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Ice Cold Crime, Cliches, and Bad Puns

Although I’m not a big reader of Nordic crime, it’s nice to know that places like Ice Cold Crime are out there, translating and publishing these titles, which probably appeal to a pretty wide audience. And Ice Cold Crime’s story — featured in this article — is kind of touching:

Riding the wave of recent popular Nordic crime novels — beginning, but not ending, with The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo — [Jouko] Sipila, 39, has begun publishing English translations of crime novels written by his brother, Jarkko, a journalist in Helsinki. This fall, Sipila’s publishing company, Ice Cold Crime, will begin publishing a second Finnish mystery writer.

Good for them. I’ll definitely be adding these to the translation database, and wish them the best of luck. And those of you interested in Finnish crime might want to check these books out.

But the main reason I wanted to post about this was to point out some of the stereotypes, cliches, and bad puns in the piece. OK, poking fun at local papers is a fish, barrel, smoking gun situation, but what the hell, this is the Star Tribune, a mid-sized market/paper, thus totally open to mockery . . .

Even before the “riding the wave” cliche quoted above, there’s this awesomely odd lede: “There might be a pipeline of pro hockey players from Finland to the United States, but mystery writers?”

OK, so the Finnish are known for their ice hockey skills, and what else? Oh, maybe death metal. Which is what this photo seems to be invoking.

My favorite bad joke from this article is translator Peter Ylitalo Leppa’s comment that the humor in Jarkko Sipila’s novel is “served cold.” Ice Cold perhaps?

What a groaning way to start the day . . .

Though I do want to give props to Chris Steller for referencing the Finnish Literature Exchange for subsidizing the translation. FILI rocks! In a non-death metal sense of the word.



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