Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Draining Lake by Arnaldur Indriðason

I always like mysteries that are about something else besides the mystery. The Draining Lake is about a lot more than just who is the dead guy at the bottom of the lake. That's why I think it's the best Indriðason book I've read. He's really hitting his stride as a mystery craftsman and as a novelist. Yes, we want to know who the dead guy is, but we are also really interested in the parallel story of the early days of the socialist movement in Iceland, about the Icelandic students who studied in Leipzig in the 1950's, about the culture of surveillance and distrust fostered by the East German Communists and the way it disillusioned the Icelandic students to the point where they drifted away from socialism and communism in disgust.

I've now read all the Indriðason books available in English in the U.S. It looks like I have to either learn to read Icelandic, or wait around for Arctic Chill, which Amazon says is coming in February 2009. Despite my post from the other day about not reading books by the same author too close together, I am eagerly awaiting this one.

Happy Thanksgiving!

(Book 43, 2008)

5 comments:

Susan B. said...

I'm just about to include "The Draining Lake" in my (endless) essay on fiction translated into English. I liked it too. However, I have discovered in my readings among writers from Iceland, Denmark, Norway, etc., a certain complacency about suicide. No one in the novels from these wintry countries is ever surprised when someone decides to off him/herself. It's a theme in "Draining Lake," too, regarding the missing boyfriend -- it's one of the main theories about his disappearance.

maxine said...

Glad you finally read one you liked, Becky! I'm definitely going to stop recommending books to you now, with my recent hit rate.

Ms. Wis./Each Little World said...

I see you are reading The Zookeeper's Wife. I am looking forward to your comments. I will save mine until then ...

meg89 said...

I recently found your blog and I am now an addict. I read back through your Grade A posts for 2008 and have added a few books to my own list. You also inspired me to start a blog to talk about books. I'd love to get your feedback on my first post, which is about Amy Bloom's Away.

http://literarymenagerie.blogspot.com

Anyway, your blog is wonderful, keep them coming!

sexy said...
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