ScandinavianBooks

About this site

ScandinavianBooks is a site focused on Scandinavian literature - both fiction and crime fiction - and movies. We review books by Scandinavian authors in a number of genres, and also publish news about Scandi­navian literature and movies. The site consists of this main site and two blogs: Nordic Bookblog and Scandinavian Movies. The main sections are fiction - modern and classical literature - and crime fiction. We also have sections on literature about the Vikings and about movies/DVDs based on Scandinavian literature.

Future and recent releases

The Troubled Man, by Henning Mankell, is the most recent novel in Mankell's series about Swedish detective Kurt Wallander. It is quite possible that it is the last book ever to be written in this excellent and remarkable series that has entertained so many for so long.
The Hypnotist, the debut novel by Swedish Lars Kepler that became such an incredible success so quickly in Sweden, is a very violent and shocking book. It features detective Joona Linna and at the center stage is the use of hypnotism in solving a violent crime. You will love this one!
Harry Hole, the Inspector in the Oslo police that is the main character in Jo Nesbo's books, is a strange, complex man with the soul of an addict. Two girls have been brutally murdered in Oslo, the police haven't a clue, and Harry Hole enjoys his opium dreams in Hong Kong. Now the powers that be want him to come home. They need him. But for what? To solve a complicated case? To be a pawn in their games? To be the fall guy? A top notch crime fiction from Nesbo!
Leif GW Persson is a professor of criminology, and in this clever crime fiction novel he provides a possible explanation for the assassination of Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme in February 1986. To do this, he takes us deep into the not so pretty underbelly of Swedish law enforcement - we meet sloppy and greedy cops, psychopaths in the service of the secret police, clandestine services and shady agents.
Red Wolf is the fifth book in Swedish crime fiction writer Liza Marklund’s series featuring reporter Annika Bengtzon. It is very good, suspenseful, and very entertaining, with an excellent, very exciting plot. Perhaps Marklund's best!
Ashes to Dust, the third book in Yrsa Sigardardottir’s series about Thóra Gudmundsdóttir, is a dark mystery that mostly takes place at Vestmannaeyjar (The Westman Islands). Four people that were murdered when the volcano there erupted more than 30 years ago have been found, and Thóra's client is the prime suspect.

Scandinavian fiction/literature

The fiction scene - The Nordic countries each have their own great litera­tures. Think of Denmark's H.C. Andersen and Karen Blixen and Iceland's sagas and Nobel prize winner Halldor Laxness. Finland has Aleksis Kivi and Tove Jansson. Swedish Selma Lagerlof and Vilhelm Moberg are also well known, as are NorwegianHenrik Ibsen and Sigrid Undset. The many con­tempor­ary writers are less well known but often as good; authors like Per Petterson, Morten Ramsland, Roy Jacobsen, Lars Saabye Christ­ensen and Klas Oster­gren. We present a selection of both the classical and the con­tempor­ary litera­tures of the Nordic countries.
The talented Finnish writer Sofi Oksanen has won several prestigeous Finnish prizes as well as the Nordic Council Award for her stunning and exceptional novel Purge.
Finnish writer Arto Paasilinna's The Year of the Hare is about an amusing, wonderful adventure into the vast wilderness of Finnish forests by a journalist and a hare.
The Beatles is a quiet and delightful novel by Lars Saabye Christensen reminising the coming of age of a group of young boys in Norway during the 1960's - the era of The Beatles, long hair, and social protests.
Ludvig Holberg's (Baron Holberg) classical The Journey of Niels Klim to the World Underground, written more than 250 years ago, tells the tale of a stunning journey by a penniless Norwegian student after he plunges into a bottomless hole in a cave.
Swedish author Per C. Jersild's A Living Soul is a story about a brain. Its name is Ypsilon. Ypsilon lives in a laboratory in a privately owned research corporation. A very intriguing and thought-provoking novel!

Scandinavian crime fiction

A success story - Scandinavian crime fiction is becoming a brand name. It is something increasingly associated with high quality. It's hard to say why it's happening. But we know something started when Sjowall and Wahloo became popular all over, received all sorts of prizes and were awarded the Edgar prize for their "Laughing Policeman". A number of excellent writers followed in their footsteps - Peter Hoeg, Henning Mankell, Karin Fossum, Hakan Nesser, and others. And then came the phenomenon of Stieg Larsson. That's happening right now. In his footsteps a large and growing number of wonderful authors await!
Swedish writer Karin Alvtegen has written a series of suspenseful psychological mysteries, dealing with common emotions and experiences such as shame and fear, betrayal and loss.
Against the Wall, by Finnish writer Jarkko Sipila, was the 2009 Winner of the Best Finnish Crime Novel. This is very noir and hard boiled crime fiction, featuring Lieutenant Detective Kari Takamaki. A very nice read.
Iceland's Arnaldur Indridason is the winner of many prizes, his series about Reykjavik police Inspector Erlendur Sveinsson is a huge success. The philosophical Viking detective is both charming and smart.
In The Consorts of Death, Varg Veum - Gunnar Staalesen's private eye - skillfully untangles the ways in which the past has a bearing on the present. It is easy to like this hard drinking detective from rainy Bergen.
Johan Theorin of Sweden has so far only written two books, and a third is just coming out in Scandinavia. Both are excellent. Many view him as the next Stieg Larsson. The Darkest Room and Echoes From the Dead are scary and build lots of suspense. A new, emerging master of crime fiction mysteries?

Scandinavian movies on DVD

Growing, improving - The Scandinavian movie industry is not Hollywood. Still, it has traditions and some great names - for instance Ingmar Bergman and Lars von Trier. Currently this industry is rapidly expanding, partly due to the great successes of Scandinavian crime fiction literature. Movies featuring Martin Beck have been followed by movies featuring Kurt Wallander, Lisbeth Salander, Irene Huss and Varg Veum. In addition to these, we also review movies based on books by Scandinavian authors, eg. Karen Blixen. See our movie overview page for more!
As it is in Heaven is an utterly charming Swedish movie, romantic, funny, warm and in some ways an ode to love. As It is in Heaven was nominated for Best Foreign Film at the 2005 Academy Awards®. It is starred by Michael Nyquist (also featured in the Millennium movies).
Meryl Streep and Robert Redford starred in the wonderful classic movie Out of Africa, based on the equally great novel by Karen Blixen (aka Isak Dinesen). And the other movie based on her books, Babette's Feast, is equally good and really quite a feast!
The Swedish movie Sunstorm, based on a crime fiction novel by Asa Larsson, features Antti Reini, Göran Forsmark, Henrik Gustafsson, Izabella Scorupco (picture), and Mikael Persbrandt. Action and excitement.
Norwegian actor Trond Espen Seim plays the Bergen sleuth Varg Veum in a series of movies based on Gunnar Staalesen's crime fiction novels. He is an ex-social worker, a cynical private eye with a social conscience.
Elling was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign language film of 2001. As is the novel Elling by Ingvar Ambjornsen, it is a very entertaining and endearing film. The characters Elling and Kjell Bjarne are immensely enjoyable and played to perfection.
Fanny and Alexander by Swedish director Ingmar Bergman is perhaps the crowning piece of his brilliant set of films. An innovative, creative and perfectionist film maker who has created a large number of very impressive movies.

Competition: Write book reviews

We have 3 brand new crime fiction books that we will give away to readers in the US that send us reviews of Scandinavian books that we can publish on this site! The first 3 readers to send three usable reviews (we do not censor opinions) each, along with name and address, by email will receive a free book. The reviews should be at least 250 words each. The names of the winners will be published on the site. Or, if you simply want to publish a review here - just send it!

Music on this site?

Would you like to see a section on Scandinavian music on this site? We have discussed this and would like to hear what you think. On the one hand we are a little worried about spreading too thin. On the other hand we feel people who come to this site might be interested in more than just Scandinavian crime fiction or fiction in general, and would find it interesting to get some info on classical and contemporary music as well. What do you think? Send us a comment or an email!

What else would you like to see here?

Is there anything you would like to see here or find here or do here? What are we missing? We would like to learn more about how you view the site, if there is stuff you look for here and can't find, and so on. More news? More about the authors? More about the countries? Travel books? A discussion board? Use the comment form or drop us an email!