Swedish novels with long names

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

I remember seeing this book in Sam’s Club ages ago and wondering if I’d like it. The cover sort of attracted me, and the title. But this was a bit before I really launched into the serious business of reading and I hadn’t really crossed the Mississippi (if you will) that runs between Young Adult Lit and Modern Lit.

I have to admit that I was not a big fan of this book. It moves at a snails pace, is full of quite tedious detail and horrific scenes that neither inspire empathy or anger just horror, and went on for about 100 pages after it should have just ended. That was my overall feeling of the book. There were moments that I enjoyed. Some of the detail in the prose regarding Lisbeth’s love of technological things was interesting.

Mostly I just felt like I’d been forced to spend several hours observing two people through a one way mirror who could not care less that other people existed.

I’m seriously debating whether or not I’ll finish the trilogy. My friend Garrett, who hasn’t really steered me wrong with a suggestion before (directly or indirectly) said that his enjoyment of the series picked up with the second book and the third was his favourite. It’s such a gamble though, each of those books is a brick.

In other news I’ve been lazy and I’ve left the cover of that book over there in my side bar for far too long. So, I’ll update that as soon as I finish typing this up.

I think the most interesting thing for me about reading this book is that Jeffrey read it as well. We now discuss books during our conversations together. Something I find quite endearing and always a little bit bizarre. He’s an interesting critic. He, like me, was not super impressed with the story and felt it went on too long. And we discussed the implications of translating it from Swedish into English (and how that made some of the words have different spellings than he was used to). I think that was the coolest result of reading the book.

I really don’t have any interest in watching the movies (except that I do love to see Daniel Craig stare intensely into the camera with those icy blue eyes of his)

seriously, they're almost clear

so I probably won’t watch them. But I will let you know if I finally decide whether to finish the trilogy or not. Recently something’s gotten into me and I find myself having less patience for series of books. Give it to me in a stand alone, that’s what I want.

What did you think? Have you seen the movies? Did you read the whole trilogy? Should I?

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One thought on “Swedish novels with long names

  1. I loved this trilogy although there are major criticisms that would usually turn me off a book – but for some obscure reason, perhaps timing – I really enjoyed this series. However – I think the third book was the weakest and could have done with a major edit. And although the third book does tie off the main storyline running through the three books – Larrson quite obviously meant to continue the series had he lived.

    There is a lot of needless detail – like drinking coffee and almost obsessive detail about computer makes. Although I saw that detail as something significant to Lisbeth’s character. Larrsson was also prone to going off on rants against the system and institutionalised sexism and all that. In any other book that would’ve pissed me off tenfold.

    I have seen the first movie – the Swedish version. I have no interest in seeing the American, English language version. I liked being able to watch it in the original language it was written in. As I don’t know Swedish the only way I’m going to be able to experience it in it’s original format is through the movie.

    I really want to read more Swedish/other Scandinavian crime. In the UK we’ve gone a little mad over a Danish crime drama – Forbrydelsen/The Killing and I really like the sort of… darkness that you get in their fiction. I don’t think this book is necessarily the best example by far of Scandi fiction… but it’s definitely opened a door to a rather large craze I can’t complain about.

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