I’m an avid reader of Nordic crime fiction, but I read it because it’s Nordic and not because it’s about crime. Crime fiction is not my favourite genre and when it’s from anywhere else it doesn’t appeal to me. I’d love it if more genres of Nordic literature were as widely translated into English and available here in Canada as crime fiction. (I’ll post another time about the non-crime books and authors I’ve discovered, but will stick to crime fiction for this post.)
My favourite Nordic crime author is, perhaps not surprisingly, the late Stieg Larsson. Nothing compares to his Millennium trilogy. After I read it, I had trouble giving any other book five stars on Goodreads, because I measured everything else by the standard I felt it set. The Girl in the Spider’s Web has now been released, which is author David Lagercrantz‘s attempt to continue the story. I suppose it’s now a series, not a trilogy, but I will probably always think of Stieg Larsson’s original three books as its own self-contained trilogy. For some time I thought I wouldn’t even read the new novel because I was certain it would be a horrible disappointment, but the reviews seem to be quite favourable, so I’ve decided to give it a chance. I have it on order from Amazon and it’s due to arrive tomorrow. I’m actually rather excited about it. I’ve missed Lisbeth.
Another excellent author is Jussi Adler-Olsen. His Department Q series is the best thing I’ve read besides the Millennium trilogy. Other authors I enjoy are Jo Nesbø, Camilla Läckberg, Henning Mankell, Gunnar Staalesen, Lene Kaaberbøl & Agnete Friis, Arnaldur Indriðason, and Mari Jungstedt. This is not an exhaustive list of all the authors I’ve discovered, these are just the ones I recommend. I have read some sadly mediocre novels in this genre which I feel no need to list. There are also a few authors that I’m aware of but haven’t read yet, like Elsebeth Egholm and Roslund Hellstrom.
Check out this BBC documentary on Nordic crime fiction on YouTube:
I am a fan of Norway’s slow TV, defined on Wikipedia as “a genre of live ‘marathon’ television coverage of an ordinary event in its complete length. Its name is derived both from the long endurance of the broadcast as well as from the natural slow pace of the television program’s progress.”
Click the above photo for “Hurtigruten – A 134-hour voyage from Bergen to Kirkenes” on nrk.no.
This is something I find very appealing. I don’t think it would go over well here in Canada, however. If I may make a sweeping generalization, Canadians seem to have shorter attention spans and require faster-paced, more stimulating content to stay interested. I am not a typical Canadian, in more ways than one. I don’t like hockey, I don’t like maple syrup, and when it comes to stimulation, I find that everyday life provides more than enough for me. I tend to seek things to soothe and calm myself, and slow TV is right up my alley. I sometimes turn the sound down and put on my own music playlist, then tune out my surroundings and get absorbed in the scenery.
A good way to find more of this type of content is to go to YouTube and search “minutt for minutt.”
The Nordic pop and indie music I’ve been listening to lately ranges from delightfully cheerful tunes…
NONONO – Pumpin Blood
…to the bleakest, most hauntingly beautiful sounds that have ever hit your eardrums.
Sailor & I – Tough Love
There’s a great documentary on Nordic music available to watch for free on Snag Films. It’s worth watching as much for the scenery as for the music. Click here: Northern Sounds
I’ve made a Spotify playlist that contains over 10 hours of modern Scandinavian/Nordic music. Feel free to have a listen:
I’m always on the lookout for new artists to check out. Please feel free to leave a comment if you have any suggestions.
I have an obsession with Nordic countries and culture. I am half Finnish and there’s also a bit of Swedish in the family tree, but my interest is not limited to Finland and Sweden. I think Iceland is beautiful, Denmark is the epitome of cool, and I have a particular affinity for Norway, with its stunning scenery, great music, and hilarious comedians. This blog will be an outlet for my thoughts and a place to gather all the wonderful things I find online that feed my insatiable appetite for all things Scandinavian and Nordic.