Tag Archives: Jan Guillou

The price of an author

For light relief I read a Swedish house magazine once a month. In a recent copy there was an advertisement for a chain of department stores called Åhléns, showing a photo of a room full of lovely things they sell and that you might want for your home. I have to admit I shop with them when I’m there. They are reasonably cheap and do have great stuff.

However I sat and puzzled for a long time over one item in the photo, before the penny dropped. They have the thriller writer Jan Guillou (he with the sexist ideas of too many female sleuths) sitting on top of a bookcase, and he is priced at 169 kronor. That’s about £14, and felt fairly cheap for a human being, even if it’s Jan Guillou. I know, I know; most of you have already cottoned on to the fact that the thing they sell is the book. His book. That’s why he sits on the bookcase.

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Don’t know why I’m so slow.

Jan also turned up on the recent BBC4 programme on Kurt Wallander, inciting hatred against the Danes.

Too many female detectives?

Jan Guillou is one of the big names in Swedish books. He first surfaced when I was a teenager, and I have always considered him to be someone with sensible ideas, and although I have yet to read any of his many books, I’ve assumed I’d like them if I did.

Jan has just published a new novel about his hero Hamilton, which is to be his last in the thriller genre. It appears that the Crime Queens I mentioned the other day have swamped the market, and he now finds there are too many female detectives/heroines out there.

Most of the overcrowding must have been done by men. I’ve never even dreamed of counting, but I’m sure there are more male main characters than female ones in crime and thriller fiction. And to think that Jan Guillou now feels threatened by a minority of women. I’m impressed.