RE: RARA-AVIS: Re: Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahöö's Martin Beck serie

From: Patrick King (
Date: 25 Apr 2009

  • Next message: Patrick King: "Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: Maj Sjwall and Per Wahl's Martin Beck series"

     For an example of the ranting

    Mikael refers to, check out the beginning of chapter 3 of “Cop Killer” where

    the authors spend no less than three pages telling the reader how much they

    hate a particular airport. S&L certainly did not stick to the rule about

    “show, don’t tell”. On the opposite, they told you. Repeatedly.


    That is interesting. COP KILLER was the first of the books I read and I read it because I was hired by Pyramid Books around 1975, to write the jacket copy for the American paperback version. I believe the book was never actually produced by Pyramid but a cover was developed and printed. I was completely blown away by the novel. The realistic views of the car thieves and the authors' obvious understanding of how criminals think and live was unique in my experience at that time. I also, and this is 1975, thought the political view was candid, unique, and refreshing. I had been a member, myself, of The Weather Underground in the US, shortly before this time and certainly did not disagree with many of the ideas Sjöwall and Wahlöö were expressing. Obviously, if the story had not been as skillfully executed as it was, I'd have been less impressed. I found all of the English editions of the books and read them avidly. I never thought their political pov was
     over the top. I found it to be what we used to call: Right on!

    Patrick King


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