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Muse's Books

Book 107: Nordic Noir by Barry Forshaw

Book 107: Nordic Noir: The Pocket Essential Guide to Scandinavian Crime Fiction, Film & TV.
Author: Barry Forshaw, 2013.
Genre: Non-fiction. Nordic Noir. Cultural/Literary Studies.
Other Details: Paperback. 160 pages.

The information-packed study examines and celebrates books, films and TV adaptations, from Sjöwall & Wahlöö’s highly influential Martin Beck series through Henning Mankell’s Wallander (subject of three separate TV series) to Stieg Larsson’s groundbreaking The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, cult TV hits such as the Danish The Killing, The Bridge and the political thriller Borgen, up to the massively successful books and films of the current king of the field, Norway’s Jo Nesbo.

Nordic Noir anatomises the nigh-obsessive appeal of the subject and highlights every key book, film and TV show. For both the beginner and the aficionado, this is a hugely informative, highly accessible guide (and shopping list) for an essential crime genre.
- synopsis from publisher's website.

This informative guide pretty much does what it says on the box: provides an overview of the recent cultural phenomena of Scandinavian Crime Fiction in print, TV and film. Looking at the Table of Contents of both this appears to be a compacted, slightly revised and updated version of Forshaw's 2012 work Death in a Cold Climate: A Guide to Scandinavian Crime Fiction.

I was not an 'early adopter' of Nordic Noir and came to it via the Wallander series by Henning Mankell in early 2008 some months before the sub-genre became a cultural phenomena with the publication of Stieg Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo' so am fairly familiar with the subject covered. This guide provided me background on a number of writers whose work I know and also introduced me to others still undiscovered. I felt that Forshaw overall did a good job in terms of providing an introduction to the themes and players as well as discussing various books without giving spoilers.
Tags: crime fiction, cultural studies, european, literature history, television

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