Monday, April 26, 2010

Swedish crime revealing the real-life truth beneath 'peaceful country' perception?

Well, it seems you can't escape the Swedish crime juggernaut. And it just goes to show that once something enters the wider media and public consciousness, it often tends to remain there for quite a while - not that this is a bad thing. Especially when you're dealing with a quality 'product', rather than just a media driven fad with little substance (too many other examples to mention)

Funnily enough, when I wrote a large 2000-word feature on Swedish Crime for the August 2009 issue of Good Reading magazine, I thought at the time that I was being pretty late on the uptake. But even now, months later, big-name newspapers and magazines around the globe are still hopping on the Swedish crime bandwagon, finding new ways to make the ongoing success 'newsy'. In yesterday's Sydney Morning Herald there was an interesting article at looking whether Swedish crime, with it's brutality and violence, is actually 'lifting the lid' on the truth about Sweden, which is generally thought of as a pleasant and peaceful place.

In the article, "A very, very dark side", Stephen Armstrong writes that "Larsson, as with [Swedish stand-up comic] Betner and Mankell, spends much of the time pulling apart the stereotype of happy-ever-after, perfectly educated, socially democratic and joyfully tolerant Swedes enjoying wild sex lives and perfectly cooked meatballs."

You can read the rest of this interesting article, here.

So, what do you think of Swedish crime? Is it strange to have such dark tales set in what was previously perceived to be a very peaceful place? Or is it merely the fact that everywhere has an underbelly - some just more hidden than others? Is Larsson lifting the lid on the truth beneath the facade? Thoughts and comments welcome.

1 comment:

  1. I am not an expert on Sweden, but the truth is probably somewhere in between the peaceful paradise and a crime-ridden dystopia. All countries have crime and issues, but Scandinavia is not America - yet.