In view of the complimentary remarks about my post by Ali Karim on the Yahoo Forum 4 Mystery Addicts I thought I would share an edited version of the discussion with you here. Ali Karim has been one the the main enthusiastic advocates for the Stieg Larsson books with his articles on The Rap Sheet.
Ali Karim in reply to my post:
Great post, and you raise some very interesting points, and despite differing opinions the construction of argument is excellent, and I do agree with your points. And your kind words are appreciated, as is your perception. I will have to warn you, after reading Vol II, I saw all the shortcomings in Vol I, and trust me, Vol II is truly remarkable, when I read it, I was in a trance-like state, unable to eat, sleep, function until I had finished this dark tale.
My original post:
A good part of the fun in reading crime fiction, blogging about it, and reading the comments on this group [and elsewhere] is that we can hold such widely differing opinions. I enjoy everything Ali Karim writes and his enthusiasm is infectious. I certainly agree with his opinions about Arnaldur Indridason and new star Johan Theorin [his Echoes From The Dead is a must read which won the Swedish best first crime novel for 2007] but I just feel The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo did not warrant the big build up it received.
Someone on this forum suggested that Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code was more hyped than Dragon Tattoo. I would reply that no one suggested Brown should receive the Nobel Prize or that he rates up there with Christie, Chandler, Hammett and Fleming.
The bar has been set so high that Vol II is bound to be a disappointment.
I sincerely hope it is not but having been told that it takes Swedish crime fiction beyond Sjowall and Wahloo and Henning Mankell to a new level I wonder what to expect.
I have the greatest respect for Stieg Larsson's anti-fascist campaigning but his first book The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo was in my opinion a rambling, poorly constructed novel with one redeeming feature the character of Lisbeth Salander.
I don't have any academic qualifications for making this statement, but if the New Yorker magazine can have someone discuss the book who has never been to Scandinavia or read any Scandinavian crime fiction then I can put in my twopenn'orth.
I will be pushing all my other reading to one side when I get my copy of The Girl Who Played With Fire and expect to get my socks blown off.
Links can be followed to my previous posts and discussions on this subject here.
Photo of Nori Rapace-Noren and Michael Nyqvist the actors playing Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist in the movie.