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Kragepigen by Jerker Eriksson
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Kragepigen (original 2010; edition 2011)

by Jerker Eriksson, Håkan Sundquist

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2791940,505 (3.7)12
Member:mai-britt
Title:Kragepigen
Authors:Jerker Eriksson
Other authors:Håkan Sundquist
Info:Kbh. : Lindhardt og Ringhof, 2011.
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:None

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The Crow Girl by Erik Axl Sund (2010)

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» See also 12 mentions

English (13)  Swedish (2)  Dutch (1)  German (1)  French (1)  Spanish (1)  All (19)
Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)
"How much can a human being withstand before they turn into a monster?"

For me, a glaring difference between (most) crime thrillers from the States versus those from Scandinavian countries is that the latter tends to be more character-driven. Many US crime fiction novels are just that - crime fiction. They've got the detective, the perpetrator, the crime, the investigation; they read as procedurals. Scandinavian crime fiction, on the other hand, brings crime fiction to a whole new level by straying away from the genre's traditional formula. Stieg Larsson's "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" is a classic example. Scandinavian crime fiction stories tend to be grittier and complex - they probe endlessly at problems within Swedish (in this instance) society and use the narrative techniques of crime fiction to do so.

"The Crow Girl" is a deeply psychological novel. It surpasses "Gone Girl" by eons. As of right now, this book epitomises the psychological crime genre for me, because it balances both psychology and crime seamlessly together to form a very genuine story - one that's not trying to be a psychological crime novel. And most importantly, it uses both genres to explore societal issues and age-long questions about human endurance.

She thinks about what determines the value of a human life. Is it the number of mourners at the funeral, the financial value of the estate, or the media interest in the death? The social influence of the deceased? Their country of origin or skin colour? Or the sum of police resources allocated to a murder investigation?"

I don't think I can properly introduce the complex cast of characters in this book largely because the discovery of these characters is part of the experience for the reader. In my opinion, the psychological turns serve not to shock (in fact, I expected a lot of it), but to serve as an analysation of one of the overall themes of the book, illustrated by the first quote. It's a story that explores the vicious cycle of unimaginable pain and insurmountable hatred, victim and perpetrator; every character has their own set of motivations, and the lengths they go to achieve their goals plays a large part in the way these seemingly unrelated characters' lives collide.

"The Crow Girl" is emotionally crushing, but in my opinion it is so very important that it be read. I think this book adequately contributes to an understanding of the psychology of violence, pain, and the ways the human mind tries to protect itself. It has the potential to inspire people to learn more about a deep-seated issue that affects millions in societies beyond just Scandinavia; this alone makes the effort to read it worth it.

Last but not least: Jerker Eriksson and Håkan Axlander Sundquist have done a brilliant job writing some of the book's most prolific scenes. There are moments where the imagery and pacing are incredibly cinematic. The story will literally creep into you until you feel like its dark brutality has parked itself deep inside you.

Kudos to translator Neil Smith for taking this HUGE trilogy on and doing it fantastically. ( )
  wildrequiem | Oct 28, 2016 |
Extremely dark - child abuse, torture, murder, psychosis. Very, very long - 768 pages. But I couldn't stop turning those pages. ( )
  cacky | Sep 10, 2016 |
Way too long.
Back and forth , chapter after chapter. Same old story
Maybe the translation, maybe the writing
Disappointing ( )
  sogamonk | Sep 9, 2016 |
This is a tough book to evaluate. On one hand I loved it and did not want to put it down, but had to due to its length and weight – it is 768 pages long and a rather hefty tome. On the other hand the descriptions of the numerous victims in the story are horrific, and there are many victims in this tale, so reading so much of this is rather repulsive. However, the writing is wonderful, the storyline is intriguing and the end is something I did not anticipate. When I learned that the original Swedish version was three separate books that the English version combined into one, its length made more sense. I gave it a high rating because while I both loved and was repulsed by it, I never wavered in my desire to find out what happened next right up to the end. ( )
  Susan.Macura | Aug 19, 2016 |
I wanted to like this book, but it's slow and plodding, taking far too long to get anywhere interesting and then randomly telling you what's going to happen in advance of plot twists. My eyes glazed over at the thought of finishing it; I'm giving up at the end of Part One. ( )
  jen.e.moore | Aug 5, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Erik Axl Sundprimary authorall editionscalculated
Axlander Sundquist, Håkanmain authorall editionsconfirmed
Eriksson, JerkerAuthormain authorall editionsconfirmed
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Dunkelt är vårt liv. Stor vår medfödda bevikelse - vilken gör att så många sagor överhuvud blomma i Skandinaviens skogar - dystert kolnar vårt hjärtas hungereld. Många blir kolvaktare vid sitt eget hjärtas mila; lägga i fördrömmelsens krymplingsskap örat till och höra hur det susande förbrinner.

Ur Nässlorna blomma av Harry Martinsson
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Till minnet av en syster
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Huset var hundra år gammalt och de gedigna stenväggarna var metertjocka, vilket betydde att hon antagligen inte behövde isolera dem, men hon ville vara på den säkra sidan.
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