Tag Archives: Danish crime

Danish bestseller Thomas Rydhal’s The Hermit – at London’s Free Word Centre, 10 October.

Thomas Rydhal discusses his debut crime novel The Hermit. An instant bestseller in Denmark and winner of the Glass Key Award for the best Nordic crime novel.rydahl

Mon 10 Oct 2016; 6:45pm – 9:00pm @ Free Word Centre

Book your tickets here

Thomas Rydhal’s extraordinary debut crime novel The Hermit was an instant bestseller in Denmark and stayed in the top ten for 30 weeks. Winner of the Harald Mogensen Prize for Best Danish crime novel and the Glass Key Award for best Nordic crime novel. It has been translated into 30 languages.

Thomas discusses the themes of the book with Dr Jakob Stougaard-Nielsen, senior Lecturer in Scandinavian Literature at UCL. K. E. Semmel, translator of the English edition, will contribute on video describing the particular challenges of Danish-English translation and how the story was adapted from one cultural context into another.

This event is part of Wanderlust: Great Literature from Around the World, a monthly event series at Free Word. Join us on the second Monday of each month to celebrate the best fiction in translation.

About The Hermit

The Hermit is set in Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands, where its unlikely hero, a 67 year old ex-pat Danish taxi driver, is caught up in a dangerous web of corruption and murder.

A car is found crashed on a beach of Fuerteventura. On the back seat lies a cardboard box containing the lifeless body of a small boy wrapped in newspaper cuttings. No one knows his name, and there is no trace of a driver. The last thing Fuerteventura needs is a murder. The ailing resort already has half-empty bars, there are plans for a new casino, and the local police are under pressure to close the case. But long-time islander and loner Erhard, a taxi driver who sees more than most people, won’t let the investigation drop – and he has nothing to lose. The question is: can a 67-yearold man, who knows nothing about mobile phones or the internet, possibly solve a complex murder whose dangerous web of deceit stretches far beyond the small island? This bold, unsettling literary thriller introduces a strikingly original new talent to crime fans.

About Thomas Rydhal

Thomas Rydahl was born in Aarhus in 1974. He studied philosophy and psychology and graduated from the Danish Writing Academy in 1999. He has translated Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink and Outliers into Danish. The Hermit, his first novel, is the only debut to have won the Glass Key Award – previous recipients include Henning Mankell, Karin Fossum, Stieg Larsson and Jo Nesbø. He lives in Fredensborg, Denmark.

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Danish Book Launch: Murder in the Dark and Conversation with the Translator – video

In partnership with Norvik Press, the Nordic Noir book club held a reception at University College London on 4th November 2013 to celebrate the publication of Dan Turèll’s Murder in the Dark. The book’s translator Mark Mussari took part in an interactive Q&A during the event, live via video link from the USA. You can watch the full video below (27 minutes).

The video Q&A was hosted by UCL’s new PhD student in Danish-English Translation Studies, Ellen Kythor, and the launch was made possible with support from the university’s School of European Languages, Culture and Society.

You can purchase Murder in the Dark now via the Norvik Press website.

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Danish Book Launch: Murder in the Dark and Conversation with the Translator

In partnership with Norvik Press, the next Nordic Noir book club event will be a reception to celebrate the publication of Dan Turèll’s Murder in the Dark, translated by Mark Mussari. turellcover

Murder in the Dark is the first in Danish author Turèll’s ‘Murder’ series. The scruffy, unconventional anti-hero narrator is a journalist with a warm wit, who drinks to excess, is desperate to be loved, yet revels in being an outsider – the author strongly denied he was based on himself, though the parallels are striking! The series takes place in Vesterbro, Copenhagen, depicted as a grotty crime-ridden underworld full of brothels, dodgy bars, and drug dens. The book opens with a mysterious 3.30am phone call from a strange voice telling the narrator to come – now – to an address on Saxogade. When he wakes again at a more reasonable hour, the narrator contacts the police:

I had to say my name twice – and give them my social security number once – before they took me seriously.

And that they certainly did. In authoritative tone, the voice in Cafe Freden’s payphone asked me to appear at Police Inspector Ehlers’ office in Halmtorvet as soon as possible.

I told them I would be there in fifteen minutes.

I spent twelve of those minutes on two bitters and two cups of even more scalding hot coffee. I spent the final three minutes walking the twenty meters to the police station at Halmtorvet, as slowly as possible. I’ve always hated spending my free time in police stations.

Translator Mark Mussari will be taking part in an interactive Q&A via video link for the event, so we would like to get some questions from book club members about his experience translating this classic crime novel. You can suggest questions in a number of ways: post a comment here, tweet @nordicnoir, or comment on our Facebook page.

The launch takes place on Monday 4th November 2013 at University College London. The event is free, but please RSVP by 5pm on Wednesday 30th October to Ellen Kythor at norvikevents@gmail.com.

If you can’t make it, the translator’s Q&A will be available on YouTube soon after – watch this space for details!

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Nordic crime readers’ choice: what’s your favourite? (14 June)

The Nordic Noir Book Club is delighted to announce the next event in the series, which will take place on 14 June, 6pm – 8pm, at the Horse Hospital (Colonnade, London WC1N 1JD). Please register here: http://tinyurl.com/6g7wdn5, the cost is £5.

This event hopes to offer inspiration for your favourite Nordic crime novels to read over the summer.  Nordic Noir members, bloggers and new readers are all welcome to join us for some wine and snacks during an evening of sharing, discussion, crime quizzes, and much more. Please bring along your favourite Nordic crime novel, and think about how you want to persuade others to read it! We look forward to seeing you on 14 June! Send inquiries to nordic-noir@ucl.ac.uk.

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The Culture Café Radio Show on The Killing

Tuesday, March 15, 1.15 – 2.00 pm, there will be a short talk about The Killing and Scandinavian crime fiction on BBC Radio Scotland’s show, The Culture Café. I will talk with host Clare English and TV critic Jane Graham about the recent success of the Danish TV crime series, and I may just give away how you knit the perfect Sarah Lund jumper (en islandsk sweater, as we call it in Danish). Here’s the blurb from the programme site:

The actors wear chunky-knit jumpers, it’s filmed largely in the dark and rain and it has a less than inviting title. But BBC4’s The Killing, a subtitled Danish thriller that slowly unfolds over 20 hours as police hunt for the murderer of a 19-year-old girl, has proved a perhaps unlikely hit. The show has been getting higher viewing figures than Mad Men did when it was shown on the channel and the BBC has confirmed that it has bought the second series. The show, which has been a hit across Europe, underscores the growing popularity of Scandinavian TV crime, following as it does the Swedish Wallander series. To explore the attraction of Nordic Noir Clare’s joined by Jakob Stougaard-Nielsen, lecturer in Scandinavian literature at University College London and TV critic, Jane Graham.

We are most likely going to talk about how it can be that a subtitled Danish crime thriller has become such a hit in the UK and beyond, and not only with the hardened Nordic Noir crime fans. As some of you may have seen, I was quoted in The Guardian a few weeks ago for my surprise reaction to its popularity. My point is, it is not usual for British TV viewers to spend 20 hours in the company of a language that sounds like somebody speaking while “eating a hot potato” (as a student of mine said once), and having to be constantly distracted to read the subtitles at the bottom of the screen. Not that I have low opinions about the multi-tasking skills of British TV viewers, but it is something that you have to get used to.  That British viewers don’t mind, I think, is unusual, especially compared to Scandinavian TV, where viewers more often than not view programmes that are subtitled from one language or another.

And then there is the question of the story. Again, isn’t it surprising that people get hooked on a series with multiple plot lines, where the crime elements are constantly over shadowed by the story of the grieving family, Lund’s inability to make a relationships work, or even her inability to be a good mother, a good daughter, etc. And we don’t really know why she is like that. I also can’t be the only one wondering about the portrayal of Lund. She is not the first female crime investigator in Scandinavian crime or even crime made for TV, but she is fundamentally different. She is gendered differently, and so is her partner investigator. She is no feminist, she is herself: maybe she has become a traditionally male gendered crime investigator to make it in that world: she shows no real empathy with anyone, she is all work at a great cost to her family life, etc.

This is what Danish media critic Karen Klitgaard Povlsen writes about The Killing in a chapter in Andrew Nestingen and Paula Arvas’ recent book, Scandinavian Crime Fiction (an excllent study of all things Nordic Noir – can’t recommend it enough! I will write a review as soon as I get to the end):

Sarah Lund is a clever police officer, but a bad mother and lover. She has no empathy, and is incapable of bonding or identifying with other women. Indeed, she might be described as a stereotypical and conventional male detective in a feminine disguise … This series depicts the investigator’s career in dystopian terms, at the same time as it depicts Danish politics as another dystopia. (Karen Klitgaard Povlsen)

Is this partly what makes her character so appealing – so enigmatic; does it matter? And what does this say about Women in the Danish welfare state?

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The Killing and Scandinavian Crime in The Guardian

The Guardian in the UK is running a blog on The Killing currently being screened on BBC4. Here’s a link to today’s post:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/tv-and-radio/tvandradioblog/2011/mar/04/the-killing-catch-up

Saturday, they will bring an article on the Killing and Scandinavian Crime Fiction, in general.

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