I don’t think this book will be translated to English therefore I will not write a review. But I will make a reflection.
In 1986 the prime minister of Sweden, Olof Palme, was shot to death on his way home from the cinema. There were no secret service men with him that night. The prime minister and his wife just walked home through the city of Stockholm a cold evening in February. After the murder the country was in shock, including the police. Everything went wrong in the police investigation and the killer was never caught.
I looked forward to reading this book, I liked this author’s last book. I think a well written book about the Palme murder is a potential bestseller. Also, I understood that this writer is somewhat a geek about the Palme murder, so he would clearly be a good person to write this book about one of the prime suspects. Because it is a tragic story about a man who became known to the public as “the 33-year old man”.
This man was never prosecuted for the murder, but not cleared by the public and not by some policemen either. His life was never normal again after the accusations. And since the killer never was identified and no one was convicted for the crime this man, “the 33-year old”, was always a suspect in some people’s minds. He moved to the United States but was eventually killed by a former police officer.
This story could be an international bestseller. But this book will not. It is fragmented and a mix of facts and fantasy with many references to different policemen in the investigation team. I find the book difficult to read, and yet I am old enough to remember the day it happened.
Top lists are fun to make: top restaurants, top hotels, the best music hits of the century or decade. The possibilities of making top lists are countless.
I decided to make a top list of the books reviewed in this blog.
Books with a 5-star rating:
- One of Us – Åsne Seierstad
- The Underground Girls of Kabul – Jenny Nordberg
- The Bomb Maker and his Woman – Leif GW Persson (not yet translated)
- Wilful Disregard – Lena Andersson
Åsne Seierstad is Norwegian, the other three authors are Swedish.
Only number 3 is Classic Nordic Noir, but all of them are good Reading.
What books are on your top list?
In Sweden the Nobel Prize is a big thing.
During one week in October all the laureates are presented, and then the prize ceremony is on December 10.
The task of selecting the recipient of the Prize was entrusted to the Swedish Academy by Nobel in his will. The first Nobel Prize was awarded in 1901. This last Thursday the person who should receive the Nobel Prize in literature was to be announced, at 1 p.m. sharp. The announcement is an old tradition in itself.
I turned on my radio a couple of minutes to one, and waited. I could hear the secretary of the Swedish Academy address the gathered press before she revealed the name of this year’s recipient: Bob Dylan.
I think the journalists were just as surprised as I was. The Nobel Prize in literature is seldom awarded to a bestselling author. This year it is awarded to a well-known, bestselling musician.
The country is divided, is this right? or not?
photo: © Nobel Media AB
The last couple of years I have read many books from the Middle East, like The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini), The Underground Girls of Kabul (Jenny Nordberg), Girls of Riyadh (Rajaa Alsanea), to mention a few. In these books the names of cities and people are much more exotic to me than names of places in the US or England which I am more familiar with. When I read novels from far away places I often find myself trying to pronounce the different names. Probably with poor results, which I will never know!
So I was thinking maybe someone would appreciate to hear the pronunciation of some of the Swedish names in the books I review,
This is not a unique idea, I have seen it on different web sites, but still it can be a useful addition to my reviews.
Here is how to pronounce “Sandhamn”, the island in Viveca Sten’s stories.
You will find more sound files on the page Listen.
We have become a nation of writers. In today’s newspaper I read that one of every three Swedes has a desire to write a book. And according to the same article, author is rated third on a list of dream jobs for Swedish women. I used to be one of them.
Writing classes are soon as common as yoga classes. Imagine all the hours spent on writing stories that no one reads, because few are chosen to be published. But maybe it is no different from marathon runners running mile after mile to practice without the spectators they have on a race? Writing is practice for the brain, and distraction from your ordinary life. Just like running and yoga.
But it also keeps up the hope of being published one day, and becoming a superstar.
This is a fact, the many successful writers from Sweden and the other Nordic countries has changed our perception of a writer. Our image of an author is no longer a lone wolf with a glass of whiskey in his hand, it is more of a celebrity. A person we can watch on talk shows and in Let’s Dance.