The most famous scene in Swedish film used to be Max von Sydow playing chess with Death on the seashore in Ingmar Bergman‘s “The Seventh Seal.” Now it’s Noomi Rapace carving “I am a rapist pig” on the belly of her hog-tied abuser in “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.” The global success of Stieg Larsson’s Millennium trilogy and their movie adaptations has transformed the image of Sweden in the eyes of the world. No longer just a country of austere artists meditating on the meaning of life, it’s now a hotbed of criminal perversion beneath the bourgeois veneer of a social democratic paradise. First with the TV series “Wallander” and then with the Millennium trilogy, both based on best-selling books, the Swedes have found a way to package their reputation for Nordic gloom into a commercially appealing and internationally marketable genre, dubbed “Swedish noir.” The resulting success has spread a wave of confidence not just through the Swedish film, TV and publishing industry, but throughout Swedish culture, and has got the rest of the world sitting up to take notice.
Quote of the Day“The real kick in reading Larsson’s trilogy is his clever, repeated expression of a rarely spoken truth: In a world that underpays and undervalues their very existence, women aren’t out for revenge. They’re out for justice.” — Billy Frolick, The Huffington Post.
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