Kurt Wallander and Nordic Noir.


Detective fiction isn’t my bag, but I’ve seen a few of the Kenneth Branagh episodes of Wallander, and my curiosity currently has an eyebrow cocked. I may need to look into this, after finishing the other 15 books currently stacked atop the table.

After all, Nero Wolfe’s Archie Goodwin and Inspector Morse are great favorites.

Detective fiction: A farewell to Kurt Wallander (probably), by N.E. (The Economist)

LONG before Stieg Larsson and Jo Nesbo turned Nordic Noir into a global brand and staying in to watch foreign dramas on television became a global obsession, Detective Kurt Wallander stumbled through the streets of a small town in Sweden. A middle aged, ordinary man, he gave readers an appetite for flawed detectives working cases in cold climes where the finger of responsibility is usually pointed at society.

The Wallander novels, created by Henning Mankell (who sadly passed away last year), have sold tens of millions of copies all over the world. The character has been incarnated into two separate Swedish television series, as well as a British version—the final series of which will air on the BBC in May. Mankell opened the door for multitudes of other writers from the region, and his Wallander encouraged small screen manifestations of Nordic Noir that we see in the shape of “The Killing”, “The Bridge” and “Follow The Money”.

What is remarkable about Wallander— and key to his popularity—is just how unremarkable he is.