Håkan Nesser: "Eleven Days in Berlin"

Of all swedish contemporay writers no one has a more elegant way of using the swedish language than Håkan Nesser. Open any of his books, from the very first sentence it flows away in such a nice and inviting way that it is very difficult to avoid just following the flow. Besides that, he constantly brings you new and very trustworthy persons. Many of them rather peculiar, that is so, but thereby also interesting. And the stories in which they are acting are normally rather hard to avoid being taken in by.

Håkan Nesser has, since his first book was published in 1988, written more than 30 stories, the major part of them in the crime genre. But because of the elegant language and a lot of other qualities, these are crimebooks you can read and enjoy several times. I think I have read absolutely everything he has written, and am among the ones that run to the bookstore every time he comes with a new one.

If I should pick one favourite, I think it has to be "Eleven Days in Berlin" from 2015. It is among the rather few non-crime-books Nesser has written. It is about Arne Murberg, a young man with a minor brain damage ("I am not as stupid as you think"). Before his father dies, he gives his son an important mission: He has to go to Berlin and find his mother, whom he has not seen since he was a small child, and deliver her a shrine, that the father has taken care of in all the years that has passed. This is a rather big challenge to Arne, who barely has traveled anywhere, and has very limited knowledge of the german language. But he assumes the mission and brings himself to Berlin. It turns out to be a journey full of adventourous experiences. He meets some very different persons, among them an absolute crazy professor who is working to prove that time does not exist, and a young woman in a wheelchair, who has taught herself swedish to be able to read Astrid Lindgren in the original language. Whether he finds his mother or not I shall not unveil here, if you want to know you better read the book.

Håkan Nesser was born in Örebro in 1950. He is educated and has practised as a teacher. Some of his books has been translated to up to 20 languages.