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4.1 out of 5 stars33
4.1 out of 5 stars
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on 3 March 2013
This is an excellent pocket guide to Nordic Noir .
It covers not only Nordic crime fiction,but also
film(eg 'The Killing'and even 'Borgen').
The author knows what he is writing about ,and most
items in the genre are included.Yet what gives this
book its edge is that he has interviewed many of the
authors and directors,and their comments are often most
enlightening.
A very useful,and good value guide,for anyone with any
interest in the genre.
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on 13 June 2015
An essential and thankfully unpretentious small volume for those interested in an overview of the worldwide success of the Scandinavian crime fiction phenomenon. Unpretentious because the author, an experienced commentator on crime fiction, does not delve into a socio - economic analysis of the backgrounds of the writers but gives the reader a quick reference book as an introduction to the authors and books that have sprung out of the fiords and the snow covered mountains of Northern Europe (Iceland is included). Many readers came to ‘Scanda crime’ with Steig Larsson and the wonderful Millennium trilogy. But the author takes the reader back to the grim investigations and home life of Mankell's Wallander and then even further back to the still fresh 1970s crime fiction of Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo, the Marxist (!) husband and wife writing team (see chapter 1 and references throughout the book). Incidentally Sjowall and Wahloo wrote only 10 of the Superintendent Martin Beck series. The reissued set carries the Detective’s initials successively on the spine of each book.

Chapters 1 – 4 quite properly covers Sweden from 1949 through Mankell to Larrson, Nesser and beyond. Chapter 5 deals with the rise of the Norwegian writers, primarily Nesbo who the author describes as the ‘New King’. Chapter 6 covers Iceland and Finland and Chapter 7 deals with Denmark dominated now by Jussi Adler-Ohlsen and the Morck series. Chapter 8 is 40 pages devoted to film and TV crime drama. There are sections on Swedish cinema’s Millennium trilogy and the Hollywood version of the 1st book of the trilogy (Nordic Noir was published in 2013). I was glad to see a section on the Norwegian TV crime series Lillehammer with the fantastic Steve Van Zandt. An unlikely mix of The Sopranos and snow covered urban landscapes. Hugely successful in Norway and now popular worldwide. There is an epilogue of upcoming Scandinavian crime writers.

The writing style is informative with continual comparisons to and with UK and American crime writing. The author never patronises the reader. A useful feature is that author’s names are in bold. There are 156 pages, 4 pages of index, 8 pages of appendices. A great and eminently readable guide to the subject. Properly deserving of 5 stars.
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on 2 April 2013
For the increasing number of aficionados of Nordid Noir, this provides a good overview and includes some interesting interviews with authors.It also provides some pointers to some lesser known authors and films.
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on 21 May 2013
If you enjoy the crime fiction coming from the various Scandinavian countries, this book is a must have.
Barry Forshaw really knows his subject and gives a potted-history of how Scandi-crime fiction has developed.
I've learnt a lot, and been introduced to some authors I'd never come across. Great gift for any friend who enjoys the genre.
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on 28 June 2013
I didn't know much about other Scandinavian writers other tan Larssen and Mankell so this has put me onto some other god writers. Just read Mercy by Jussi Adler-Osen - very good. Must say I tend to dip in and out of it checking out authors as and when.
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on 28 April 2014
Still feels like a work in progress; but a good reference book especially for fans of this genre. Particularly liked the links and comments on recent TV series as well as historic films and TV shows.
Bargain at 0.99p not sure I would think £3.49 good value though as repetative at times and mostly information you can find searching the internet.
Where it pleases best is from interviews with our favourite authors and I particularly liked the varied opinions on who is the best Kurt Wallander.
Lacks a bit of objectivity and not fully convinced of the authors comments about why certain Scandinavian countries / authors do better in getting their work translated into English. Also more of an argument could have been made for the actual work of a translator and how this process really makes so much difference.
Something was said about books being published out of sequence but not really worked through logically to explain the situation adequately for fans who seem to wait ages for a publisher to grasp the goose to lay the golden eggs. As exampled with Asa Larsson's series which stalled and then after the hiatus became more readily available in the UK. I hoped for a better discussion and explanation and why certain authors never seem to make the breakthrough at all.
Also feel the writing in this book is repetative even to the point of failing to use a Thesaurus and repeating clichéd adjectives like saturnine over and over again.
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VINE VOICEon 14 May 2013
Considering that around 80% of this book concentrates upon Swedish crime fiction, it was a huge let down. The blurb on the front cover states that the book covers scandinavian tv and film, well it feels like it has been tacked on to the end of the book. The author certainly knows his stuff about crime writing but its quite obvious that the film and tv aspect are not his thing and are poorly researched. So if you enjoy all things Swedish then this book could well be your thing. If you are a fan of anything Danish, Norwegian, Finnish or Icelandic......give it a miss as they hardly feature.
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on 8 June 2013
This is a great book to discover other works by the best of the Nordic writers, and to discover those you have never heard of.
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on 19 February 2014
There is a lot of useful information about Scandinavian writers in this book, a lot of whom I'd heard of but many others who were new to me as well. Here's the 'but'; the writing style is HORRIBLE! It would have been nice if Mr Forshaw had written his tome with readers in mind rather than trying to show how clever he is to other writers.
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on 3 November 2014
I had the pleasure of hearing Barry Forshaw speak at Nordicana 2014- he is both entertaining and very knowledgeable.
I really liked this guide, which revisited some of my favourites , and also introduced me to some books /films which I have yet to discover.
A must for fans of Nordic Noir.
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