torsdag den 3. december 2009

Gunnar Staalesen and Fallen Angels


This Norwegian crime novel called ´Fallen Angels´ has not been translated into English (yet?). English writers have a choice of four novels with the same detective, Varg Veum, however.

In this story Veum returns to his Bergen childhood in the fifties and his youth in the sixties with a vivid description of the role rock bands and girls played for him and his young friends in their formative years.

Many years later Veum has a reunion with his best friend Jakob who was one of the lead figures in the popular band The Harpers and who eventually married Veum´s first love, the very religious girl Rebecca. The occasion is a funeral: one of the band members has died in an accident, - and Rebecca has left Jakob. Veum looks into this and discovers that the old band members die at an alarming rate.

Solid crime novel with a detective who is literally a lone wolf: the old name Varg means wolf.

[See what my daughters gave me: my life´s first advent calender!]

Gunnar Staalesen, Faldne Engle (1990).

[Faldne engle, norsk originaludgave 1989]

I denne krimi, den sjette om privatdetektiven Varg Veum, tegner Staalesen et fint og detaljeret billede af Bergen i 50erne og 60erne, hvor Veum var barn og ung. Vi hører om venskaberne, de første forelskelser og seksuelle erfaringer, og den nye musik, rocken, som får så stor betydning for Vargs nærmeste venner.

Historien begynder mange år senere, hvor Veum deltager i begravelsen af en af de gamle venner, et medlem af det populære rockband Harpers. Her møder han organisten Jakob Aasen, et fremtrædende medlem af bandet, Vargs bedste barndomsven og den mand, som blev gift med Vargs første kærlighed, Rebecca. Jakob indrømmer, at Rebecca har forladt ham for nylig, og beder Varg prøve at finde hende. Undervejs i sin søgen opdager Varg, at alt for mange af de gamle Harpers-medlemmer er døde som følge af ´ulykker´.

Som titlen hentyder til, stammer Rebecca fra en kristen frimenighed, som har eller har haft stor betydning for vennekredsen, og sideløbende med temaet fra Beatles´ Yesterday, møder vi også vennernes engle og dæmoner, men Staalesen forfalder ikke til at lade religion eller det overnaturlige ødelægge et vel udtænkt krimiplot.

En passende december-krimi: hele det moderne plot udspiller sig i adventstiden.

10 kommentarer:

Margot Kinberg sagde ...

Dorte - That's a beautiful calendar : ). Thanks for sharing this novel. That's the trouble with my not speaking Norwegian (or Danish, or Swedish, or Finnish...). There are lots of good crime novels I have to wait to read...

Dorte H sagde ...

Margot: yes, my daughters are spoiling me!

I know it is a problem that all my English readers cannot read this one, but I thought it was fair enough to introduce Staalesen properly as some of his novels have been translated. I think Maxine has reviewed some of them.

Margot Kinberg sagde ...

Oh, I agree, Dorte. I've read some of Maxine's fine reviews of Staalesen, too; quite an intriguing author : )

Jose Ignacio Escribano sagde ...

Dorte, thanks for widening our reading horizons.

Dorte H sagde ...

Jose: you are welcome. Most days when I take my blogging round, I am also sorely tempted to add even more books to my list.

Elizabeth sagde ...

Sounds like a book series I should search out.
Enjoy your advent calendar!

Dorte H sagde ...

Elizabeth: thank you! And all the books I have read by Staalesen have been good, traditional crime stories.

....Petty Witter sagde ...

What a strange front cover this book has - strange but somehow interesting, it draws the eyes to it.

Anita sagde ...

Visste du at Varg Veum-bøkene er blitt filmet nå? Jeg liker filmene godt også!

Dorte H sagde ...

Petty Witter: yes, the angels are literally falling!

Anita: nej, men jeg håber, de viser dem på dansk TV på et tidspunkt så. (Det er lidt langt at rejse til Norge for at komme i biografen).