Swedish culture dating dating customs during the victorian age
Larsson, as with Betner and Mankell, spends much of the time pulling apart the stereotype of happy-ever-after, perfectly educated, socially democratic and joyfully tolerant Swedes enjoying wild sex lives and perfectly cooked meatballs.
The Millennium Trilogy tracks Blomkvist and Salander’s attempts to uncover mysterious murders in neo-fascist billionaire families as well as state-sanctioned violent sexual abuse, paedophilia and rape.
So far, more than 2.5 million Europeans have seen the movie, and No Country For Old Men producer Scott Rudin has just inked a deal to make the Hollywood version.
By the time Rudin has finished, many millions more will have followed the story of investigative journalist Mikael Blomkvist and chaotic, freewheeling computer hacker Lisbeth Salander.
And yet, can it merely be coincidence that last year’s runaway Swedish movie hit, Let the Right One In, portrayed a child vampire as a more innocent and sympathetic figure than the bullying, ignorant authority figures she encounters in 1980s Swedish society?
In 2007, the US State Department recorded 6,192 cases of child abuse in Sweden by November of that year.
In fact, I think it will do well at the next election, under a different name.
This week sees the film adaptation of the first book in Larsson’s trilogy, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, released in Britain.
What they find at the end of that story, however, may shock them.
Tattoo begins as a slow-moving, gently unfolding detective story but ends with scenes of horror beyond anything Hannibal Lecter could imagine.
"Part of Sweden’s problem overseas is that everyone thinks we’re like Abba and Ikea,” says Stockholm-based stand-up comedian Magnus Betner.
“We’re a nation of beautiful people singing happy songs in stylish modernist apartments. We have a very, very dark side, and I think you’re only just finding out about it now.” Betner, the vocal leader of Sweden’s surprisingly large stand-up comedy scene, has just been booked into this summer’s Edinburgh Festival where, consciously or not, he’s part of a subtle cultural invasion by one of Europe’s oddest nations.
“Sweden has yet to come to terms with its Nazi past,” says Anna Blondell, who runs a Swedish restaurant in London.