Recommended Scandinavian noir novel(ist)s

Published by Supertortuga on 2017-01-28
Scandinavian noir? The fiction in these novels is my reality...

They say that the crime fiction novels from Scandinavia belong to the gender Scandinavian noir, but being Swedish I do not find these books to illustrate a dark society, rather i find the story telling technique in many of the novels to be refreshingly accurate, simply describing things as they are. Opposite to the story telling tecnique used in many American movies, the characters in the novels can seldom be easily sorted into black or white categories, but instead they paint a more balanced picture, with complex personalities and motives, and often with a background criticism of society.

I enjoy reading these books, and after each visit to Sweden, I come back with 10-15 new books, which I read at a pace of 1-2 per month (which is the maximum permitted with my current life situation. I will post separate articles describing some of my favourite novelists following the list below (in no special order).

When it comes to preferred language, I prefer reading them in my native language, Swedish. Only with some exceptions have I read books from these authours translated into English or Spanish, and in these occasions I have felt that part of the ambient is lost in the translation. But what about the works from the Norwegian novelists, you ask? The Norwegian and Swedish languages are very similar, and so are the general value basis of society, so that that is not an issue. So, I dearly recommend you to start studying Swedish (or Norwegian for that sake) in order to fully enjoy these great novels. Whenever possible, I prefer to read the book is its native language.

As to the format of the book, personally I prefer the pocket versions. This is not only because I can get them for a low price at the popular second hand shops in Sweden, but it is also a practical format to read when travelling. It also does less harm when it drops on my face when I fall asleep while reading. I have also an audio book (from the Harry Hole series), which will be the first time I test this format (I plan to listen to it in my car going to and back from work).

Do you miss any novelist of this gender in the list above? Please comment below.


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