Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Joys of Crime Fiction

Now that I have time, I am rediscovering joys of reading crime fiction. It started with Stieg Larsson. I read the trilogy virtually non-stop.

Now, as I am about to finish Jo Nesbo's Harry Hole series of books in English, I wonder why is crime fiction fun. Why do I read them?

The first couple of crime fiction books I read were by Raymond Chandler early in my college days. It was more fun to watch the movies or TV serials.

Then in the mid-seventies, I found The Man who Went Up in Smoke and The Locked Room on the sidewalks of Mumbai. While searching for what next to read, I found that novels by Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö are available today even in Indian online book stores like Indiaplaza and Flipkart. They should keep me occupied for the next few months.

I suppose the reason I like these books is that one can fantasize and hope that there exists somewhere someone like Lisabeth Salander who will take revenge on those beyond the law!

But when it comes to the desire for justice, the finest book I have read is Michael Kohlhaas by Heinrich Kleist which is now available on Gutenberg. The  very first line had hooked me:
Toward the middle of the sixteenth century there lived on the banks of
the river Havel a horse-dealer by the name of Michael Kohlhaas, the
son of a school-master, one of the most upright and, at the same time,
one of the most terrible men of his day.

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