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ingebjorg9: (Franka Potente)
Monday, April 22nd, 2013 02:06 pm
Adding this here because Tumblr is being a pain and won't embed it :-P

Lots of nice things... )
ingebjorg9: (Kurt Wallander)
Wednesday, April 17th, 2013 11:09 pm
Last night I went to see Krister Henriksson in his one-man play Doktor Glas, which has come to London.  He. Was. Amazing.

As Wallander his acting has always been pretty special, but in person, on the stage, he's really, really impressive.  I so enjoyed this play: it was a lot funnier than I was expecting it to be, and has suspense, drama... everything.  And Krister is awesome in it.  He fully deserved the five-minute ovation at the end, even though he seemed slightly surprised and embarrassed at the adulation coming his way.  He may be one of Sweden's most respected actors, but he's also pretty humble and down to earth.

More about the evening on my Tumblr.

Afterwards I got to meet him by the stage door, along with some of his other fans, mainly Swedish expats.  He spent a while talking and signing autographs, and having his picture taken, and was a real gentleman.  In person, he's lovely, and I'm so glad.  I'm so glad that I got to meet one of my heroes and that he was every bit as awesome as he seems on TV.

Lovely, isn't he? :)
ingebjorg9: (Kurt Wallander)
Monday, April 8th, 2013 10:07 pm
Yesterday I finally finished working through my photographs from my trip to Ystad last September.  The final count is 430 of Ystad, Skåne and a detour to Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen, but I had a couple of hundred more that I didn't keep.  This is the most photos I've taken of anywhere.  I wanted to document as much of what I saw as possible, but then again Ystad is amazingly photogenic anyway.

I've posted some of the pictures at my Tumblr blog, and a good few on Panoramio.  The hard task now is deciding which I want to have printed for my walls.  This is a strong contender:

as well as this:

Ultimately, though, it's just lovely to have so many reminders of a great trip.  I hope I'll be back there soon!

It's been good to get through all the photos, but now I really need to get back to writing.  I've signed up to pimp my beloved fandom on [ profile] smallfandomfest, so I have to have something ready by April 30th.  I also need to get on with The Assignment and The Men From Stockholm.  The longer I leave them, the guiltier I feel, but on the other hand I'm relishing the thought of all this writing!
ingebjorg9: (Franka Potente)
Friday, March 1st, 2013 01:59 pm
I'm trying to get things tidied up and in order for this month, when I'm going to make a concerted effort to write something every day. Blog post, book review, Tumblr entry, bit of fanfic, or just an excruciating piece of poetry.  Whatever.  I've got a little plot bunny in my head for something that I might post on here, but I'm also somewhere in the middle of quite a major Wallander fic that I'm trying not to neglect, and also a Martin Beck story that is being written extremely slowly (think two chapters in two and a half years.  Yeah).

In the meantime, for easy access, I'm going to post links to the fics I have so far, so read on!
Read more... )
ingebjorg9: (Jorundur)
Monday, February 18th, 2013 09:28 pm
I've had the Tumblr blog up and running for about a week and a half now, and it's good fun and dead easy.

And it's really easy to post stuff like this.  Heh heh heh :-D
ingebjorg9: (Linda Wallander)
Wednesday, February 13th, 2013 10:03 pm
Six years ago today, the world lost a very special actress.  Johanna Sällström was well-known in Sweden for a number of roles, but to most of the rest of the world she will forever be the actress who brought Linda Wallander to life.  It's sad that many of her fans around the world didn't get the chance to know her while she was alive, but her profoundly convincing on-screen performances mean that she won't be forgotten in a hurry.  I'll always remember her as the definitive Linda Wallander, her portrayal bringing out Linda's inner strength, as well as her vulnerability, her headstrong nature, as well as her softer side.  In short, she was complex, talented, beautiful and unforgettable, and she's still missed.

ingebjorg9: (O RLY?)
Wednesday, February 6th, 2013 01:47 pm
Mari Jungstedt is a Stockholm-based journalist who for about ten years has been writing crime thrillers based on the island of Gotland.  Her detective, Anders Knutas, is a happily-married family man who gets on well with his wife, has a great relationship with his kids and is happy with his life.  The opposite of Kurt Wallander, then.

Gotland is a beautiful, peaceful island, marred (if Jungstedt is to be believed) only by the ocassional brutal murder.  Knutas is a highly functional individual, as are most of his team, and while I really like the noir-ness of Wallander it's refreshing sometimes to come across a protagonist whose life is not a depressing mess.

So what's the problem, then?

Apart from the fact that, compared with writers like Henning Mankell and Arnaldur Indriðason, some of Jungstedt's writing feels like noir-lite, the main flaw in her work is her insistence on inserting into her stories two of the most unlikeable author avatars I have ever met.  First of all we have the ladies' man, Stockholm journalist Johan Berg.  Then we have the vaguely neurotic teacher Emma Winarve.  In the first novel of the series, Unseen, Johan is a TV news journalist sent to Visby by his irritating boss to investigate a series of violent murders of women.  It's not surprising that Jungstedt would choose a journalist as her author avatar, as you tend to write about what you know, but there's so much description of how a TV newsroom works and how to be a journalist that it derails the narrative a bit.  However, it gets worse when he meets Emma, wholater ends up being kidnapped herself, and nearly finished off by the murderer, who was a boy who she was mean to in school
.  Although Emma is married with two young children, she falls for Johan's somewhat dubious charms, and he for hers.  He's not put off by the fact that she's a got a family and commitments, and she doesn't seem to care that he's been round the block a few dozen times.  They end up besotted with each other.  Of course.

In the next book, Unspoken, they're back again, derailing what is actually a very compelling plot and providing distraction and annoyance all round.  Emma finds out she's pregnant and wants Johan to give her some space so she can decide what to do, Johan agrees, then turns up at her house anyway.  In the middle of a family meal.  Despite the fact that she's asked him not to contact her for a month.  Sigh.  Then they turn up again in the next novel.  And the one after that, and the one after that, and so on.  I had to stop reading after the third, as I was getting tired of their constant intrusions.  The flat affect of the prose and the added-on angst were also not helping, nor was the standard of the translation, which is diabolical.

Quite what Emma's appeal to Jungstedt is, I can't quite figure out.  She obviously identifies closely with her for some reason, but I'm sure that the real life Mari Jungstedt is a much more pleasant person than Emma appears to be.  Emma is self-centred, whiny, clingy and, for a teacher, not very smart.  For some reason, though, Johan (and Jungstedt, for that matter) finds her fascinating and can't get her out of his head.  He's no great prize either.  I may have described him elsewhere as charisma-free.  Quite why Emma is so taken with him is something of a mystery to me, I'm afraid.  He too is self-centred and lacking in insight.  He butts into the police investigations, yet somehow gets away with it, whereas in real life he'd probably have been hauled over the coals by the authorities.  He knows Emma is married and needs to think of her kids when she's deciding whether to commit to him, but he can't give her the space she needs to make the decision.  Taken individually, each of these characters is irritating.  Together they're actually a little nauseating.

The worst of it is, had they both been bumped off at the end of book one, nothing would have been lost from subsequent books.  In fact, if they were removed from the stories there would be an instant improvement.  Fewer narrative derailments.  Less needless angst.  More time spent with Detective Knutas, who actually is a likeable and interesting character.  The fact that they keep turning up again when they're really not needed points to them being Jungstedt's favourites; characters that she just can't bear to be separated from.  A lot of beginning writers do this.  Hell, a lot of experienced writers do it too, but they tend to be able to get away with it more because they can create likeable or at least interesting characters.  Although Jungstedt has been doing this for ten years, I understand she's still primarily a journalist – and unfortunately it shows.

I would really like to enjoy this series of books more, as there are also a lot of positives about the stories, Unspoken in particular being a compelling and thought-provoking study of how vulnerable young people can be victimised.  But I just can't get past these two characters, or indeed the clunkiness of the translation, which makes everything even worse.  However, for my own writing, I now have more of an idea of how not to create readable characters.  And it begins with not having them derail the plot every chapter or two.
ingebjorg9: (Picard facepalm)
Tuesday, February 5th, 2013 01:21 pm
Search for "Wallander", then see how many pages you have to scroll down before you come to a picture that's NOT of Tom Hiddleston.  I had to scroll about 12 times before I finally found sirbranagh's photo of ol' Ken smiling quite happily to himself.

Whereas I might have been willing to give the Branagh adaptations a try (in spite of their liberal interpretation of the books), the Hiddleston fangirls that have overrun that corner of the fandom have completely put me off.  It's telling that an awful lot of the Tom Hiddleston stuff that I see thrown around is also from the other things he has appeared in, like The Avengers, but still ends up tagged with "Wallander" and "Magnus Martinsson".  (As an aside, I think I actually prefer him as the unpleasant Loki than as the BBC's grossly inaccurate portrayal of Martinsson, but that's still not saying much.)  He gets a disproportionate amount of attention because he's young and (apparently some people's idea of) pretty.  But I still don't get what's supposed to be so damn attractive about the guy, and I guess I never will.

On another note, the "Martinsson" he plays is NOT the Martinsson of the novels, who is a married family man.  He begins the series as a young offcer, but over the course of the books he ages, has several children and in Firewall eventries to betray Wallander.  Anyone, in fact, who romanticises his relationship with Wallander probably hasn't read Firewall.  The Martinsson of the books is also pretty unlikely to be shipped with Linda because, well, squick.  Also, his name is not Magnus.  His first name is actually never given in the books, and Magnus is certainly not mentioned.  The Swedish series might not be to everyone's taste, but Douglas Johansson is to my mind a lot closer to the original Martinsson.

I put it to you, then, that "Magnus Martinsson" is an impostor.  Just an irreverent thought!

It's not all bad on Tumblr, though.  I found this nice picture of Krister Henriksson and Henning Mankell on set together.  There are also some really pretty pictures of Ystad.  And once I get on Tumblr and start spamming it with Swedish Wallander all will be right with the world! >:-D
ingebjorg9: (Linda Wallander)
Tuesday, October 16th, 2012 09:38 pm
A short one-shot I wrote after re-watching Mastermind.  Slight spoilers for the film.

Click to read )

ingebjorg9: (Picard facepalm)
Monday, October 15th, 2012 09:38 pm
Get the hell away from my Spem In Alium!  Grrr.

And now a palate cleanser:


Now that is a beautiful man.