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Scandinavian Crime Fiction (European Crime Fictions) Paperback – 31 Jan 2011

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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: University of Wales Press (31 Jan. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0708323308
  • ISBN-13: 978-0708323304
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.8 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 973,526 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description


"This volume consists of a series of clear-cut analyses, examining prevalent notions in Scandinavian crime fiction. The contributors participate admirably in defining the concept of 'Scandinavian' by focusing on historical and cultural aspects of proximity and differences within the Scandinavian region. The history and present transformations of Scandinavian police procedurals are mapped, the tendency to harsh social criticism is scrutinized, and widespread attitudes to gender and cultural politics are highlighted and discussed. Timely and highly informative, this anthology discusses why Scandinavian crime fiction has been so widely exported and which significant contributions in particular it has made to the popular genre. It will be a landmark text in the study of Scandinavian crime fiction and its social significance."--Gunhild Agger, Aalborg University, Denmark

About the Author

Paula Arvas is Lecturer in Finnish literature at the University of Helsinki and Andrew Nestingen is Professor of Scandinavian Studies at the University of Washington in Seattle.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Maxine Clarke VINE VOICE on 2 Dec. 2011
Format: Paperback
Ten years in the making, Scandinavian Crime Fiction is a series of essays, academic in tone, about the "brand" (as the editors call it) of crime novels from the region, in the light of their increasing popularity since the 1990s. The only connection between the essays is this broad subject area; there is no central thesis or attempt to synthesise contributors' views, though several of them write from similar perspectives. There is also no attempt to cover all the books from the region, leading to the omission of several important authors.

Of course there is organisation in the book: the first section loosely looks at the history of Scandinavian crime fiction, looking back into the relatively distant past (not as far back as the sagas and myths) when the output was more similar to Agatha Christie-style novels, until the watershed of Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo's ten-book Martin Beck series in the 1960s and 70s, "the story of a crime", which examined and heavily criticised the Swedish welfare state and a perceived increase in fascist government and politics. This part of the book examines some police procedural novels. The second section is about regions in various novels; and the third is about gender and cultural politics. TV programmes, as well as novels, come under scrutiny.

I found this book both fascinating and irritating, in almost equal measure. The fascinating parts, to me, were the synopses of novels that haven't been translated. An early Erlunder book by Arnaldur Indridason and several by Hakan Nesser were particular favourites, but there are several nuggets about books by authors I've never read or heard of.
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