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Combine the current popularity of Scandinavian mysteries--like those by Henning Mankell and Arnaldur Indridason--with Stieg Larsson's savvy career move of dropping dead before publication of his Millennium Trilogy, and you can see why these books are getting the big push. Add in a heroine, Lisbeth Salander, who's a bisexual genius computer hacker with near ninja-like fighting skill and a hero, Mikael Blomkvist, who's a crusading left-wing journalist, as Larsson himself was, and you've a product with a lot going for it marketing-wise. That said, as we might expect from a Communist author, the story is totally unbelievable -- see the description of Salander above -- and the political pedantry turns what could have been a diverting 180 page thriller into a 500+ page doorstop. Blomkvist is investigating sex-trafficking in Sweden and it's a topic that deserves our outrage. But indignation doesn't wear all that well for page after page. Salander is the Girl of the title and in passing he refers to her, more appropriately, as The Girl Who Hates Men Who Hate Women. But the reader who doesn't hate all men, other than Socialist writers, will have their patience sorely tested. Try a Martin Beck, by a pair of Swedish Socialists who managed to be great writers, instead.


(Reviewed:)

Grade: (C)

  

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Thrillers
Stieg Larsson Links:

    -AUTHOR SITE: StiegLarsson.com
    -AUTHOR SITE: Stieg Larsson (Random House)
    -FILMOGRAPHY: Stieg Larsson (Imdb)
    -WIKIPEDIA: Stieg Larsson
    -BOOK SITE: The Girl Who Played with Fire
    -TRANSLATOR BLOG: Reg Keeland
    -ARTICLE: A who-wunnit: family fight over crime writer’s fortune: The girlfriend and father of the Swedish novelist Stieg Larsson are locked in a feud over his £10m estate (Matthew Campbell, 5/17/09, Times of London)
    -PROFILE: Stieg Larsson’s millennial success: The hype around Stieg Larsson’s Millennium book trilogy is in full swing with millions of copies sold — and the first movie adaptation a Scandinavian blockbuster. But the author, who died before he got to see any of his books in print, would have been a reluctant celebrity. (David Wiles, 4/09/09, Sweden.se)
    -ESSAY: Larsson trilogy inspires Stockholm's latest walking tour (Delphine Touitou, 29 Jul 08, The Local)
    -ARTICLE: Stieg Larsson and ‘the girl who inherited nothing’ (Nigel Horne, 5/18/09, First Post)
    -TRIBUTE: Stieg Larsson: Profile: Jake Kerridge celebrates the crime writer Stieg Larsson's magnificent Millenium trilogy (Jake Kerridge, 10 Sep 2009, Daily Telegraph)
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-INTERVIEWS: The Return of Lisabeth Salander (ShotsMag)
    -INTERVIEW: Q&A: Stieg Larsson: Knopf editor in chief Sonny Mehta and executive director of publicity Paul Bogaards ponder Larsson's literary legacy (Wilda Williams, 6/15/09, Library Journal)
    -ESSAY: Laws of the thriller: Sean O'Brien on the ups and downs of thriller writers (Sean O'Brien, February 11, 2009, The Times Literary Supplement)
    -ESSAY: The new popularity of Swedish novelists: Wallander and Let the Right One In sparked interest in Scandinavian writers Hakan Nesser, Henning Mankell and Stieg Larsson (Joan Smith, 5/10/09, Sunday Times of London)
    -PROFILE: The Making Of A Posthumous Best-Seller (Martha Woodroof, November 13, 2008, NPR: Morning Edition)
    -AUTHOR PROFILE: Stieg Larsson (Bookreporter)
    -BOOK LIST: Camilla Läckberg's top 10 Swedish crime novels (Camilla Läckberg, 3/12/09, The Guardian)
    -PROFILE: Crime writer taken too soon: Barry Forshaw recounts the swift rise and early death of Steig Larsson, author of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Barry Forshaw, 8/23/08, Times of London)
    -ARTICLE: Knopf Puts Some Muscle Behind Swedish Thrillers: Departing From Industry Norm, Bertelsmann Unit Readies Campaign for Stieg Larsson's 'The Girl Who Played With Fire' (JEFFREY A. TRACHTENBERG , 5/28/09, WSJ)
    -PROFILE: Swedish Crime Writer Finds Fame After Death (MALIN RISING, 2/17/09, Associated Press)
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-REVIEW: of The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson (Joan Smith, Times of London)
    -REVIEW: of The Girl Who Played with Fire (Louise France, The Observer)
    -REVIEW: of The Girl Who Played with Fire (Maxine Clarke, EuroCrime)
    -REVIEW: of The Girl Who Played with Fire (Waterstone's Books Quarterly)
    -REVIEW: of The Girl Who Played with Fire (Kath Lockett, Independent Weekly)
    -REVIEW: of The Girl Who Played with Fire (Bob Cornwell, Tangled Web)
    -REVIEW: of The Girl Who Played with Fire (Mark Lawson, The Guardian)
    -REVIEW: of The Girl Who Played with Fire (Material Witness)
    -REVIEW: of The Girl Who Played with Fire (Booklist)
    -REVIEW: of The Girl Who Played with Fire (Marcel Berlins, Times of London)
    -REVIEW: of The Girl Who Played with Fire (Ingrid Lamprecht, Socialist Review)
    -REVIEW: of The Girl Who Played with Fire (Donna Duggan, Mindfood)
    -REVIEW: of The Girl Who Played with Fire (Bookmarks)
    -REVIEW: of The Girl Who Played with Fire (Laura Miller, Salon)
    -REVIEW: of The Girl Who Played with Fire ()
    -REVIEW: of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson (Joan Smith, Times of London)
    -REVIEW: of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (Maxine Clarke, EuroCrime)
    -REVIEW: of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (Matt Benyon Rees)
    -REVIEW: of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (Ed Seigel, Boston Globe)
    -REVIEW: of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (Maureen Corrigan, NPR: Fresh Air)
    -REVIEW: of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (Jonathan Gibbs, Independent)
    -REVIEW: of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (Alex Berenson, NY Times Book Review)
    -REVIEW: of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (Michiko Kakutani, NY Times)
    -REVIEW: of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (Mary Whipple, CrimeCritics)
    -REVIEW: of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (Angela Youngman, Monsters & Critics)
    -REVIEW: of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (Peter Guttridge, The Observer)
    -REVIEW: of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (Michael Helfand, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
    -REVIEW: of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (Will Heinrich, NY Observer)
    -REVIEW: of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (Edward Nawotka, Dallas Morning News)
    -REVIEW: of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (Bob Cornwell, TangledWeb)
    -REVIEW: of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (Shots)
    -REVIEW: of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (Kit Reed, St. Petersburg Times)
    -REVIEW: of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (Marjorie Miller, LA Times)
    -REVIEW: of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (Tom C., A Common Reader)
    -REVIEW: of Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Donna Rifkind, Barnes & Noble Review)
    -REVIEW: of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Andy Plonka, Mystery Reader)
    -REVIEW: of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Patrick Anderson, Washington Post)
    -REVIEW ARCHIVES: for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Reviews of Books)

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