mercredi 23 décembre 2009

Noir fiction

It seems to me that Scandinavian authors have now cornered the market on crime fiction. Move aside P.D. James and Ruth Rendell and make room for Stieg Larsson ( I finally succumbed and read the Millenium trilogy), Arnaldur Indridasson, M.Sjowall and P. Wahloo (whew! what a mouthful, whose books were recently reviewed by Red Addict) and of course Henning Mankell, just to name a few. What is it about these cold countries that provide such fertile ground for crime fiction? And who knew that there was so much going on underneath all that ice and cold? While I haven't gotten around to reading the grand scope of such crime fiction, I have to say that I was quite in thrall by Mankell.

Mankell is most famous for his series starring Kurt Wallander, the dour inspector whose adventures have recently been filmed by BBC where Wallander is played by Kenneth Branagh. Despite the rather grim nature of the series (all blood and gore), there is something strongly addictive about them. I started out sceptical and ended up being thoroughly fascinated by this character. When the series opens, Wallander is lonely and divorced, in danger of being an alcoholic but there is something strangely touching about him. Maybe its because despite all the mess in his private life, he is relentless in making some sense of the senseless crimes that land on his watch and would do almost anything to solve them. Maybe its his devotion to his otherwise thankless job? Or maybe its the sly sense of humor that Mankell sprinkles sparingly in his prose? For whatever reason, you get hooked into the series. So much so that his other books are left quite well behind them. Mankell's newest book The Pyramid is funnily enough a series of short stories that take us quite early into Wallander's career. Its here that we see the beginnings of his conflict with his father and ex-wife. I know that fans of crime fiction generally prefer to have full length novels but make an exception for the Pyramid. Its a welcome addition to the Wallander universe

2 commentaires:

Pink Princess and Red Addict a dit…

welcome back on the internet!

Pink Princess a dit…

Hahaha! We finally managed to get it installed. I can't tell you how glad I am!