mandag den 8. juni 2009

Johan Theorin, Skumringstimen (2008)

Denne krimi er Johan Theorins debut, og jeg har læst den på svensk (Skumtimmen, 2007).

Bogen indledes med en kort prolog, som foregår i begyndelsen af halvfjerdserne. Her møder vi en lille dreng, som lister sig udenfor havemuren alene, mens mormor sover middagssøvn, og møder en fremmed mand i tågerne på Øland.

Femårige Jens dukker aldrig op igen, og den egentlige historie kan tage sin begyndelse tyve år senere, da den ene af hans sandaler bliver sendt anonymt til hans morfar, Gerlof. Jens´ mor Julia er langt fra kommet over sit eneste barns forsvinden, men Gerlof beslutter, at nu er det på tide at handle. Han inviterer Julia hjem til øen, og efter nogen tøven lader hun sig overtale, og forsøger efter bedste evne at samle stumperne af sit liv op.

Umiddelbart herefter præsenteres læseren for den særprægede øbo Niels Kant, som mere eller mindre regner sig selv for at være den egentlige ejer af Øland. Han har ført en noget omtumlet tilværelse, men uanset hvad han er havnet i, har det bestemt altid været ´selvforsvar´. Gennem flashbacks hører vi om de spor, Kant har efterladt sig på øen, før han forsvandt lige efter krigen. Tilsyneladende døde han i Sydamerika i tresserne, men kan man nu også være sikker på det?

Et lille minus for den alvidende fortæller, som somme tider begiver sig ud i rene forudsigelser, som jeg lige så gerne ville have undværet. Ellers er sproget godt (så vidt jeg nu kan vurdere svensk), plottet vel tilrettelagt, og forfatteren bliver ved med at overraske læseren hele vejen igennem. Imponerende debut.

Johan Theorin, Echoes from the Dead (2008)

This crime novel is Theorin´s debut, and I read it in Swedish.
The book begins with a short prologue which takes place in the early seventies. We meet a little boy who sneaks outside the garden wall while his grandmother is taking a nap, and meets a stranger in the dense fog on the island of Öland.

Five-year-old Jens never reappears, and twenty years later the story continues when one of his sandals is sent anonymously to his grandfather Gerlof. Jens´ mother Julia has far from recovered after her only son´s disappearance, but Gerlof decides that now the time has come to act. He invites Julia home to Öland, and after some hesitation she agrees, doing her best to get her act together.

Immediately after this beginning the reader is introduced to the rather peculiar islander Niels Kant who sees himself as the king of the island. He has had a chequered career, but no matter what he has been involved in it has certainly always been ´self-defence´. Through flashbacks we hear about the chaos Kant left behind him before he disappeared soon after the war. Apparently he died in South America in the sixties, or did he?

A small minus for the omniscient narrator who sometimes ventures into predictions of the future. I could dispense with these. The language is fine (I think – but don´t trust my Swedish), the plot well planned and carried out, and the surprises continue until the final pages. Impressive debut!

12 kommentarer:

Louise sagde ...

I'd love to read this one, but will have to wait until it is out in Danish (if ever, but considering how Danish readers adore Swedish thrillers, it may just be a question of time) since I am awfully bad at reading Swedish.

Dorte H sagde ...

Louise, it is out in Danish (2008). I just bought the Swedish version because they cost next to nothing. The first two may be a bit hard, but from then on most of them are a piece of cake.

Jane sagde ...

I agree, it is a very impressive debut. The second book (Natstorm in Danish) is perhaps even better. I heard it on audio, and it actually managed to scare me quite a bit...

seanag sagde ...

It is somewhat amusing to me, basically a monolinguist, to read about how you Danes don't trust your Swedish reading skills. Whatever their level, I am envious of them.

Dorte H sagde ...

Jane; I have seen very positive reviews of Natstorm. Good to have great reading experiences ahead.

Seanag, I have read a handful of Swedish novels within the last year, and I enjoyed reading this one exactly because it wasn´t difficult for me to understand the plot. I also liked the language, but I don´t consider myself good enough to comment on it. I shall certainly continue reading Swedish (their books cost next to nothing compared to our very expensive Danish ones), and maybe one day I will feel competent enough to evaluate the language also.

Bernadette in Australia sagde ...

I read this one in the only language I can read and thoroughly enjoyed it. I really liked the way Jens' mother and her father managed to repair their relationship.

Louise sagde ...

I am going to get it from the library then, but right now I have a ton of books home from the library, that I need to finish first :-)

I have awarded you the Lemonade Award ;) Please share the love when you have time:

http://louspages.blogspot.com/2009/06/lemonade-award.html

Dorte H sagde ...

Bernadette; yes, that also struck me as a fine and positive note amidst all the crime and violence.

Louise; oh, thank you very much for thinking of me!
And you must remember to read Theorin one day :D

Ms. Bookish sagde ...

I am always so impressed when I come here, Dorte. Your ability to read in multiple languages, and your writing exercises in English are always so well done (as are your blog posts). I love the plotline of this one - so very eerie.

Dorte H sagde ...

Belle, thank you very much! I am especially happy that more and more readers seem to like my writing exercises. I still think it takes far too long time for me to translate them, but of course a second language will be a second language.
And Theorin´s novel is a marvelous debut! Wish I had written that one ;)

Randi sagde ...

Hei Dorte,
leste theorins Natstorm for etpar måneder siden, den kunne lastes ned som iPod fra DR/kultur. Spennende og interessant. Forstår det slik at den er nr 2 av en serie med 4 frittstående skildringer fra Øland, vil se å mfå fatt på Skumringstimen. Leser den helst på Svensk. Prøver Saxo.com.

Dorte H sagde ...

Hej Randi.

Jeg har hørt, at Natstorm skulle være endnu bedre end Skumringstimen, og den er ellers en rigtig fin debut!

Jeg tror, den billigste måde at købe skandinaviske bøger på er www.adlibris.com, især hvis du køber flere bøger på én gang. Skumtimmen kan købes for 36 kroner, og forsendelse koster 19 kroner, uanset hvor mange bøger, du køber.
Jeg læser også gerne svensk - fordi det er billigst :D