Copenhagen Noir

Bo Tao Michaelis, Editor, Mark Kline, Translator
Edited by Bo Tao Michaëlis, trans. from the Danish by Mark Kline, Akashic, $15.95 trade paper (280p) ISBN 978-1-936070-66-4
Reviewed on: 11/29/2010
Release date: 12/01/2010
Ebook - 280 pages - 978-1-61775-015-1
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The 14 stories in Akashic's Copenhagen anthology largely live up to the noir label in their focus on alienated people who recognize they're wandering in a moral void, who try to discover some significant action they can perform, and who imagine they can find salvation on the mean streets of the Danish capital and suburbs. Superior entries include Naja Marie Aidt's "Women in Copenhagen," about an older writer acting the part of a detective hero; Jonas T. Bengtsson's "One of the Rough Ones," which explores violence-porn's seductiveness; Lene Kaaberbol and Agnette Friis's tale of reluctant heroism, "When the Time Came"; and Setit Öztürk's "The Booster Station," a dissection of youthful "heroism" that turns out to be something very ugly. A few selections are perfunctory or depend on familiarity with series characters to work, but overall the volume has grim, uncomfortable power. (Jan.)
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