Friday, June 24, 2011

Noir


NOIR, noun, \'nwär\
Definition of NOIR : 1. crime fiction featuring hard-boiled, cynical characters and bleak, sleazy settings


Followers of this blog know that I have become a big fan of Scandanavian noir literature and films.

It started innocently enough when Mike and Susan D'Antuono suggested that I read Swedish author Stieg Larsson's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo just before I left for Sweden last year.

Thoroughly absorbed, I excitedly raced through Larsson's so-called Millennium Trilogy in my first few days in Skåne. From their, Hässleholm Hurricane impressario Uffe Palmbrink got me hooked on Swedish author Henning Mankell's 11 book Kurt Wallander series that I finally finished last week.

Next, Camino de Santiago fellow pilgrim Trine Beck sent me a Danish DVD titled The Per Fly Trilogy. Talk about noir! By the way, on Friday, June 24th, Midsommar Day, it will be Happy Birthday time for Trine!!!

In the June, 2011 edition of the University of Washington's alumni magazine, Columns, there is even a mention of the Swedish murder mystery genre. UW associate professor of Scandanavian Studies, Andrew Nestingen, has written not one but two books on the subject. His first book in 2008 was titled Crime and Fantasy in Scandinavia: Fiction, Film and Social Change. This year he has co-edited a collection of essays on the subject, Scandinavian Crime Fiction. I'll need to take a look at both of these works sometime soon.

While unsuccessfully trying to find a copy of Norwegian writer Jo Nesbø's book The Snowman at Barnes and Noble, I did come across the following tome.


This is one of an interesting series of books published as the Akashic Noir Series. Each book is a compilation of noir short stories set in a particular major city. There are over 40 cities highlighted to date in the series.

Copenhagen Noir included work from 16 different noir writers from both sides of the Øresund. Most were very good yarns, a couple, not so much. As always, it was great to read stories set in many of the Danish and Swedish neighborhoods that we got to know so well last Spring and Summer.

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