a few spoons-full of the vile fluid into his throat and lungs, sending his body into a toxic shock paralysis that was closely followed by heart failure and a couple minutes later a complete lack of brain activity. This would be remembered as the most gruesome, albeit highly creative, suicide that Iceland had ever seen, and Einar would become the most complete "tissue sample" in all of Jar City.


Annie (atchanks) I really enjoyed this book -- liked the dynamic of Erlendur and his team.


Martha (marthas48) I did, too, Annie. A solid 3.5 stars for me.


message 8: by Susan (last edited Dec 01, 2011 06:14PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Susan (susanthomas) I gave it four stars but could have done 3.5 except for others' high esteem for this writer. My main hang up was the relative tedium of the many interrogations. But I liked Erlunder well enough. Wish Icelandic names were easier to grasp!


Old Crow | 8 comments It wasn't very exciting or suspenseful but it grew on me. I liked it. Did not love it. 3.5 is about right. The scene in the prison made me sit up for a moment. I wondered where he might be going. I will read more of this series when I get a chance.


Kailey (lukutuokka) | 16 comments This is the book that made me love Erlendur as a detective. I love his gloomy but methodical approach to his work, and I love how dysfunctional his personal life is. I have spent a lot of time in my classes reading the Icelandic eddas and sagas, and this work was a really nice dose of modern Icelandic culture.


Jenny (jennyil) | 20 comments I finished Jar City today and I rather liked it. I liked the contrast between the methods and education of the young members of the force, the old retired detectives and Erlendur who fits somewhere in the middle. I liked the details about food and how people lived. I was surprised that the translation was not into American English.


message 12: by Ed (new) - rated it 1 star

Ed (oct1647) | 8 comments Just finished Jar City. I found it plodding and dull. Totally unremarkable.


Jenny (jennyil) | 20 comments I have kept reading Arnaldur Inridason's books and just finished Voices. It is a steady series -- not exciting, not a lot of drama -- but I think I like it because it is so full of the details about how ordinary people live in Iceland. There are a lot of details about food, the type of food served in an expensive restaurant, the type of food in an ordinary take away restaurant, and the type of food that ordinary people serve for Christmas and other holidays.

The detectives are sometimes wrong, the people involved in the crimes have complicated back stories, and the personal lives of the detectives are gradually revealed over time.


Richard | 39 comments I recently finished Jar City after seeing it recommended as similar to Nesbo and Larsson. I liked the plot device of the genetic disease, but there was no tension to the story as no one seemed in any danger for more than a page or two at a time. The coyness about the Marion Briem (sp?) character also irked me as unnecessary and a distraction. That plus the run-away bride thread gave more than a hint of a "shaggy dog" story feel to the novel as a whole.

I'll probably try another Indriðason, but no rush to do so.


message 15: by Anna, the Enabler (new) - rated it 4 stars

Anna (aetm) | 192 comments Richard, I think the two books after are much better. Silence of the Grave, and Voices. Or even Draining Lake.
But even with those... most crime and thrill happened a long time ago in the past, and Erlendur or his minions are never in any danger. Except when they go to do some investigations at old prople's homes (those who did something bad decades ago). Erlendur's daughter Eva Lind gets more and more annoying (to the point you'd expect her to be the next murder victim in one of the future books), and Erlendur is just always the apathetic loner detective stereotype (with less self-destructive tendencies than Harry Hole).


Richard | 39 comments Thanks for the tip. I'll add the next one to my Fall reading list. summer is already filled up!


Martha (marthas48) I have the next 4 books of this series (got them from PBS), but others keep jumping in front of them. Hope to read Silence of the Grave in the next month or two.


message 18: by Grant (new)

Grant (grantsommerfeld) Arnaldur Indriason is one of my favourite authors and this was a good book. The entire series is good.

Jar City was turned into a movie and a good one at that. It really brought the atmosphere and the geography of Iceland to life. It is available on Netflix.

I'd recommend it to anyone who is enjoying this series.


Martha (marthas48) Thanks, Grant. I forgot that it had been made into a movie.


Jenny (jennyil) | 20 comments I thought the movie was very good. It captured the landscape and bleak outlook of the book very well.


Dennis Schindler | 3 comments I enjoyed all the authors to date. I do not compare but use the settings to understand the country's somewhat better.


Dennis Schindler | 3 comments Then again I am partial to Indridason (my Icelandic heritage)


message 23: by Sharon (new) - added it

Sharon The film was really intense.....very! Amazing story.


Martha (marthas48) I'd like to see it. I think I tried once before and couldn't get it. I'll check again.


Dennis Schindler | 3 comments The availability of Jar City on Netflix depends on which country you are in I have heard. I cannot remember off hand where it is available, not in Canada but possibly it was available in England.


Fiona (neferankh) | 4 comments Liked the film. Got my partner to watch it and he is now happy to read some Nordic authors as well as watch Wallander, The Killing, The Bridge and Borgen with me.


Martha (marthas48) I haven't seen the film yet. Will try to get it soon.


message 28: by Samantha (new) - added it

Samantha (foxilocks) | 9 comments I really enjoyed this book! To start with I found his writing style quite simplistic and didnt think I would enjoy it, but within the first 2 chapters I was hooked!!! I have finished Silence of the Grave which I thought was brilliant too. Cant wait to read the rest.... :)


message 29: by Grant (new)

Grant (grantsommerfeld) If you haven't seen it, the Icelandic movie version, Jar City, is really worth watching. It is on Netflix. It really provides a sense of 'place' regarding Iceland.


message 30: by Helen (new) - added it

Helen | 55 comments I liked Jar City. It was the first of Indridason's thatJar City I read. However, I much preferred Silence of the Grave and Voices Erlendur is one of my favourite Scandi characters. I hope that I can read more about him.


message 31: by Samantha (new) - added it

Samantha (foxilocks) | 9 comments What is Netflix Grant? I'd love to watch the movie!! I agree Helen Silence of the Grave was brilliant, a little disturbing but brilliant!


message 32: by Grant (new)

Grant (grantsommerfeld) Netflix is a subscription service that costs $8 a month and lets you watch an unlimited number of movies and TV shows. If you Google it you'll find their webpage!! :-)


message 33: by Samantha (new) - added it

Samantha (foxilocks) | 9 comments Ahh ok, I googled it, its not available in Australia, dang it! :( Thanks anyway Grant, I might just get searching to see if i can find it elsewhere! Enjoy your Monday! :)


message 34: by Grant (new)

Grant (grantsommerfeld) Hi!!

You know, you may be able to watch it on the Internet. It's worth looking for. It puts all of those great Icelandic novels into contact. Arnaldur Indriason and Yrsa Siggurdsdottir are two of my favourite authors.

They've made we want to go to Iceland on vacation!!! :-)


message 35: by Samantha (new) - added it

Samantha (foxilocks) | 9 comments Ohhh I dont know of Yrsa Siggurdsdottir, i will look her up! I really want to go to Iceland, I am off to The Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Estonia and Poland later this year (staying in an igloo up in Lapland), will be in Rovaneimi at Christmas, SO excited! Being from Australia, I have never seen snow let alone been in snow, so my excitement levels are quite high! If there is enough money, I want to try and fit in Iceland or the Faroe Islands too :)


message 36: by Grant (new)

Grant (grantsommerfeld) You've never seen snow!!!!!!!!! :-) I'm Canadian and I know snow and cold. In Calgary we have seen temperatures of -29 this winter. Two years ago I lived in the City of Saskatoon. For three days, including wind chill, it was around -52.

Yrsa's books need to be read in order. She is every bit as good as Arnaldur Indriason! Since discovering Scandinavian police procedurals I've read nothing else. Right now I'm on book 2 of a 10 book series by Karin Fossum.


message 37: by Samantha (new) - added it

Samantha (foxilocks) | 9 comments I have never seen snow :)-29 is incomprehensible to me! -52 even more so!! we have the opposite, this summer we reached 46 degrees, its hot, hot, hot.

Oh i will have to read hers, do you follow a detective within the series? Yeh i got quite sick a couple of years ago, a massive blood clot in the lung which cut of blood supply to my heart and had a cardiac arrest. I have always loved reading but since then i tried so many books but i couldnt focus or concentrate - until i discovered Scandinavian crime - for some reason, i focus and i love it! Im thinking about doing a tour in Sweden called 'Wallander's Sweden' fingers crossed!


message 38: by Grant (new)

Grant (grantsommerfeld) I have a friend in Saskatoon with a blood clot in her leg. Not as serious as yours but I've seen the toll it takes.

Yrsa's books follow a divorced lawyer as the hero except her last book which was a ghost story. Nesbo follows a policeman with a drinking problem. Theorin's hero is a sharp old man in a nursing home with severe arthritis. Adler-Olson is a grumpy inspector. And the list goes on!


There is no end to fantastic Scandinavian authors. A tour of Sweden would be VERY interesting!!!


message 39: by Florence (new)

Florence Wetzel (florencewetzel) Samantha wrote: "I have never seen snow :)-29 is incomprehensible to me! -52 even more so!! we have the opposite, this summer we reached 46 degrees, its hot, hot, hot.

Oh i will have to read hers, do you follow a..."


And if you are in Stockholm, be sure to take the Stieg Larsson Millenium tour, which is sponsored by the city museum. You get to see some of the main places in the trilogy, including the 7-11 where Lisbeth Salander goes shopping! You can also buy a map and do it on your own steam.


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