Swedish Marxist Noir

The Dark Wave of Crime Writers and the Influence of Raymond Chandler


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About the Book

Marxist theories have had a profound influence on crime fiction, beginning with the works of the American writers of the 1930s. This study explores the development of a Swedish Marxist noir subgenre after the 1990s through a Marxist reading of central works, from the Marlowe novels of Raymond Chandler to the 1960s social crime fiction of Sjöwall-Wahlöö to modern bestselling authors such as Henning Mankell, Stieg Larsson, Roslund & Hellström, Jens Lapidus, Arne Dahl and others. The works of these writers show a common thread of Marxist worldview in their portrayal of a modern world gone wrong.

About the Author(s)

Journalist Per Hellgren is a contributor to Clues: A Journal of Detection. He lives in Strängnäs, Sweden.

Bibliographic Details

Per Hellgren
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 265
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2019
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7371-4
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3415-9
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Preface 1

Introduction: Marxist Noir at the Gates 3

1. A World Gone Wrong: Raymond Chandler 29

2. The Accord: Per Wahlöö and Sjöwall-Wahlöö 46

3. The Fall from Grace: Henning Mankell 79

4. The Collapsed Dream: Stieg Larsson 94

5. Excavating the Swedish Underbelly: Roslund & Hellström 128

6. A Brave New Sweden: Jens Lapidus 150

7. Sleuths of the ­Post-Political Condition: Arne Dahl 164

8. The Age of the Manhunter: Lars Kepler 190

Conclusion: The Dialectics of Crime Fiction 206

Chapter Notes 221

Works Cited 238

Index 247

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “Detailed and informed…provocative study”—Crime Time.