I’m reading The Devil’s Star, a novel by Jo Nesbo. Not bad so far, but I’m struck by the stupidity of the review from The New York Times quoted on the cover: “It’s fascinating to watch this Norwegian author adapt our homegrown monster (the serial killer) to a foreign culture.”
It is impressive American ignorance that regards the serial killer as an American product. Has the reviewer heard of Jack the Ripper? Sataro Fukiage? Myra Hindley and Ian Brady? Peter Sutcliffe? Dennis Nilsen? Fred and Rosemary West? The Monster of Florence? Or Arnfinn Nesset, a Norwegian? I could list plenty more; these are just off the top of my head.
What about the novels of Derek Raymond (click here to read Patrick Millikin’s article about him)? Or P.D. James? Or Val McDermid? Or The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks? Or Perfume by Patrick Suskind? Again, these are just a few that come to mind.
Another name for this kind of ignorance is cultural imperialism.