Tag Archives: James Thompson

reviews, recipes, and tours

After being too busy at work to post, I have lots of links backed up to share …

Barry Forshaw reviews Jo Nesbo’s The Snowman for The Independent and calls it his most ambitious book.

What sort of issues do you expect your crime fiction to cover? If you feel that personal responsibility, cracks in the welfare state and the problems of parenthood are fair game for the crime novel, then Jo Nesbø is your man. All of these (and many more) are crammed into his weighty latest book, The Snowman.

If, however, your taste is for tough and gritty narratives with a relentlessly page-turning quality, well… Jo Nesbø is still your man. That he is able to combine the urgency of the best storytellers with a keen and intelligent engagement with social issues may well be the reason why Nesbø is shaping up to be the next big name in Scandinavian crime fiction, now that Mankell is on the point of retiring Kurt Wallander and Stieg Larsson is hors de combat.

NancyO, who blogs at The Year in Books, Reviews Box 21 and finds it a great read, but nothing like Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy (as it is being marketed in the US) – rather it’s “a dark book all the way through to the last page, which actually made my blood run cold. There are no feel-good or warm fuzzy moments here, no happy endings, and you will definitely have food for thought after you’ve finished.”

The Globe and Mail has a review of Henning Mankell’s Man from Beijing. The crimes that open the book turn out to be less important to the story than “the history of Chinese enslavement in America, the course of communism in China and, in the grand scheme of things, the relationship between East and West. And in those terms, it’s a great read.”

Mack captures Camilla Lackberg’s Ice Princess and pronounces it gripping and written in a style that he enjoys.

Peter reviews Liza Marklund’s Paradise and recommends it highly. He also finds The Stonecutter by Camilla Lackberg very entertaining. And at another blog (Peter gets around) he also has some words of praise for Kirsten Ekman’s Blackwater.

Camilla Lackberg names her five favorite mysteries by Scandinavian writers.

Norman (aka Uriah) is intrigued by the regional accents that define differences in Scandinavian mysteries. He also has a handy list of Harry Hole videos.  And announces an award for The Leopard which, one hopes, will be translated into English eventually.

Cathy of Kittling Books is underwhelmed by Yrsa Sigurdardottir’s Last Rituals but likes the lead character.

Skye isn’t reading much lately, but she enjoyed the Branagh version of Wallander is looking forward (a bit nervously) to the film version of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. She writes of the BBC series

…the three mysteries that make up the mini-series all take place around midsummer, so instead of suffering from a lack of light like so much Swedish crime fiction, they suffer from an, assumedly, intentional overabundance. The films seems hyper-saturated with light, and the irony, that even at the height of midsummer with light radiating from every crack, crime still abounds, is not lost.

Nicholas Wroe profiles Henning Mankell in The Guardian.

WETA has an interview with him.

J. Sydney Jones interviews Norwegian author K. O. Dahl at the “Scene of the Crime.”

At Euro Crime, Maxine reviews Lackberg’s The Stonecutter;  she also reviews Sjowall and Wahloo’s The Locked Room, and Michelle Peckham reviews Mankell’s The Man Who Smiled.

As she nears the end of the “alphabet of crime fiction,” Maxine discusses James Thompson’s Snow Angels finding things to like, but a denouement that didn’t hold up.

The Hypercrime blog rounds up several stories about Scandinavian crime fiction.

Ian MacDougal writes a lengthy review and analysis of the Millennium Trilogy for n+1, “The Man Who Blew Up the Welfare State,” (prompting the FriendFeed room to wonder when the fascination with Larsson will blow over). He writes that the trilogy has two themes: “the failure of the welfare state to do right by its people and the failure of men to do right by women.” And he tackles them with a kind of optimistic idealism.

The typical Swedish detective solves the crime but leaves intact what facilitates it—the broken institutions of the welfare state. The castle in the air, the delusion of a perfect progressive utopia, persists after the case is closed. For Larsson the story’s not over until the state’s blown up, if only in the reader’s mind.

Although there is an obvious analogy to recent American forays into the crime genre, like the HBO series The Wire, this only points to what sets Larsson apart—a particularly Scandinavian optimism that insists it’s never too late to effect real change. Larsson, unlike David Simon, doesn’t see institutional dysfunction as a tragic wheel driven around by some essential human flaw. Larsson the idealist believes that an opposing force, if applied strongly enough, can slow that wheel, if not bring it to a grinding halt.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel suggests some enticing recipes to go with Scandinavian crime fiction, in which too many of its heroes live on a diet of pizza.

The Times takes a Larssonized view of Stockholm. A Swedish website offers a crime-flavored tour of Sweden. And this link dates back to the blizzards that have long since melted away. A writer for the Washington Post took the Millennium Trilogy tour of Stockholm, had to buy boots for a bit of snow. Then returned home to a blizzard.

polar reversals

Sarah Weinman rounds out her preview of promising debuts for 2010 with James Thompson’s Snow Angels:

Like other examples of the Scandinavian crime invasion, there’s a tortured cop (Inspector Vaara), a gruesome murder of a Somali immigrant acting as blunt metaphor for the erosion of society, and humdingers of plot twists that, in hindsight, play as they should.

But “Snow Angels” is memorable as much for the reverse expatriate subplot — Vaara’s pregnant American wife, Kate, is the outsider barely managing with the country’s never-ending darkness around Christmastime — as it is for the wonderfully lurid quality of both the prose and revelations behind the initial and later murders. Vaara cautions his wife that “what you perceive as silence, we perceive as solitude,” but it’s the mix of both that provides the necessary ingredients for this stark page-turner.

Kirsten Tranter of The Monthly, an Australian magazine, writes about “Stockholm Syndrome” – profiling the character of Lisbeth Salander in Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy and making an interesting comparison to Eli, the adolescent girl vampire in Let the Right One In. It’s quite a thoughtful analysis that raises some interesting issues.

Uncompromising, unsmiling, with the body of a teenage boy and the brain of a computer genius, Salander is the antithesis of every Swedish middle-class stereotype. The three books are peppered with references to her likeness to Pippi Longstocking: her superhuman strength, resourcefulness and cavalier attitude to social rules. It is always a sobering comparison, however, for Salander has little of Pippi’s joyful, playful spirit. . . .

Salander forcefully embodies the limitations of the benevolent Swedish state when it comes to taking care of its most vulnerable citizens, and it is through her that Larsson imagines the most appalling abuses of power by those in authority. It is somehow both pleasing and bracing to be reminded that while Sweden (the land of cheerful, sensible Ikea) is a world leader in gender equality, it has a much darker side: a history of Nazi sympathy and persistent far-right activism, political assassinations, violence against women (statistically higher in Sweden than in its Scandinavian neighbours) and sex trafficking.

Through Salander, Larsson channels his most cherished theme – misogyny – and offers us its avenging angel. . . . Swedish crime fiction is known chiefly for depressive male investigators such as Henning Mankell’s Inspector Wallander, but feral Swedish girls are definitely hot right now. Eli, the vampire at the centre of John Ajvide Lindqvist’s novel Let the Right One In (2004; better known here in its unsettling, beguilingly beautiful movie version) is another Salander-like figure. Socially alienated and ultraviolent when necessary, Eli and Salander – childlike, unemotional, taciturn – are seductive in entirely unconventional ways. . . .

The sexual politics of Larsson’s stories are complicated by the fact that Salander’s admirable strength as an avenger is predicated on her own horrific victimisation; she has to be raped and abused before the story of her revenge can be set in motion. This is the conundrum Larsson has confronted: how might it be possible to condemn men’s hatred of women without telling stories that illustrate it? And how might different kinds of writing – journalism, history, fiction – answer that question? His hero is a journalist, but the success of Larsson’s novels proves the role that imaginative literature – even in the little-esteemed genre of crime fiction – has to play in generating critical debate about the most serious social and political issues.

making distinctions about distinctiveness

You absolutely must read a post by Norm (aka Uriah) on the problems with the Unified Field Theory of Scandinavian Crime Fiction: It’s all dark. The detectives are  gloomy. Crime is extra shocking because Swedes are all blond and never would  hurt each other, ever. British crime fiction is summed up by listing  a few writers including a newcomer, Ruth Rendell. (New?!?) He adds a great anecdote about an exam question and delivers a fine moral to the story. (He also says nice things about this blog. Color me blushing.)

Publisher’s Weekly interviews Jo Nesbo just as the US finally gets caught up with The Devil’s Star.

Bookmooch now speaks Swedish. If it learns Norwegian will it speak Bokmål or Nynorsk?

Glenn reviews another Wallander episode, The Joker and recommends it highly.

I review James Thompson’s Snow Angels at Reviewing the Evidence. Loved the setting, didn’t think the race angle was handled as well as it might have been, but a promising first in series.

The BBC magazine has another article on Steig Larsson, the messy state of his estate, and the possible contributions his partner made to his stories and a great finish provided by his English translator, Reg aka Steve. “They are addictively paced in spite of the many digressions, which most readers think just add to the appeal somehow. And I believe the pervasive moral view adds something that is missing in most thrillers.”

The trailer for the upcoming UK release of the film of Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (with annoying American voice-over) is now on YouTube:

Compare to the Swedish trailer:

“no crime is an island”

Material Witness has high praise for James Thompson’s Snow Angels, saying it’s a cracking mystery with a vivid Finnish setting. Marilyn Stasio, who normally could conduct workshops on generosity to staffers at Kirkus, disagrees in an unusually dyspeptic New York Times review, giving him points for vignettes that bring the stark setting to life, but concluding, “Thompson’s skills desert him when he ventures beyond these realistic set pieces, and there’s nothing remotely believable about his outlandish plot.”

At the Telegraph, Mark Sanderson vents his spleen in a review of The Man from Beijing, calling it “a tiresomely didactic thriller . . . heartfelt but bloated.” And besides, the hero isn’t Wallander.

Boyd Tonkin in The Independent takes a very different view in a wide-ranging article. He begins with the news that the latest BBC Wallander episode scored over five million viewers, almost twice as many as Celebrity Big Brother. (Pleasing, but really – should I be surprised? I guess so. How sad.) It goes on to say quite a lot about the interest in crime fiction, the response of translators, the good news that Kirsten Ekman has  a new book coming out that “re-interprets one of the most famous dubious deaths in all Scandinavian literature, from Hjlamar Söderberg’s 1905 classic Doctor Glas.” The article ends with a lengthy discussion of Henning Mankell’s new global thriller, The Man from Beijing, after making a claim that the local appeal of Scandinavian settings is coupled with a sense of social responsibility that knows no borders.

Many readers relish Scandinaviancrime in part because of its densely realised local backdrops. In compact, often lonely communities, grim deeds suddenly erupt: the small islands of Mari Jungstedt and Johan Theorin; the fishing backwater of Camilla Läckberg; and, of course, Kurt Wallander’s own deeply provincial but now world-renowned town of Ystad.

Yet attentive readers will spot that the masters of this game often take pains to trace hidden links that bind cosy corners of the wealthy North with a bigger, and poorer, world. Cross-border trafficking of people, body-parts and drugs; neo-Nazi networks that stretch across Europe and beyond; migrants and asylum-seekers from Asia or Africa who risk violence from new neighbours or vengeance from old ones: Nordic crime at its boldest tends to act locally, but think globally. It gives a mighty voice to that deep-seated Scandinavian sense of a conscientious connection with the plight of humankind. This self-imposed duty has inspired initatives from the Nobel prizes through the Nansen refugee passport to peace missions in combat zones in the Middle East, Asia and South America.

Increasingly, I suspect, Nordic mysteries will travel as far as the region’s peacekeepers and aid workers.

He feels that The Man from Beijing is a natural development for the genre that may upset those who want their Scandinavian crime fiction to stick to its geographic limits.

To Mankell’s credit, all this wide-angle geopolitical debate somehow meshes with the slow unveiling of a motive for mass murder that lies deep in the past. A hectic plot that scoots from Copenhagen to Harare to Beijing finally reaches its climax in London’s Chinatown, among proud buildings that – to some Chinese ears at least – still echo to “the screams and pains of slaves”. Scandinavian crime writing has seldom shouldered the burdens of world history with such upfront ambition.

Some readers, for whom Nordic nastiness should unravel amid picturesque backwaters thanks to the deductions of endearingly flawed cops, will turn away in alarm at the big political picture Mankell presents here. But the international dimension has always been a factor in his work, as with Stieg Larsson and many of their peers. No man, and no crime, is an island – however charming the woods and coasts in the background of the murder scene.

Scandinavian bits & bobs

Dorte gives us English readers a sneak peek at a Hakan Nesser novel not yet translated, A Completely Different Story, which at first I thought was Dorte’s commentary on the book. It does sound quite different in tone than the Van Veeteren series. This is the second in a series featuring Gunnar Barbarotti as the detective. Six Swedish tourists and a local teenager go to an island and things beging to go all over Lord of the Flies, with the murderer writing to Barberotti ahead of each of several murders.  Dorte says “interesting and engaging characters and environment, plus a compelling plot that made me race through five hundred pages because I had to know …”

ProfMike reviews Sjowall and Wahloo’s The Fire Engine that Disappeared. As he works through the series he points out that the ten books form a whole and that the ensemble cast is the hero. He also reveals that Colin Dexter, who introduced this volume in the reprint series, hadn’t read a Martin Beck book before being asked to introduce it.

Dave White at Do Some Damage says James Thompson’s Snow Angels rocks. So does Cathy at Kittling Books, She gives the setting and protagonist particularly high points, though she would not like to spend time in Finland during the winter.

A Swedish crime novel by Jens Lapidus translated to the screen (but not into English, alas) is pointed out by a blogger who generally writes about music therapy, bioethics, and Judaism rather than crime fiction. I’ll look forward to the promised review. Meanwhile – has anyone read this Swedish author? I’d like to know more.

Here’s an interesting CFP for a collection of scholarly essays on rape in crime fiction, with a particular emphasis on Scandinavian authors (but Anglophone crime fiction is fair game, too).

Katarina Gregersdotter and Berit Åström of Umeå University in Sweden and Tanya Horeck of Anglia Ruskin University in the UK invite contributions for a collection of essays, which will discuss and theorise the various roles that rape plays in contemporary Scandinavian and Anglophone crime fiction. . . .

The tremendous international publishing success of Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy is in no small part due to the power of his female protagonist, Lisbeth Salander. Described by Boyd Tonkin as ‘the most original heroine to emerge in crime fiction for many years,’ rape is central to Salander’s characterization; indeed, it is in response to the sexual crimes committed against her and other women that Salander derives her extraordinary mental and physical strength. What role does rape play in the formation of the contemporary female heroine of crime fiction? What role does it play in the formation of the contemporary male protagonist? How does Larsson’s work relate to female crime writers such as Val McDermid, Sue Grafton and Sara Paretsky?

This groundbreaking collection will explore the connections between contemporary Scandinavian and Anglophone crime fiction by focusing on rape, a subject that has long been central to crime novels but that has yet to be sufficiently explored, especially in a cross-cultural study. In addition to the questions raised above, topics may include, but are not limited to:

• rape and the rise of the female protagonist
• rape, feminism, and agency in the contemporary crime novel
• victimisation and heroism
• the effects of rape on victim and perpetrator
•masochism, sadism and the body
• rape, emotion and affect
• rape and sexual, social and cultural politics.

why Scandinavia? why now?

Julia Keller of the Chicago Tribune takes a good look at the appeal of Scandinavian mysteries.

It is a world of bleak twilights and tortured souls. A world of cold dawns and dour sleuths. A world of frozen lakes and repressed detectives.

A world of winters and losers.

Yet as grim, glum and downright depressing as a Scandinavian setting for a mystery novel can be — and those adjectives also could describe January in Chicago — something remarkable is afoot: Such novels continue to be fabulously popular in the United States . . .
There is a deeply unique resonance to places, a stubborn aura; one region is not the same as another. As much as we proclaim in noble speeches that the world is just one big homogenized blur, that differences don’t matter, the truth is otherwise: The ground beneath your feet dramatically affects your worldview — especially, perhaps, if you’re a homicidal maniac or a detective in charge of catching one.

Why Scandinavia, and why now? ….

Sarah Weinman, author and critic who writes a renowned blog on mystery fiction, “Confessions of an Idiosyncratic Mind,” notes that Scandinavian mysteries fill a gap left by some American writers who moved away from the police procedural: “Scandinavian crime novels, in a way, hearken back to more traditional types of crime fiction.” Indeed, fictional detectives such as Mankell’s Kurt Wallender, Fossum’s Konrad Sejer, Dahl’s Frank Frolich and Nesser’s Van Veeterenmethodically track down the bad guys (or gals) clue by clue, visiting one dank, run-down location after another.

Scandinavian mysteries also tend to use criminal investigations as a way to explore pressing social issues such as immigration, economic inequities, the treatment of the elderly and impoverished, and sexual mores.

Thompson, whose “Snow Angels” introduces a Finnish police inspector named Kari Vaara, was born and raised near Ashland, Ky. He believes the singularity of Finnish culture accounts for Americans’ enthrallment with it. “Finland is an eccentric country,” he says. “It hasn’t been exposed to the world that much. It’s cold and dark, and the people are fairly silent.”

Fortunately, however, the writers aren’t silent at all. As more and more Scandinavian crime fiction is published in English, another reason for its popularity becomes clear: It’s great stuff. “The quality of the writing of those authors who do cross over (to the English-speaking world),” declares Weinman, “is by and large very good.” . . .

Cheering news on the Liza Marklund front from Euro Crime – several of her Annika Bengtzon novels will be released in the UK, starting with Red Wolf. (Oh, and that Patterson thing, too. Yo, James – you got her back on the scene; your work is now done.)

A short article in Oregon Live alerted me to this feature in which Henning Mankell describes the seven wonders of his life (and says sweet things about his wife). Apparently Mankell will be touring in the UK — and be still my heart — Jo Nesbo will tour in the US this year. (He has one of the most sophisticated and graphically lovely sites, by the way. Not that he’s exactly hard on the eyes.)   More on Nesbo from Peter’s  Nordic Book Blog.

The Irish Times has an interview with Henning Mankell, “A Radical in Two Worlds,” providing a detailed profile of his theatre work in Maputo as well as the tidbit that though they’re on the same side – that of social justice – Mankell doesn’t really click with Wallander.

“I came to Africa when I was 20, 40 years ago,” he says. “I wanted to see the world from a different perspective.”

I asked him if he had difficulty in keeping his work with Teatro Avenida separate from his work in Sweden. “I don’t think I do keep them separate,” he says, seeming a little taken aback by the suggestion. “I write when I’m in Africa and when I’m in Sweden.”

Mankell once admitted to being a very radical person, explaining that “my books all have in common my search for understanding of the terrible world we are living in and ways to change it. Wallander wants to engage with life and change it. We know that if the system of justice doesn’t work, democracy is doomed. Wallander is worried about that, and so are many people in democracies. Maybe that’s why he is so popular.”

Speaking of Wallander, I ask whether there isn’t a temptation to make Wallander reflect his author’s concerns regarding Africa. But Mankell puts paid to any future connection between his famous protagonist and Africa: “As long as I’m in control of him, which, being his author, is always, Wallander will never come to Africa. He has no reason to.”

Clearly Wallander is no simple projection of his creator. “Wallander and I have only three things in common: our age, our belief that no one is born evil, and our love of opera. If he were a real person, I don’t think that we would be friends. I don’t really like him, and that’s the way I like to keep it.”

More on the Mankell/Wallander dynamic in the Times.

Finally, the Material Witness has reopened an investigation into Wallander’s elusive ringtone … and Maxine proposes a theory. Any one with further information is encourage to submit their evidence to the blog forthwith.

more tidbits from the snowy midwest

The Girl has fans in India, too.

Glenn has further dispatches from the land of Wallander television adaptations, this time of Blodsband (The Black King) – original to the small screen, not from a book. Norm (aka Uriah) also writes about the Swedish television series, saying it had a better balance of ensemble characters than the BBC version.  The Guardian has an article on the actress who played Linda Wallander and how her suicide affected the writer and the series, suggesting that the new female heroine in The Man from Beijing was created because Mankell had to stop writing about the character Johanna Sallstrom played. It’s very sad.

the man with the snake tattoo

BookPage has a review of James Thompson’s Snow Angels, saying he is a “major new talent.” Well, technically speaking, Snow Angels was his second book – just the first for this American writer to be published in the US rather than in Finnish translation at his current home in Helsinki, where three of his books have been published by Johnny Kniga. (What an intriguing name for a publisher – “kniga” is Russian for book. Johnny is … not.) I’ve just started a review copy of this book. So far, so cold. No, I meant good. But it does take place in the winter and it is very, very cold and dark. No wonder they kill each other.

More evidence that I need to learn Swedish: the Bookwitch points out an article in the  Vi (a culture magazine, part of which is available online) with a photo of the high-literary couple who have created a bestselling thriller, revealing their identities when the marketing moment was ripe. In the previous post here, Steve aka Reg Keeland (Stieg Larsson’s translator) takes issue with a claim that The Hypnotist will seize readers’ imaginations the way that the Millennium Trilogy has.  Though he reports it is a “page turner” with plenty of action, it’s “lacking in the major appeal of Stieg Larsson: a moral view.” Which is, of course, the whole point.

a snow-covered god jul post

Having gotten distracted by work, here’s a catch-up post of things that have accumulated over the past few weeks…

A blogger who “never stops reading – no matter what” has added Kjell Eriksson’s The Cruel Stars of Night to her Year in Books blog. She says “I love the way Eriksson writes and I love the slow and methodical pacing of this novel” though she takes issue with a plot turn that required the protagonist to be momentarily dimwitted. But she forgives the lapse and says she can “definitely recommend Cruel Stars of the Night to those who enjoy a really good police procedural, and to those who also enjoy psychological suspense.”

She also reviews a book from Finland written by an American who lives there (and first was published in Finnish) -James Thompson’s Snow Angels. There are some coincidences in the plot, she feels, and some of the characters are not as fleshed-out as she would like, but it has its strong points. “I was drawn in by the author’s ability to set the tone of the bleakness of life above the Arctic Circle in Finland, where it’s dark and cold and to pass the time, people have little to do other than drink. The atmosphere was so well laid out for the reader that for a time you can imagine yourself there.” This one is in my TBR so I will be reporting my reaction here before long.

Peter broods over the meaning of the brooding detective while recommending Arnaldur Indridason’s Erlendur series at Detectives Beyond Borders. As always, his blog is really a salon with many interesting comments on Scandinavians, Italians, families, and more.

The Nekkidblogger (brrrr!) predicts that The Hypnotist by “Lars Keppler” will be the next Stieg Larsson-like sensation even though Lars Keppler is actually a collaboration of two literary authors.

Lars Kepler does not exist. Huge sensation. Lars Kepler turned out to be a pseudonym for two literary authors, husband-and-wife Alexandra Coelho Ahndoril and Alexander Ahndoril, now writing under the pseudonym Lars Kepler. They have so far barely been able to sustain themselves economically by their writing. Now they wanted to make money. And in Sweden, crime fiction writers make big money. And, of course, when in Sweden, do as the Swedes. So they decided to write crime fiction, using a cool name.

The Nordic Book Blog reviews Ake Edwardson’s Death Angels which he finds a “well constructed police procedural” though less polished than the later books in the series. This was the first, though the most recent to be translated into English.

Naomi of The Drowning Machine reviews Asa Larsson’s The Black Path which she feels suffers from excessive exposition and draggy pacing. “The Black Path has atmosphere to spare, a hallmark of Swedish crime fic, and the characters are thoroughly developed. When I say thoroughly I mean to the point that the details of every character’s life, past and present, drag the pace down to NASCAR (National Association of Snail Crawling and Roundaboutation) speed. . . . An unlikely blood bath as the climax combined with what seemed a brief and pointless interjection of romance at novel’s end, all left me unmoved.” In the comment thread that follows she points out that others who read the book felt differently, but I had many of the same reservations though I was not quite so … em, expressive.

Several bloggers participating in the ABC of crime fiction meme have highlighted Scandinavian crime fiction including

I have not been playing along, but I might propose A is for Alvtegen, B for Burman, C for Camilla LackbergD for K.O. Dahl, and E for Edwardson … maybe I’ll have enough time to play in the new year. Or maybe not.

Maxine at Petrona points out that Ake Edwardson’s Sun and Shadow, Arnaldur Indridason’s Voices, and Liza Marklund’s The Bomber qualifies for Christmas Crime. Kerrie, who started both memes at her Mysteries in Paradise, scored both with Voices, using it for both the letter I and for Christmas Crime.

More BBC Wallander is on the way.

Those in the UK NZ get to see the Girl on film starting on boxing day, or so this site claims (when I read it properly). Ali has already gotten a sneak peek as well he should, being the world number one fan (GiRl WiTh ThE dRaGoN tAtToO GiRl WiTh ThE dRaGoN tAtToO GiRl WiTh ThE dRaGoN tAtToO GiRl WiTh ThE dRaGoN tAtToO GiRl WiTh ThE dRaGoN tAtToO GiRl WiTh ThE dRaGoN tAtToO GiRl WiTh ThE dRaGoN tAtToO GiRl WiTh ThE dRaGoN tAtToO GiRl WiTh ThE dRaGoN tAtToO GiRl WiTh ThE dRaGoN tAtToO GiRl WiTh ThE dRaGoN tAtToO GiRl WiTh ThE dRaGoN tAtToO GiRl WiTh ThE dRaGoN tAtToO). So did Craig Sisterton in New Zealand. Those of us in the US can twiddle our thumbs. We’re used to it.

Americans, however, will be resposible for a remake. This is not a very good form of revenge.

A Danish film journal has an analysis of the gender roles in the films which, fortunately for us unschooled yanks, is in English. The authors contrast the treatment of gender in the books with the depiction in the films.

Our main argument is that the adaptation from novel to film involves an alteration of the gender representations in the two main characters, and that this alteration corresponds to the genre-specific and media-specific conditions associated respectively with the genre thriller versus crime fiction and with the format of the film versus that of the novel. In examining these differences in relation to The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, we draw on the fact that gender is a central issue in Nordic crime fiction as bestseller and cultural commodity.

Basically, the authors argue that the gender relationships are simplified in the film as it is condensed for the shorter storytelling format. When I finally get a chance to see the films, I’ll see if I agree.

Finally, glædelig jul, Hyvää joulua ja onnellista uutta vuotta, gleðileg jól og farsælt komandi ár, god jul og godt nytt år, and god jul och gott nytt år! I leave you with a photo from Minnesota of King Gustav Adolph enjoying our white Christmas….

"... I seem to have something in my eye..."