Sunday, October 23, 2005

The Laser Man

After finishing my Anne Perry (and btw, NO MORE I say, if I turn up blogging about another Anne Perry feel free to spam my comments section) I quickly read a book that unfortunately isn't translated to English - dare I add yet? Lasermannen - en historia om Sverige by Gellert Tamas. "Lasermannen" literally means "The Laser Man", and is the police and media nickname for a serial killer named John Ausonius, who terrorized the darker-skinned community of Sweden during the early 90s. He started off by shooting his victims with a rifle with a laser sight, hence the nickname. In the end Ausonius killed only one person, but he shot eleven, all men, all foreign-looking. Several of them were injured for life. I was in my mid teens during that time, and can remember the sick jokes people used to play at school with little mini laser-light key rings and the like. The sight of a red dot moving about on somebody's body was a mark of real terror back then.

Tamas has interviewed Ausonius in prison, and also (it seems) everyone who ever met him. The book is obviously very well researched. The book is not solely about Ausonius - instead, by describing the political and financial turmoil of the late 80s/early 90s he attempts to show how Ausonius must have been influenced by Swedish society's acceptance of xenophobia/rascism at the time. I think he succeeds rather well, and it's not a bad read. A little scatty at times, jumping back and forth between events and times. Recommended. It's almost a must-read for anyone who wants to understand this period in Swedish history.


Anonymous said...

Du vet väl att Lasermannen börjar gå som tv-serie den 25 november?

Jag tror inte att den är såld till GBR/USA, men det kanske kommer...

bani said...

Visste jag inte! Tror du den blir bra då?

Hm. Kanske ska översätta boken själv... ;-)