Sunday, April 29, 2007

An evening with Inger Frimansson, Kjell Eriksson, Håkan Nesser and Helene Tursten, Part III (The funny part)

Is there such thing as a New Wave in Swedish crime fiction? "All of us are so different," Håkan Nesser says.

In one respect, at least, Nesser's work is different from what I'd known of Swedish crime writing previously, which is to say Henning Mankell, Helene Tursten, and a bit of Liza Marklund: It's shot through with playfulness that can break into raucous, slapstick humor. Chapter II of The Return, for example, is a droll account of a chaotic school outing that would have been hell for its leader but is fun to read about.

Borkmann's Point has an amusing solution to a married couple's difficulties at achieving intimacy in crowded quarters, and I discuss the novel's brevity and wit here. Clive James complains in a recent New Yorker article about the indeterminacy of Nesser's settings. To me, some of the ways Nesser achieves that indeterminacy (names that are not quite Swedish, not quite Dutch, for example) add to the novels' fun.

© Peter Rozovsky 2007

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4 Comments:

Anonymous Maxine said...

But Peter, you've read Liza Marklund.
I've just finished Sun Storm by Asa Larsson which I can highly recommend - based on what I've learned so far of your reading tastes, I think you'll like it.

April 30, 2007  
Blogger Peter said...

I shall amend my post to reflect that. I started Paradise but have not finished it, which is why I hesitated to mention Marklund. She's not afraid to have Annika think harsh and accurate thoughts about her newspaper, which I find attractive, but I haven't read enough to know where she sits on the bleakness/humor scale.

I have been reading your comments on Sun Storm, and they have piqued my interest. The book is on my list. From the same part of the world, have you read Gunnar Staalesen?

April 30, 2007  
Anonymous LauraRoot said...

Maxine - Sun Storm is the same book as Savage Altar (but Sun storm has been out longer in the US, so is cheaper on Amazon :)). I agree with Maxine, very good book. Nicely depicts the at times poisonous office politics of the professional world.

May 01, 2007  
Blogger Peter said...

I like the title Sun Storm better! I've always enjoyed the clownish periphery of office politics. Perhaps a trip a little closer to its dark heart might be worth reading.

May 01, 2007  

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