>Five Questions Interview

>– a meme from Kim (Sophisticated Dorkiness)

1. Who is your favorite book character? Why?
– I have just scrolled down the list of crime novels I own to make sure I really mean this, but there is no real doubt that the answer must be Adam Dalgliesh, P.D. James´ gentleman detective since 1962 (Cover her Face).
Wikipedia indicates that P.D. James was inspired by Jane Austen´s character, Mr Darcy, because Dalgliesh is “tall, dark and handsome”. On the other hand, Dalgliesh also drives a Jaguar so in spite of some physical differences I have always suspected that Dorothy Sayer´s Peter Wimsey must be a source of inspiration, especially after Dalgliesh´ falling in love with Emma Lavenham.
– And why? Perhaps it is too easy to say “because he is loveable”? I don´t remember which P.D. James novel I read first, or if I actually came across Roy Marsden before reading about my hero, but I am quite certain that part of what appealed to me was the sad story about the death of his wife and newborn child. Basically, Adam Dalgliesh embodies the British gentleman in my eyes – a very private person, but still someone who reads great literature and is thoughtful and considerate (whenever his job allows him to be so).

2. If you were going to be stuck on a desert island, what three books would you want to take with you?
– The first one is easy: Barbara Vine, The Chimney Sweeper´s Boy (wonderful psychological thriller)
The second is Charles Dickens, Our Mutual Friend (a classic novel, but also crime)
Finally, I have chosen Colin Dexter, The Remorseful Day (even though it is so sad).

Perhaps you wonder why P.D. James does not appear on this list. She would probably be no four or five. Even though Dalgliesh is such a favourite character of mine, I would find it difficult to pick just one of the novels about him. Perhaps “Shroud for a Nightingale” because the antagonist is also such an interesting character.

3. What is one element that makes an amazing crime fiction novel?
– the one element which really singles out the best crime novels is the carefully planned plot, obviously. So the perfect crime novel is one with a satisfactory, convincing plot and some surprising twists. Yet, without credible characters and an interesting environment it would hardly be first class, however.

4. You blog in two languages, which is super cool! What language do you think most of your readers speak?
– I checked my “SiteMeter” which shows me that the number of British & American readers and that of Scandinavian readers is just about fifty-fifty. (See graphics below). I soon realized that if I blogged in Danish only, I would lose a whole world of interesting English-speaking readers (and all their kind comments), and if I should ever decide to give up a language it would be Danish as most of my Scandinavian readers are quite competent readers and writers of English.

5. Have you ever read a book that changed your opinion about a political or social issue?
– Well, a social issue, perhaps, but never political. What reading great fiction (criminal or not) gives me is an insight in human beings. In Ken Kesey´s excellent novel, “One Flew Over the Cuckoo´s Nest” (1962) the deaf-and-dumb Indian narrator says, ““But it´s the truth even if it didn´t happen.” So literature which changes the world is stories which seem to be more true than real life. A crime fiction author who takes up social issues is Ruth Rendell. A striking example is her novel “Simisola” (1994) which deals with the horrible living conditions of illegal immigrants.

Kim, thank you for your excellent, thought-provoking questions.

Does anyone out there want to participate in this meme? – just send me a comment “I want to be interviewed” – and I shall try to come up with some good questions for you.

Graphics: the language of my latest 100 guests


Interview – fem spørgsmål.

– stillet af Kim fra Sophisticated Dorkiness

1. Hvem er din litterære yndlings-person?
– Jeg har lige checket mine egne krimier for at være helt sikker, men der er egentlig ingen tvivl om, at det er Adam Dalgliesh, P.D. James´ detektiv-gentleman, som kom til verden i 1962 (Dæk ansigtet til – oversat til dansk i 1989).
Ifølge Wikipedia fandt P.D. James sin inspiration fra Jane Austens hovedperson Mr Darcy (Stolthed og Fordom – 1813), fordi Dalgliesh er “høj, mørk og flot”. På den anden side kører Dalgliesh også Jaguar, så på trods af fysiske forskelle, har jeg altid forestillet mig, at James har skævet lidt til Dorothy Sayers´ Lord Peter Wimsey, især efter at Dalgliesh har forelsket sig i Emma Lavenham.

Hvorfor? Måske er det for nemt at sige “fordi Dalgliesh er en elskelig person”? Jeg kan ikke huske, hvilken P.D. James-roman jeg læste først, eller om jeg stødte på TV-skuespilleren Roy Marsden før bog-versionen, men noget af det, der oprindeligt appellerede til mig var den sørgelige historie om hans kone og nyfødte søn, som døde. Først og fremmest er Adam Dalgliesh den fuldendte, engelske gentleman i mine øjne – et meget reserveret menneske, som holder af god litteratur og er eftertænksom og hensynsfuld (når jobbet tillader det).

2. Hvis du havnede på en øde ø, hvilke tre bøger ville du så gerne have med?
– Den første bog er nem nok: Barbara Vine, Skorstensfejerens dreng (fantastisk psykologisk thriller).
Nummer to er Charles Dickens, Vor fælles ven (en klassiker, men også en krimi)
Som nummer tre har jeg valgt Colin Dexter, Et kors for Morse (selv om den er så sørgelig)

Og nu er der måske nogen som undrer sig over, at P.D. James ikke er med på listen. Hun ville nok være nummer fire eller fem. Selv om Adam Dalgliesh er min yndlings-person, ville jeg have svært ved at vælge bare én af romanerne om ham. Måske er den bedste “Døde nattergale”, fordi morderen også er en ganske spændende person.

3. Nævn ét element, som skaber en fantastisk krimi.
– det ene element, som virkelig adskiller fantastiske krimier fra de andre, er det vel-tilrettelagte plot. Den perfekte krimi har et tilfredsstillende plot og nogle overraskende drejninger undervejs. Men uden troværdige personer og et interessant miljø, kan bogen selvfølgelig aldrig være i første klasse.

4. Det er superflot, at du blogger på to sprog. Hvilket sprog tror du de fleste af dine læsere taler?
– Min tæller “SiteMeter” viser mig, at antallet af engelsktalende læsere og skandinaver er omtrent lige højt. Det gik snart op for mig, at hvis jeg kun bloggede på dansk, ville jeg gå glip af en hel verden af spændende, engelsk-talende gæster (og alle deres venlige kommentarer), så hvis jeg bliver træt af at blogge på to sprog, vil det være dansk, som ryger, eftersom de fleste af mine skandinaviske besøgende klarer sig fint på engelsk.

5. Har du nogensinde læst en bog, som ændrede din mening om et politisk eller socialt emne?
– Socialt, måske, men aldrig politisk. Hvad jeg får ud af at læse stor litteratur (krimier eller andre genrer) er indsigt i menneskers liv og færden. I Ken Keseys fremragende roman, “Gøgereden” (1971) siger den døvstumme, indianske fortæller: “Men det er sandheden, selv om det ikke skete.” Så litteratur, som kan forandre verden, er historier som forekommer mere sande end det virkelige liv. En krimiforfatter som ofte beskæftiger sig med sociale emner er Ruth Rendell. Et oplagt eksempel er romanen “Simisola” (1995), som handler om illegale indvandrere og deres forfærdelige livsvilkår.

Kim, tak for dine fremragende, tankevækkende spørgsmål.
Er der nogen derude, som kunne tænke sig at blive interviewet? – bare send mig en kommentar og skriv “jeg vil gerne interviewes” – og jeg skal prøve at lave nogle gode spørgsmål.

About Dorte Hummelshøj Jakobsen

I am a Danish teacher. In my spare time I read, write and review crime fiction.
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7 Responses to >Five Questions Interview

  1. Beth F says:

    >Thanks so much for asking Kim to give you questions. She gave you some great ones. I loved your answers! I am a big P. D. James fan. The early Dagliesh books and the Lord Peter Wimsey books were what got me hooked on mysteries. Glad to know they’re your favorites too!I love your language graphic!

  2. Kerrie says:

    >You can send me some questions Dorte!

  3. Dorte H says:

    >Thank you, Beth. This one was fun, but it took some time answering & translating. Kerrie, I will!

  4. Louise says:

    >Great answers to great questions. I really enjoyed reading them.

  5. Dorte H says:

    >Thanks Louise. I agree that this meme is fun.

  6. >That is a very cool language graph. It’s neat that your readers are about half and half, I wouldn’t have guessed that. Also, I think you’re right about plot as an important element. I don’t read a lot of crime fiction, but I used to read mysteries and was always annoyed when a plot twist seemed out of the blue.Kim (Sophisticated Dorkiness)

  7. Dorte H says:

    >Thanks, Kim. I am not quite sure my readers really are half and half. In the last three days the number of English-speaking readers has grown somewhat faster, but I haven´t used Sitemeter for long so I didn´t know more than the graph told me. This just shows you not always to trust statistics😉

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