Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Killing

David Hewson
The Killing

Macmillan, 2012

We already know who killed Nanna Birk Larsen. First, the murderer was found in the Danish (original) version of the TV series "The Killing," and then in the American remake (girl's name was changed to Rosie Larsen). British Hewson penned the novelization of the series, designed to attract a larger audience for the series and expand the original universe, but I can not say that he succeeded.

To accommodate 20 hour episodes in a book? This alone seems impossible, and Hewson had to compress all that can be compressed - book has turned out 700-page. And the quality of the novel suffers from such compression, of course. Where in the series we could leisurely look at and think about some of the scenes, to assess the atmosphere, look closely, how a cameraman worked, to see Denmark at night, in the book we can not see all this. The author has to drop even the tiniest "stopping places". He accelerates the pace, because if he starts to add something else, the book will make a volume of three. Thus a large part of the atmosphere is lost, exactly what, Hewson went to Denmark for. So, it turns out the bare plot, and nothing more.

The book on one hand is a page-turner, on the other - if a book is reduced to a rapid page turning, whether you need to read it at all? Those who watched the show will definitely catch and rethink those moments that may not be understandable from the TV screen. Hewson faithfully follows the TV screenplay; the book has all that was on the show. Reading the book once again you can follow the thread of the investigation, with fresh eyes to look at the Lund and Meyer’s mistakes, pretend that we do not know the killer, and once again try to guess who he is.

Those who have not watched TV series, but will first read the book probably will want to watch the entire season in one sitting. They will be curious to see how the characters look like, what actors have been picked up for filming, perhaps they will be deprived of suspense as the killer would have known, but in any event, new fans of the show will appear.

Those who are going to read "The Killing" as a stand-alone book is unlikely to receive the dose of pleasure, which they had hoped for. The political line on the screen is weak, but in the book is even weakier, closer to the final we even ask ourselves: what all these politics do here? And the volume of the novel is unlikely advantage. Hewson added the humor in the book. Meyer and Lund even more or less jokes, I do not remember that they were joking on the show. Another flaw, which makes the book not a good one, is its structure. In the series, there are three story lines, and they are often switched. For a TV show it is a suitable structure, for the book you need something else. In the book there is confusion, as if looking at it fast forward. You need to stay with characters a little longer to feel them, but – no time for that. The volume is running out, you need to hurry, because a lot of second- and third-rate characters are not represented. In general, fans of the book mysteries will find a better book. By itself, the book does not work. I would prefer to Hewson wrote a detective story in the universe of "The Killing", but not straight novelization.

Hewson slightly modified the ending. Does this alternative ending change something? No. This is nothing more than unnecessary improvisation.

The book is definitely for fans of the TV series, and for those who are about to see the series.

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