Eleven is Arne Dahl’s eleventh novel, and the first one to follow the completion of the Intercrime decalogy. Thus, it is something very different from what we’re used to – and yet so unmistakably Dahlian. In this modern-day Decamerone, the ten policemen of the Intercrime team have gathered in a countryside manor to “compare notes”, just like they said they would at the end of Eye in the Sky, the last Intercrime installment. During the course of evening, an eleventh character shows up, introducing himself as the host and author Arne Dahl, the omnipotent creator and erasor in this variation of Agatha Christie’s classic Ten Little Indians. Bridging the gap between the author’s two literary personae, the novel blends crime fiction with the literary, the result being a sequence of ten short stories reminiscent of Jorge Luis Borges. Doubles, murders, writers – realized fiction and fictionalized realities in the Arnaldian post-romantic vein. In the end, the book sweeps its reader along on an adventure transcending genre, breaching the barriers of life and death, yoking together literature and life – high and low – while the original and the copied come crumbling before our eyes.
“Above all the text is permeated with echoes from other literature: Almqvist’s monumental Törnrosens bok, Borges, Hávámal, Dante and others. The singular thing about Dahl’s storytelling is the unbelievable ease with which he weaves his extraordinarily polyphonic text. He does it without boasting his academic knowledge and without pretentious snobbery. /…/ It works well, and it is incredibly entertaining. /…/ With long crime series you always run the risk of the author losing his edge, in the end constantly delivering new variations of the same story. I don’t know of any other crime author who has handled this risk as efficiently and as playfully as Arne Dahl. In every new novel, he reinvents his good old characters—and lets them enter into entirely new worlds. Eleven is a pure pleasure to read. It is clever, suspenseful, humorous and diabolically sly.”
“Masterful book by the Swedish litterateur Arnald/Dahl.”
- Arne Dahl
- Reading material
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Norway, Cappelen Damm
Sweden, Albert Bonniers