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Monday, August 12, 2013

Nordic Noir Lament & Final Kudos for The Silent Wife

Before I tread into Scandinavian waters, I must tell you that I was floored by the last 27 pages of The Silent Wife. What an ending! In no way could I have predicted. Very entertaining! I predict that this book will be a great sleeper. Because A.S.A. Harrison died not long after her book's debut, the publisher will not be putting money into marketing. Encouragement to read the book will come by word of mouth. And here I am. For more information, I refer you to the previous several entries and the links I provided.

My Nordic Noir Lament:
I suppose I shouldn't complain. Yes, U.S. publishers are still sending forth some Nordic Noir (mystery, thriller, suspense, police procedural) titles into the American mainstream. Jo Nesbo, for example. Liza Marklund is another. And of course Henning Mankell, for years. And Camilla Lacklund. And an Icelandic author or two. And the pseudonymous Lars Kepler. But, all the same, nowhere near enough to embrace the full range of what Scandinavian authors are producing and what Great Britain is publishing. Nordic Noir is being translated into English. So what's the big deal about publishing more of it in the U.S.? American publishers, you need to do more!

A huge problem for me has been that the books I most want to read are either not available through The Book Depository, the British importer to the U.S. of choice; or, if they are available, they are very expensive. So I wait. But a woman with a taste for Nordic Noir does not want to wait. She wants to bite, swallow, and chew! I'm feeling a bit ravenous at the moment. Chomp!

A book on my watch list: Cold Courage by the Finnish author Pekka Hiltunen. Last I checked, it was not available from The Book Depository, though people in Britain are reading it. Sarah blogged about it on Crime Pieces.

11 comments:

  1. I haven't heard of The Silent Wife before but you piqued my interest.
    Thanks for mentioning it.

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    1. Although it's not a classic for the ages, it is a page-turner!

      Judith

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  2. I've developed a taste for noir in translation myself. I also wish much more was available in the U.S. I do keep a close eye on Europa books and Melville House who both publish a fair amount of translated noir.

    I'll have to look for The Silent Wife.

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    1. James,
      Thank you for mentioning Europa and Melville House. I have ordered books from these publishers but never noir. I'll check out their lists!

      Judith

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  3. I have been having this problem, too, and not only with Nordic Noir. Luckily, my library carries some of these books, but not all by any stretch.

    And I've been checking Book Depository for the last three days for lots of books, which are simply not available.

    However, some are available at Amazon.com, which purchased Book Depository, so those actuaries are busy calculating which books can be sold where and at what price, when to hold back the inventory, etc.

    I also look at Abe Books, which has used and remaindered books. It has Indridason's new Strange Shores for $21, more than I want to spend and less than Book Depository used to charge for his books, but BD doesn't have it.
    Abe Books is also now owned by Amazon -- the profits are unimaginable.

    So it's all a runaround. (I also check with Alibris, which doesn't have much and it's costlier and Awesomebooks, which doesn't seem to have inventory.)

    There's also Amazon UK, but prices need checking including shipping costs.

    Can you join a library system and have books sent to you? There are interlibrary loans, so maybe some could be sent to a branch near you.

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    1. Kathy,
      Thank you so much for all of your ideas for capturing some of these hard-to-find books! I appreciate it.

      I knew that Abe Books was purchased by Amazon, but not the Book Depository! No wonder they've been a bit messed up this summer. I can't fathom it. I'll try some of your other suggestions.

      Judith

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  4. Sorry about the lack of Nordic Noir in the States. We're awash with it here. Interesting what you say about 'The Silent Wife'. The publishers are spending a lot marketing it here. So much so, that it's difficult to find a balanced review, so much is the hype.

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    1. Sarah,
      If I had the zeal and the energy and the time, I would do more to drum up enthusiasm among readers and editors to press for a change. American publishing seems to be going through a neck-in-neck battle in the fight to reach the bottom! Independent publishing houses, on the other hand, are humming along. It may be that they are the only hope in the world of U.S. publishing.
      Judith

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  5. Amazon did acquire the Book Depository. Here's a link to an article on that.

    http://www.theguardian.com/books/2011/jul/05/amazon-the-book-depository

    I think that's why Book Depository does not often have the books as Amazon is selling them, and also why prices are higher than they used to be at Book Depository.

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    1. Hi, Kathy,
      You're absolutely right. And, to add to that, I would say that Amazon has thus far (though this may change) ruined The Book Depository for American readers who want to read recent British and European fiction.

      What most aggravates me is the removal of books that The Book Depository used to offer. And, all too often, Amazon is not selling these books. They're simply not available.
      Phooey on Amazon!

      Judith

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  6. Yes! Ditto to your comments above.

    And there's also territorial rights. A year and a half ago I ordered a book published in Iceland, then translated into English. It was available through the Book Depository.

    I ordered it and got a form letter from Book Depository saying that the publisher wouldn't allow the book to be sold in the U.S. due to its contract.

    And where was the English publisher? In Montreal, an eight-hour drive from my city. I couldn't buy the book from the Book Depository,which was published in Canada, right over the NYS border!

    I found another online seller (Alibris) and got it from them, no such nonsense.

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