Posts Tagged ‘Stockholm’

Scandinavian fiction

April 11, 2012

I read the Millennium trilogy a year or so ago, mainly following a recommendation from Paulo Coelho, as it was a series, a writer, I had not heard of.

I thoroughly enjoyed. I read one after the other. Having been in Sweden, knowing some of the places made it all very real. I felt Steig Larssen was writing about real issues, maybe he was.

What Stieg Larsson showed was that writing a thriller, does not have to be bad writing.

Once you have read the Millennium trilogy, it is difficult to read any other crime or political thriller.

Jo Nesbo was compared on book covers as ‘the next Stieg Larsson’. What a load of bollocks, but to be fair to Jo Nesbo, that was the cretinous publisher, not he.

No, Jo Nesbo is not the next Stieg Larsson, and if you read with that as the expectation, then you are in a for a grave disappointment.

That is not to say Jo Nesbo is not good, he is, but he is not Stieg Larsson.

The problem is the publishing industry, or at least that which can be termed fast publishing, always on the look out for the next blockbuster, the next best-seller, the next me-too copy cat of whatever was he last blockbuster best-seller.

With the success of The Da Vinci Code, the market, and that sadly is what it has become, a market with books reduced to a commodity, the market was flooded with me too Da Vinci Code books.

The same has happened with the success of Stieg Larsson, every Scandinavia writer has been promoted as the next Stieg Larsson.

Both Stieg Larsson and Jo Nesbo expose the dark undercurrents of Scandinavian society. Both have extreme violence, sexual depravity, but it is not a glorification of, not gratuitous violence, it is to shock.

I remember when Olof Palme was shot on the streets, the sense of shock. A killing that has never been solved.

There is a sense of darkness.

Last year we saw the massacre of young people at an island lake in Norway by a crazed gunman.

I was in Stockholm in the summer, before the country was mired and bogged down with the problems caused by mass immigration. It was warm, it was light, people were out on the streets.

I do not think I would do well in the cold, long, dark winters.