Thanks to everyone for the book recommendations at Wednesday’s meeting. It’s always good to be introduced to writers we haven’t met before – and exciting to meet new characters with whom to engage.
Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö, are a married couple of detective writers from Sweden. They conceived and wrote a series of novels about the exploits of detectives from the Swedish Police Homicide Squad in which the character of Martin Beck was the main protagonist, plotting and researching each book together, they then wrote alternate chapters. There are 10 books in the series – available in English – the first of which, ‘Roseanna’, came out in 1965.
No doubt due to the huge international success of Scandinavian TV dramas, Martin Beck is being revisited in the 21st Century. Last year BBC Radio 4 ran a series of 5 of the Beck stories in the Saturday Drama strand and will complete the dramatization in the Spring of 2013. Books, hardback, paperback, kindle etc are available from Amazon – http://www.amazon.co.uk/Roseanna-Martin-Beck-Maj-Sjowall/dp/0007439113
Next up is Norwegian writer Jo Nesbø - http://jonesbo.com/ - where 9 titles (to date) are listed, together with a history of his protagonist Harry Hole. As the Literary Supplement (UK) said; ‘“Hole is all a fictional detective should be”. Jo Nesbø’s ‘Phantom’ is the UK’s best- selling paperback this week, fighting off stiff competition from the film tie-in editions of ‘The Hobbit’ and ‘Life of Pi’. The novel is also No. 1 on the official Swedish paperback list this month. Books available from Amazon here; http://www.amazon.co.uk/Jo-Nesbo/e/B001JOJT6C
Kate Atkinson is another prolific writer who comes highly recommended. A good current read is ‘Human Croquet’ – described on Amazon - where it is available for download and other formats – as ‘Part fairy tale, part mystery, part coming-of-age novel’ the book is ‘A stunning feat of imagination and storytelling, Human Croquet is rich with the disappointments and possibilities every family shares’.
Noah Gordon’s first book came out in 1976 and was on The New York Times bestseller list for 26 weeks. ‘The Rabbi’ is the story of Michael Kind, a young rabbi who falls in love with the daughter of a Protestant minister. Since that early success, Gordon has written eight best sellers, including the Cole Trilogy, the first book of which follows Robert Jeremy Cole from his 11th century boyhood in England, through Europe to an Arab medical school in Persia, where he studies under the immortal physician Avicenna. In 1999, the Spanish booksellers who attended the Madrid Book Fair voted ‘The Physician’ one of the ten most beloved books of all time. ‘The Physician’ is now in development for a film. Gordon’s website http://www.noahgordonbooks.com/novels.ht is a mine of information about him and his novels, including the most recent, the Spanish-set ‘The Winemaker’ described by Gordon as his ‘love letter to Spain’.
All great reads – and if anyone has a copy of any of the above that they would be happy to lend to the group – ‘twould be much appreciated I am sure. See you on Wednesday. Lisa.