February 5, 2014 |
Greek and Roman historians were fond of depicting northern Europeans as beer-swilling barbarians, incapable of appreciating the fruits of sun-splashed Mediterranean vineyards. Writing in the late first century B.C., Dionysius of Halicarnassus sniffed that northerners were known to drink a "foul-smelling liquor made from barley rotted in water. " Time to give the barbarians some credit, says University of Pennsylvania archaeologist Patrick E. McGovern. Chemical analysis of residues from ancient drinking vessels and strainers, found in what are now Denmark and Sweden, reveal traces of elaborate hybrid beverages made from berries, birch resin, honey, and herbs, McGovern said.
March 24, 2012 |
AMC's The Killing , returning for its second season on April 1, has been called one of TV's most original murder mysteries. Its intricate story structure is unique, following a single murder case - the abduction and murder of high school student Rosie Larsen - over two 13-episode seasons. Its hero is one of a kind, an obsessive, monomaniacal, lone-wolf detective. But it isn't original at all: The Killing is a remake, a copy, of the Danish mystery Forbrydelsen (literally, "the crime")
August 25, 2011 |
We sure have come a long way since Out of Africa and The Flame Trees of Thika . In the second decade of the 21st century, some of the most compelling contemporary crime-fiction novels are either set in or coming from Africa. Much as Scandinavia became associated with the genre a few years back - thanks in large part to Stieg Larsson's Millennium trilogy - Africa may become a new capital of literary crime. At the forefront is Roger Smith, a director and screenwriter who lives in Cape Town, South Africa, and writes with the brutal beauty of an Elmore Leonard in a very bad mood.
June 26, 2011
By Jo Nesbø Alfred A. Knopf. 400 pp. $25.95 Reviewed by Peter Rozovsky The next Stieg Larsson was once in demand as a teller of ghost stories. "I thought for a while it was because I was a great storyteller," Jo Nesbø says. "Later on, I think it was my big brother who told me the reason why they wanted me to tell the stories was because when I told them, they could hear the fear in my voice. " Fear and suspense have much to do with the best parts of The Snowman , fifth of the star Norwegian crime writer's novels available in the United States.
May 10, 2011 |
STOCKHOLM - Norwegian crime novelist Jo Nesbo says his success in fields as diverse as literature, music, finance and sports is the result of his being "stupid, brave, and lucky. " The 51-year-old Nesbo was a professional soccer player, stockbroker, and rock musician before he started writing crime novels. The Snowman , the fifth book in his series about detective Harry Hole, is being released in the United States this week, after being a best-seller for three months in Britain.
October 2, 2010 |
Kurt Wallander slouches back to American TV Sunday, looking like he hasn't slept - and may never sleep again. For the next three Sundays at 9 p.m., Masterpiece Mystery! will show "Wallander II," three new installments of the adventures of the rumpled, agonized police detective based in Ystad, Sweden. In the first, "Faceless Killers," Wallander faces greed, racism and revenge. For starters. Kenneth Branagh - who also is one of the executive producers - returns in his Emmy-nominated, British Academy of Film and Television Arts Award-winning role as Wallander, from the celebrated novels by Swedish master Henning Mankell.
August 13, 2010 |
On first glance the name Cuddle Magic sounds yucky, suggesting a fuzzy pink bear in an "I Heart U" T-shirt. But hear out this truly distinctive, Philadelphia/Brooklyn, N.Y.-based ensemble, and you'll understand. The name fits in a wondrously whimsical, imaginative yet decidedly grown-up way. Cuddle Magic is avant-garde lite, densely constructed yet playfully accessible. Many of the talents in this huge (like 12 strong) ensemble trained at the New England Conservatory, which is why this pop ensemble deploys strings, clarinet and vibraphone in such delicately finessed ways, alongside the more predictable guitars, keyboards and percussion.
June 3, 2010 |
We need not belabor the history of women's role in the marketing of beer: Suffice to say it has leaned heavily on the low-cut dirndl; and in one notable campaign, on a team of Swedish blondes clad in attire unsuited for a Scandinavian winter. The history of women in the making of beer, on the other hand, is another matter. Put out the call for a roundtable of women brewers hereabouts, and, well, all you'll need is a small booth. If that. So in the mammoth beer hall of Downingtown's Victory Brewing last week, it was refreshing to encounter - over a Korean short-rib sandwich and a pint of dark Donneybrook Stout (at 3.4 percent alcohol, a good lunch beer)
May 16, 2010
By Walter Mosley Riverhead. 326 pp. $25.95 Reviewed by Dan DeLuca Walter Mosley has left Easy Rawlins in the past in Los Angeles and moved east to modern-day New York with Leonid Trotter McGill. "LT" is a trained-boxer private dick with a criminal past and a jaundiced eye. He's a middle-aged, African American, contemporary Chandleresque tough guy with a Thou shalt not kill but may happily beat thine adversary to a pulp moral code. He's a short, stocky, balding, guilt-ridden, hot-tempered detective with a soft heart who is locked in a loveless marriage with a cold Scandinavian beauty even more disloyal than he is, and he's raising three children, only one of them his own. A trusted fixer for powerful Manhattan elites and sworn enemy to many a member of law enforcement, the well-read son of a Communist father who renamed himself Tolstoy, McGill between occupies a dubiously obtained office suite in a gleaming Manhattan skyscraper.
December 3, 2008 |
Those twinkling lights and front-lawn Rudolphs may suggest that Christmas is already here. But at Gloria Dei (Old Swedes') Church in South Philadelphia, the holy season of Advent comes first, ushered in by St. Lucy and her candlebearers lighting up December's gloom. For 71 years, this historic church on Columbus Boulevard has celebrated the birth of Christ and the triumph of light over darkness with a series of luminous, centuries-old services called Lucia Fest. Mostly sung, in Swedish and English, and repeated eight times over three days, each service is capped by the arrival of a young Sankta Lucia.