Saturday, September 05, 2009

Win The Draining Lake by Arnaldur Indriðason

Nothing in the opening pages of Arnaldur Indriðason's Arctic Chill dissuades me from my opinion that Arnaldur is one of the world's best crime writers — a master at portraying setting and conveying emotion through spare, thematically powerful details.

Now, thanks to the good people at Picador Books, one fortunate reader can win another of Arnaldur's novels, The Draining Lake, the fourth Inspector Erlendur mystery.

The protagonist's name is also an Icelandic word. Tell me what that word means, be the first to send the correct answer ...

(Here's what I wrote last year about The Draining Lake.)


A reader from the great state of Texas knew that Erlendur, the name of Arnaldur Indriðason's protagonist, is also an Icelandic word for foreign. A copy of The Draining Lake will be in the mail next week. Congratulations.

© Peter Rozovsky 2009

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Blogger Dorte H said...

Congratulations to the winner!

I read this novel shortly before I started my blog in January, and enjoyed it very much. I agree that Indridason is a great writer.

September 06, 2009  
Blogger Kate S. said...

I didn't know that Erlendur is an Icelandic word for foreign. That's quite revealing of his character. Very interesting! I was disappointed by Arctic Chill, but based on the novels that preceded it, the series retains its exalted place among my all time favourites.

September 06, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Dorte, he also appears to have had a sensitive translator in the late Bernard Scudder. It will be interesting to see how his post-Scudder work holds up. Arctic Chill has another translator's name on it in addition to Scudder's. Perhaps Scudder died while working on this book.

September 06, 2009  
Blogger seana said...

I have access to the book and have to read a couple more preceding ones anyway, but I did want to check in and discover the meaning of Erlunder's name. Has Kate got it, then? And if so, yes, that is very interesting.

September 06, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Kate, Erlendur is apparently a name at least moderately common in Iceland and the Faroe Islands. It would be interesting to learn how such a word came to be adopted as a name. Perhaps it's significant that both Iceland and the Faroes are islands and that outsiders might thus be especially unexpected and noticeable. Also, erlendur is just one Icelandic word for foreign. Another is útlendur. Whether one or the other refers especially to persons from a country other than one's own, I don't know.

Whatever the derivation of the name, it certainly has thematic resonance considering Arnaldur's subject matter. It's too early for me to tell where Arctic Chill stacks up against the earlier books in the series, but the prose style is just as succinct and telling. I'd say that the team of Arnaldur and Scudder is right up there with anyone else in crime fiction.

September 06, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Seana, Kate did get it, though someone else had already won the book. It is interesting, all right, and has special resonance for Arnaldur, whose books are as rooted in their setting as any in crime fiction.

September 06, 2009  

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