Good whisky. Proper music. An interesting car. And solving crimes. We all know what ingredients are required for a proper detective novel of this century.
Enter Ian Rankin’s character Inspector John Rebus. Rebus enjoys a good Scotch, he listens to The Rolling Stones and he drives …a Saab.
No wonder then that a dear colleague (who shares my love of Saabs, but not the Stones) of mine suggested I should acquaint myself with the Inspector.
The first few books start off lightly. He notices a 900 parked on a street, or a fancy 9000 parked in some politician’s driveway (“Strip Jack”), but eventually his old car packs it in and Rebus finds himself driving a Saab.
The novels have been adapted to TV and two actors have so far portrayed Rebus. The first series overplayed the melancholy part a bit and the second series delayed the introduction of the Saab too long (episode 7), but the exit given to his previous car underlined the significance of switching to a proper car. Unlike Commander Bond, the transition from books to film kept the Saab (although, in “Strip Jack” the politician no longer drives a Saab).
Rebus drives a OG900 in the book as well as the first TV show, and a OG9-3 in the second.
All in all, the series provides lots of pleasant reading (or watching if you prefer the TV show) for Saab fans of all ages. I give it 4 griffins out of 5.
Next, in a completely different genre, is the TV show Friday Night Dinner. The action mostly takes place in the family home of the Goodmans. Their two adult sons turn up for a family dinner every Friday, and inevitably something always goes sideways. Lots of good comedy ensues, but the head of the family drives a OG9-5. In the second episode the family tries to figure out the 9-5’s stereo (I swear I could hear Tim shouting “read the manual!” in the background) and later they performed an impromptu crash test backing into a friend’s Mercedes.
It is a funny and well executed TV show, but the 9-5 clearly deserves more exposure (with regards, signed Captain Obvious). So only 3 griffins on this.
If that fails to quench your thirst for Saab-related fictional literature, I would also like to point out my earlier review of “A Man Called Ove”. The book has since been translated to several languages and does a remarkable job of exploring the psyche of an average Saab driver. A 5 griffin rated book. Not bad, considering the book’s author drives a