Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö

I have recently developed a serious addiction to Swedish Crime Fiction. It, of course, started with the Millenium Trilogy. It got me wanting to look for other authors of the genre. My boss Patrick shared this sentiment, and has been collecting novels by other Swedish writers and loaning them to me (!!!). The first books he passed along were the Martin Beck series, ten books written in the 60's and 70's by the Swedish couple Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö. This is them in the picture above. Don't they look great!? This series is really wonderful, and was highly influential to many writers in this genre, within Scandinavia and beyond, including Stieg Larsson. The stories are really well crafted with an engaging cast of characters whose lives and perspectives evolve as the series progresses. Sjöwall and Wahlöö were committed Marxists and there is a strong thread of social criticism running through the series. Having absolutely no idea how to pronounce their names, or countless other names in the books, I turned to the internet and found this really helpful blog page. I recommend it for Larsson fans too. Now that I've finished this series, I've moved on to the Kurt Wallander series by Henning Mankell. It is also so so good. Next in line is an Iclandic writer. Every once in a while I have to wait a few days before getting a new stack of books from Patrick, and I'm forced to read something else for a little bit. I blame Sjöwall and Wahlöö for the fact that it took me 6 months to get through Anna Karenina. Ha.

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