Monday, December 01, 2008

December dawns!

Good grief, but Sweden looked amazing in the new TV version of Henning Mankel's Wallnder books. The acting was, in general, absolutely brilliant, with Branagh's brilliance quite awesome at times. Fabulous photography, but scripting was occasionally iffy and the choice of Nicholas Hoult from Skins to play the avenging wee brother rendered the whodunnit element laughably redundant.

Please, though, if you like Wallander, get hold of Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo's Beck series. Set in Stockholm in the 60s, explicitly but not overbearingly Marxist in ideology, the books are cool, laconic, character-driven, and somehow very human. Wallander, with his depression and illness, is clearly based on the constantly suffering Beck Not everybody will find that appealling, but I've read the whole lot twice and I think they're among the best police procedurals ever written. There's one, very good English-language film version of the Beck book The Laughing Policeman, set in the USA with Walter Matthau and Bruce Dern, but only available on US region DVD. Try and see it.

Today's show...

Hmmm...It's the start of December so i think we'll go Christmas tree spotting...Scotland has just introduced compulsory seller's surveys for house sales, so I'll be asking about houses you've moved into and found very different from the property you viewed...and the Campaign for Universal Festive Folding Female Flip Flops starts here...

2 comments:

John McLeod said...

I regularly read the TM blog, and am surprised that it generates so few comments. I just wanted to support Tom's recommendation of the Henning Mankell 'Wallander' series of books, and Sjowall and Wahloo series that inspired them. I discovered Mankell a few years ago, and have since become addicted to Scandinavian crime fiction (Nordic Noir). It is a great tragedy and loss that the final Wallander book (The Pyramid) has been published. I can't understand how Mankell can leave behind such a great character. By the way, Mankell's other novels less readable. For anyone who appreciates the Mankell/Wallander series, you will enjoy a marvellous photo blog based in Ystad (the setting for the novels): http://ystaddailyphoto.blogspot.com/

John McLeod

Tom Morton said...

Cheers John
I found myself reading (and accidentally buying two copies in hardback) of Stieg Larsson's the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, which I found very odd. Norwegian Noir would also include The Redbreast by Jo Nesbo - even odder. Next stop, Iceland with Arnaldur Indridason...