My venture into Northern literature


We have all heard about Stieg Larsson’s Millennium series, but there is so much more to be read. Honestly I still have not read the Millennium saga because I can simply not get into it. I tried to read it in Czech, English, and then Czech again. It never grabbed me. And let us be honest, the English translation is not the best work of translation out in the world, in my opinion it kind of sucked, but that has nothing to do with the quality of the book itself, I just need to find a good time to read it.

What I want to talk about here is obviously not the Millennium saga, but Jussi Adler-Olsen’s books, known as the Department Q. It is like the TV show Cold Cases but it takes place in Denmark. I read four out of the six books that are currently available, and I loved every single one of them. I must confess that I read them all in Czech; one reason for this is that they were easily obtainable at my local library, and second reason is that after my previous experience with translation to English I am a bit iffy about reading non-English books in English. We, as Czechs, have a longer and I need to say better tradition of translating books. It is because there are not as many books written in Czech, that we do need to translate foreign books to Czech. Some of our translations suck as well, but I, personally, felt more comfortable reading a Czech translation, than spend hours and hours trying to get a hold of an English translation. But let me put that aside and focus on the books themselves.

One of the main things that I love about these books, are the characters. In the first book we are introduced to Carl Mørck (still do not know how to read that properly) who has a bit of a troubled past that made him a very difficult partner to work with, and then we have his “assistant” (after book four I am still not sure if he is in the country legally or not) Assad, a peculiar character of an Arabic origin. In the later books these two get an official assistant Rose, that has issues of her own. I just love how complex the characters are, they seem real. They are not overly smart, or adventurous. They do their jobs and they do it well, but there is no theatrical heroism about it.

The other thing I love about the books are the cases. Some of them tackle very real problems that Europe is facing nowadays. Obviously they are a bit farfetched, but not too much to make them unbelievable. A missing politician, private school kids going rogue, an unusual religious fanatic, and an illegal abortion station. Most of the cases are linked to high politics, and that is what makes them so interesting to me. If you are looking for an exciting mystery thriller, Jussi Adler-Olsen is the one to provide that.  And once you finish reading the books, you can treat yourself to the movies; the first three stories are currently out.

As for other Northern literature, I am very much looking forward to reading some more, because it is part of literature world that I do not have much experience with but am very interested in. If you guys have any recommendations comment down below. I would love to know what books you love.

If you want me to write more about each book separately please do let me know.

See you soon peeps.



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