Tuesday, October 07, 2008


I have posted previously about my great admiration for Stieg Larsson's campaigning stance against Neo-Nazism here and here and here.
His early death was indeed a tragedy. But in those posts I made the point that the book itself  The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo did not warrant the degree of praise that was being heaped upon it in an almost hysterical fashion. The novel certainly did not match up to the brilliant marketing campaign.

Then I read a post on The Rap Sheet by Ali Karim which stated:

'I really believe that after the second and third installments of his Millennium  series, The Girl Who Played With Fire (January 2009), and Castles In The Sky (January 2010) are released Larsson's name will become legend, mentioned in the same breath as Conan Doyle, Christie, Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett and Ian Fleming'.  

Read the complete post here. I remain one of the unconverted at the present time perhaps because I read Nemesis by Jo Nesbo reviewed here and here and here after I had finished the Larsson and compared the two.


Blogger Reg / Steve said...

Be assured, Uriah, book 1 only lays the groundwork for great stuff to come in books 2 & 3. I'm a big Nesbø fan too, in my friend Don Bartlett's excellent translations, but have yet to read Nemesis. Too bad they're not being published in order, though. Best, "Reg Keeland" in Albuquerque

11:45 PM  
Blogger Uriah Robinson said...

Thanks very much for your comments 'Reg Keeland'.
I would hardly argue with you after all I have enjoyed your translations of Henning Mankell, Karin Alvtegen [ a very dark writer] Helene Tursten and Camilla Lackberg. You know what you are talking about and If you say books 2 an 3 are great I will look forward with great eagerness to reading them.
But my point is that the hype has overtaken the book to such a ridiculous degree that we might well be disappointed if books 2 and 3 are not 'legendary'.
You are lucky Albuquerque and New Mexico are beautiful and a bit warmer than Stockholm in the winter.
best wishes
Norman alias Uriah

8:12 AM  
Blogger Reg / Steve said...

Oh yes, Uriah, the hype is something else. Starting with the title change from the original "Men Who Hate Women" through the cover art and on into the marketing campaign. But publishers do like to have a bestseller, and the fact that even people who claim they hate the book admit that they were gripped and couldn't put it down says something. I wonder what the movies are going to be like... the trailer was certainly grisly enough.

Let me just say that beyond the serial killer story of book 1, the character of Lisbeth Salander keeps developing, and her background is revealed more and more. Stieg Larsson deepens and explores his central theme of violence against women, and then takes on new aspects of the breakdown of Swedish society and the welfare state. To my mind Lisbeth is one of the most fascinating and oddly appealing heroines in any crime fiction I've ever read, and it was a pleasure to translate her story. The real villain of the trilogy will appear in the following books, along with his fearsome henchmen.

Being familiar with all 3 books I admit that I can't recall which of the many memorable scenes came from which volume. The work all blends together into the most fascinating combination of crime epic and social commentary that I've ever read. Larsson took the genre beyond Sjöwall & Wahlöö, beyond Mankell, into a whole new arena of thriller literature.

Stay tuned, och lycka till med den svenska vintern! (My cold-weather amusement will be to read all the Harry Hole books by Nesbø, in order -- while continuing my translation work on Läckberg and Guillou.) --Reg

10:47 AM  
Blogger Uriah Robinson said...

If I may I will put your tantalizing comments in a post as I am sure they will be of interest to many people who will not read the comments.
If I post it will go on Maxine of Petrona's friend feed as well and get a much bigger readership. You are a far better salesman for the Millennium series than others, they should have got you to do the marketing as well.

Ridiculously I enjoyed reading Nesbo out of order as the real villain reminded me of a complete bastard I once knew. I don't think I could have read the earlier books wondering whether he got his well deserved fate.
My own visits to Scandinavia have been in the winter but a brisk -12 in Stockholm seems warmer than +12 on a wet windy day in Devon.
best wishes

12:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fascinating conversation, thanks to both of you - heightening the anticipation! I am certainly eager to read no 2 but I hope it is not as long as the tome I have just finished (The Likeness by Tana French at 500+ pages).
Norman, I trust you got suitable revenge on that bastard with your drill. The dentist always has the last laugh.

1:30 PM  
Blogger Reg / Steve said...

Well, I had to buy some of the untranslated Nesbø paperbacks in Malmö in Swedish, since I haven't been to Norway in years. (And I spent a couple of very wet winters in northern Sjælland in Denmark back in the day. Must be similar to the Devon wind.)

Sure, go ahead and post it. Email me at bloozshooz at gmail dot com and I'd be happy to chat in more detail. Translation is a solitary business and all outside human contact is welcome!

Reg en el desierto

8:14 PM  
Blogger Reg / Steve said...

Well, Maxine, the trilogy was 2700 pages in manuscript, but it will cook down to 4-500 per book, I suppose.

10:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think I'd rather 500 pages of Stieg than 500 of Tana, Reg!

12:06 PM  
Blogger Ali Karim said...

Uriah - "Reg" is totally right

Wait till you read Vol II, then Vol III - and I think you too will be convinced.

By the way Nesbo rocks also


7:06 AM  
Blogger Uriah Robinson said...

Thanks very much Ali.
I am now really looking forward to the release of The Girl who Played with Fire in January 2009.

8:47 AM  
Blogger Reg / Steve said...

In fact, Ali, I can hardly remember much of book 1, compared to the riches to be found in the other two!

Now reading Nesbø's first, FLADDERMUSMANNEN (The Bat Man, not such a hot title for the English-speaking market) unfortunately in a Swedish paperback because I haven't been to Norway in years. It starts out in Australia, where Harry Hole (called "Holy" by the Aussies since the final "e" is not silent in Norwegian) is investigating the death of a Norwegian woman... I'll update y'all when I finish it.


12:08 PM  
Blogger Uriah Robinson said...

I think the The Bat Man was the first in the Harry Hole series and won the Nordic Glass Key.

2:07 PM  

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