Chasing sleuths and unravelling the metropolis: Analyzing the tourist experience of Sherlock Holmes' London, Philip Marlowe's Los Angeles and Lisbeth Salander's Stockholm

Nicky van Es*, Stijn Reijnders

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Visiting places associated with popular literature is increasingly prominent as a tourist practice; however little is known on how to explain the growing popularity of this phenomenon in large cities over the world. How do tourists experience contemporary cities through their participation in crime-detective fiction tours, and what meaning(s) do they attribute to their experiences? Towards this end, an ethnographic approach has been adopted which encompassed participation in three literary crime-detective fiction tours as well as in-depth interviews with twenty participants. The results of this study show that popular crime-detective fiction tourism is best understood as a quest to find the presumed true nature of the city. Participants experience a gradual descent into the city's underbelly, discovering multiple intertwined place-narratives and ultimately might acquire a sense of belonging, illustrating that this manifestation of literary tourism can be understood as a form of cultural criticism against a supposed "urban placelessness".

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)113-125
Number of pages13
JournalAnnals of Tourism Research
Volume57
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research has been financially supported by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) without any influence on, or interference with, the overall study design and content of the study itself (grant number: PR-11-77 ). The authors would like to express their gratitude towards the editor and anonymous reviewers for their constructive criticism and suggestions for improvements on the previous version of this paper. Additionally, the authors thank Nicola Watson, Anne Marit Waade, Abby Waysdorf and Leonieke Bolderman for their helpful comments in the earlier stages of this research.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Elsevier Ltd.

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