Nordic, like the Netherlands

Maureen Corrigan annexes the Netherlands as part of the Nordic world and ponders the stylistic difference between the Martin Beck series and the Millennium Trilogy.

The Independent has a story on how publishing Stieg Larsson’s trilogy moved Quercus from small publisher to major player.

Peter raves about the fifth Annika Bengtzon mystery by Liza Marklund, Red Wolf. It sounds quite action-packed.

Maxine offers a tour of her favorite Swedish haunts, which are numerous, along with a handy listing of her reviews of books from that country.

She also reviews Hakan Nesser’s The Inspector and Silence and thinks it’s excellent, though it sounds relatively pensive as the hero contemplates doing anything but the frustrating work of detecting.

At last! Martin Edwards had teased us by mentioning an intriguing little book on the Swedish crime story. He has now returned with a report. The first Swedish crime story was by Prins Pirre in 1893; early practitioners studied Doyle, Poe, and Christie; and the author of the small tome, Bo Lundin, divides the newer folks (up to 1980) into those afflicted with “the Trenter Syndrome” (those like Stieg Trenter, a writer who used Stockholm as a backdrop) and “the ulcer syndrome” for books that, like Martin Beck, suffer from the disappointments of modern life. Thanks for the report, Martin, and may we all enjoy the ulcer syndrome without any troublesome symptoms.

Though it’s a bit BSP-ish to link to this article I wrote for Spinetinger, the closing paragraphs deal with why I think Stieg Larsson has taken a worn-out trope – violence against women – and handled it in an unusually affirming way.

4 thoughts on “Nordic, like the Netherlands

  1. Barbara,
    Just read your essay at Spinetingler and agree very much with what you say. I get too tired to repeat myself and defend Lizbeth Salander and explain why she did what she did to defend herself and that how she behaved was far better than giving up and withdrawing from life or becoming catatonic. Also, that she had a right to defend herself and get “justice” for herself, as no one was there to help, except her former guardian who became disabled. But everywhere she went, she was betrayed. The state and its institutions didn’t help, no individual (except the guardian) helped. People in authority betrayed her. So she got mad and got even.
    I just don’t understand these analyses of her character that just don’t understand. I think women get her character more than men do, not all women, but many. Men don’t get it but they do get Clint Eastwood characters who go all-out for revenge.
    And you address the fact that sexual violence is entertaining. I’ve been trying to understand this for a long time. It’s not entertaining for many people, especially women, although when I mentioned on a blog that I won’t read a certain woman author because I read a book by her with a serial killer/rapist and half the book was in his head and I wouldn’t take the garbage out for days, a friend of the blogger asked me what book I was talking about; she wanted to read it.
    So I give up in trying to understand this. What does it mean to society that this is so? I think women who are survivors of sexual violence would not like books like this.
    Anyway, liked your essay very much and just emailed it to a friend who thinks Salander is “drop-dead brilliant, courageous, independent,” and more. She loved the trilogy.
    Kathy D.

  2. Am watching the opus that is the movie of “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.” The violence, which one can skim over in the book is so stark and awful in the movie. I had to fast-forward through one part and get up and go to the computer to take a break. I’m just waiting to cheer on the revenge scene.

  3. “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” is superbly done, even though the brutality can be overwhelming. The cast is excellent. There could be no one better to play Lizbeth Salander than Noomi Rapace, who is superb. She is definitely a hero. I do not know how a U.S. movie can be made here nor who could play Salander like that.

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