Posts Tagged ‘swedish authors’

Swedish crime fiction writers score sky-high

Have you ever given Swedish crime fiction (translated of course!) a thought? Have you ever gotten a chance to read a mystery fiction by a Swedish writer? No?  Then I must offer heaps of  sincere sympathies to you because you do not  know what you are missing and while there is still time for you to quickly indulge in one of them, you got to hurry dears because once you start reading one of them, you just will have to read more and more from the likes of them.

We all know that British and American criminal fiction have ruled the first place for like a  zillion years.  During the pre-world war period, Swedish crime novels were based on British and American novels, but post world war found Swedish crime writers evolving and moving towards an entirely new direction thus giving birth to the detective novel series Martin Beck which acquired world-wide recognition. Ever since then there has been no looking back for Swedish writers of crime and mystery.

It is now time to hand the sceptre into the hands of these serious, dangerously equipped minds who are the new monarchs of extreme epiphany, who fetch raw violence and vehemence with no restriction whatsoever.

Swedish crime fiction / Swedish mystery fiction has been receiving a vast span of attention all over the world in recent times. What is it about Swedish criminal writing that is so  irresistible? What is it about it that has been creating waves all over the world? What makes Swedish writers lean on to criminal writing when they live in one of the most safest countries in the world?

Perhaps the answer lies in this question itself – Crime rate in Sweden is very low compared to most countries in the world. Owing to its extremely cold and dead clime during winters, Swedish people (or Scandinavian people on the whole for that matter) have been synonymous with depressive nature, being cold, shy and being people having the widest comfort zone between each other. Since it is basic human nature to hanker after what we don’t have (that is an overall a very generic explanation I can derive right now), the lack of criminal infestation in society together with extremely long, dark and mostly thwarting periods of winter of absolute silence  most likely gave birth to writers of this genre. It is yet another human tendency to seek wild and raucous intellectual entertainment when life turns into one long restless anticipation for the end of a winter.

Besides, in Sweden or anywhere in Scandinavia, you don’t have the need to seek silence within the mind as Holly Lisle seeks in her  Mugging the Muse. There is excess silence around already that permeates into the mind whether you like it or not, whether you want it or not. Thus with this incessant morbid affair that Swedish authors continuously seem to have with the term crime, or any idea related to crime, they produce editions after editions of what is bathed in, of what is breathing with, pure gruesome and malignant mystery.

Most say it was the  Millennium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson published internationally between 2005 and 2007 that kicked off a huge international readership, but Swedish crime novels have continuously been translated into other languages of the world, have been read vastly and have been loved over a long period of time. However it is absolutely true that the Millennium Trilogy added fuel to the fire, encouraging Hollywood filmmakers to create an American version of the stories. The trend has been set, and the demand for Swedish criminal fiction is on definitely on the rise.

This increasing penchant for Swedish mystery stories amongst international readers has also been seeded by the writings of one intensely gifted Swedish writer, my favourite of all Swedish writers, John Ajvide Lindqvist. His debut novel Let the Right One In has fetched the most unexpected development within modern pre-teen vampire fiction that is obviously not as glamorous and not as grandiose as Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight Series. Set during the eighties, the novel reveals a story played out during the stark, dark and cold winter in the suburbs of Stockholm where Eli (in her pre teens) finds a place in 12 year old-seriously mobbed-at-school Oskar’s heart, thus finding an escape from her elderly guardian Hakan who displays overtly pedophiliac tendencies. The Swedish film based on the book was released in 2008 and the Hollywood version of the book is called Let Me In (they say that the story is tightly woven around the book) and is awaiting release on the 1st of October 2010.

More books by John Ajvide Lindqvist :-

  • Handling the Undead (translated in 2009)
  • Paper Walls (yet to be translated)
  • Harbour (to be released sometime in 2010)
  • Little Star (most recent book, out in Swedish, yet to be released in English)

Swedish mystery fiction has certainly raised the bar for story writing of this genre. Its authentic and unique characters who are deeply disturbing,  a plot set against an exotic backdrop, various climaxes where one leads to another each revealing the most afflicting truth, all contribute to reasons why the world turns its attention to Swedish writers to satiate their hunger for crime fiction and for fiction related to mystery.

Here are other popular Swedish crime/mystery writers.

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