Friday, September 10, 2010

Arnaldur Indridason

Arnaldur Indridason's latest Reykjavik Thriller is Hypothermia.

From a Q & A at PBS about the series:

Inspector Erlendur is sometimes described as a “gloomy Scandinavian?” Is there anything to that stereotype? If so, to what do you attribute it?

Many of them are gloomy but you don’t always know why. My books tell the story of this inspector who is very isolated, very lonely and very gloomy and with each book you get a little bit more answer as to why that is. There is a reason for it but we just don’t know it fully and it is one of the mysteries in the books. So it is a question of how you tackle it and if you can make it interesting and part of the whole story instead of just putting it up there and not use it at all. Why the gloominess? I think it is much more interesting to write about lives gone wrong than happy lives, there is no fun in happiness, I always say.

What do you think American readers would be most surprised to learn about Icelandic people or society?

Well, the question I most often get from my foreign readers is if there really are crimes in Iceland. People seem to have an innocent, trolls-and-elves-like image of Iceland with the great landscape and clean air. But of course we have crimes just like any other country in the world even if there is less of it due to the fact that we are only 300.000 on this island. What readers will find out is that even if we are so few, Iceland is a very vibrant, very cultural and very modernized society with deep roots in literature.

You’ve talked a lot about how the booming Icelandic economy created a major shift, good and bad. How do you expect Iceland’s recent reversal of fortune as a result of the global economic crisis to affect or inspire your writing?
It is...[read on]
--Marshal Zeringue