Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Swedish Authors, part 2 (3)

The so called Millennium-series is a suspense trilogy with a social criticism edge by a Swedish journalist/author, Stieg Larsson, who suddenly and unexpectedly passed away before even the first of them was published. Larsson was one of the founders, and editor-in-chief, of the research foundation and magazine Expo, which you can read more about here

The screen adaption of the first book will begin filming in Sweden this Spring. The series has been sold to many different countries and the first book "Män som hatar kvinnor" (Men who hate women) has already been translated into English. But as far as I know it got the title "The girl with the dragon tattoo", which is a title that refers to the tattoo of one of the main characters in the books. A very strange choice of title for this book though, and in that case more suitable for the second book, the one I've just finished, called "Flickan som lekte med elden" (The girl who played with fire). The third book, "Luftslottet som sprängdes" (The air castle that was blown up), hasn't been released in paperback yet. And yes, I mainly read my books in paperback form nowadays. Much more convenient both in size and price.

The books have been a huge success with critics as well as readers. And yes, I really, really enjoyed the first book, quite without reservations, I think. Well written, interesting characters, the political edge, the plot.

This second book though, I either read with a more critical approach - unintentionally - or perhaps it was simply less well written. Oh, of course it was thrilling, and with a good overall plot. But it was also *a bit* overfed with words - and mind you, this notion comes from someone who adore words! - quite a lot of the unnecessary, blab kind. Not witty, not needful for the storyline, just plain too much. Annoyingly superfluous passages and characters. A bit too sapient, too know-it-all-goody-two-shoes. Qualities which can be entertaining and even great, more than great perhaps, in moderate doses. With a fair amount of self-distance. In this book I found it to be just rather overbearing.

Yes it's an easy read, good suspense, and the "quirky" details of this street, that café, those shops in Stockholm, which makes it fun, if you know your city, to follow the events and characters *at close range*. But for my personal taste, I find the book to be a slight case of too crudely written. Myself I like my favourite suspense novels written with more refinement as well as a sense of dry wittiness. Especially so when it comes to those books that have that certain social criticism and political twist to them.

So, in summation, perhaps not on a book on Pia's suspense-novels hit list, but well, rather interesting and entertaining read just the same.

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