As James Campbell pointed out in his article/interview published in the Guardian earlier this year, like the author's earlier books (including the Anne Born-translated Out Stealing Horses) this one claims no affiliation to the techniques and procedures of crime writing, but relies for its appeal on a literary style that owes something to Ernest Hemingway and Raymond Carver. Yet, as with the earlier novel, there still remains a question-mark over the degree to which such writing may compete in marketing and sales terms with the runaway success of the burgeoning Nordic crime series:
Gina Winje, who runs Norla, the government office for promoting Norwegian literature abroad, says that "the last few years have seen an increased interest in the English-speaking world". With his new imprint, [Christopher] MacLehose [Certainly, with the bad press Norway has been receiving with regard to one or two controversial aspects of its foreign policy lately, the presence of some decent Norwegian books in English may play an important role in improving the country's image around the world - and so one wishes this new Harvill Secker venture all the best.
director of Harvill Seckerformer director of Harvill Press] is enjoying the current popularity of Scandinavian crime writers. "Whether literary writers will follow Per in such numbers is open to question. But it is undoubtedly the case that Norwegian writing is at a high point."