Jo Nesbø, music and maturity
The Redeemer offers a Tom Waits reference, so of course I sneered. I'm sure I'm being unfair to Waits and those who like his music, but Waits references always seem too easy. A movie critic once rolled his eyes at moviemakers' inclusion of Pachelbel's Canon in D Major on soundtracks. Cheap, he said. Easy, showily emotional, and a calculated appeal to middlebrow sensibilities. Well, that's how I feel about Tom Waits references.
More surprising is the following: "The painted red lips and make-up around the eyes reminded him of Robert Smith, the singer with The Cure." I'll concede that the necessity of explaining who Robert Smith is undercuts the reference's power. But wait til you see the context.
My favorites, though, are these:
"`Do you remember when they occupied the property in 1982 and there were punk gigs with Kjøtt, The Aller Værste and all the other bands? ... I went there from time to time. At the beginning, at least, when I thought it might be somewhere for people like me, outsiders. But I didn't fit in there, either. Because when it came down to it, Blitz was about uniformity and thinking alike. The demagogues had a field day there ...'"and
"Harry searched for milk for his coffee. He had started taking it. Probably a sign that he was getting old. Some weeks ago he had put on the Beatles' indisputable masterpiece Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts' Club Band and was disappointed. It had got old, too."These passages use music to nice thematic effect, I think, in the service of indicating Harry Hole's growing maturity and self-awareness. Nesbø, though decades younger than Andrea Camilleri, joins him as a crime writer whose protagonist grows more reflective or sympathetic with the passing years.
Now it's your turn. What other long-running crime fiction protagonists do this?
© Peter Rozovsky 2009