I have heard somewhere that there really are only about seven ideas for stories, and the rest are variations on them. I can well believe it. I think most novels are written by someone thinking "I can tell that story better" or "I know something more about this". In that sense I think literature is a slow conversation between writers, who are, in essence, readers who wish to respond.
I´m not sure why this leads up to the latest of my reads. I was recommended Håkan Nesser´s "Himmel över London" (= sky over London). He is not someone I would read, as I have not liked his crime novels about van Veeteren (these are translated to English) much. Or at all. However, I started it, and really, I find the story fascinating.
|The sky over London.|
It reminded me of a funny film I saw, "Stranger than fiction" where Emma Thompson plays a depressed writer trying to find a good way to kill her main character. He finds out what she is doing and tries to stop her. What is real? What is not? I think most serious readers would find this interesting.
I also can´t help thinking what another writer than Nesser could have done with this idea. I know it´s unfair to compare every novelist to Tunström, Coetzee or Kundera, but I can´t help myself. There is something about the way Nesser writes that makes me feel that he is too much in a hurry, that he does not take the time to really, really write well. Not as well as he should, with his experience, anyway. But perhaps it´s just a matter of taste. Bottom line: I heartily recommend it.