Archive for November 14, 2008


I have decided to postpone the Quirky Quiz for a few days as I want to post about the Stieg Larsson phenomenon and the varying opinions about the books. 

I have posted at some length here, here, here, and here about this previously but wanted to update readers to the feedback I have received and the discussions about the casting of the movie.

For a media advertising campaign that has successfully blitzed The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo to number one on Amazon UK’s literature in translation list, admittedly at the greatly discounted price of £3.86, the choice of book covers and the actors to play Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomqvist seem strange. 

On Stieg Larsson’s web site the comments about the movie casting are similar to my own views. Noomi Noren is certainly not the Lisbeth of the book and as one person states she looks more like Erika than Lisbeth. Noomi is not a  23 year old who could be mistaken for 14, too tall, too old, too attractive! 
Michael Nikvist has an easier task because the character of Blomkvist is so bland but some have said he also is too old. The trailer on this website hardly adds to one’s knowledge about the movie.

‘Out of respect for Stieg Larsson the casting people might have read the books more carefully.’ Francoise 12 November

But my basic worry is that this book will be read by people who have not read any other Scandinavian crime fiction and will dismiss it as turgid, slow and like wading through deep snow drift. They will then not read the other Nordic authors who deserve attention.

The brilliantly funny Irish author Declan Burke found the first book pedestrian stuff and suggested the publishers ‘yank out the first 160 pages, or pulp the first book and just gives us the best stuff.’
Declan stopped reading after 112 pages, after all life is indeed too short to read a 500 page introduction.  

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo is indeed a ‘marmite’ of a book you either love it or hate it as witnessed by this review and comment from the Charleston City Paper.

‘This is easily one of the worst books I have ever read.’

Reg Keeland is the distinguished translator of the Larsson trilogy, as well as books by Henning Mankell, Karin Alvetegen, Helene Tursten and Camilla Lackberg.
He commented that 

‘be assured book one only lays the groundwork for great stuff to come in books two and three.’

And added 

‘Larsson took the genre beyond Sjowall and Wahloo, beyond Mankell, into a whole new area of thriller literature.’

I  await The Girl Who Played With Fire with  heightened anticipation and I do hope I will not be disappointed.

‘The hype is something else’