I’m glad somebody said it.

I thought this review by Joan Acocella in the New Yorker about Steig Larsson’s Millenium Trilogy was spot on. I’ve read all three books and while I thought the first one was pretty good but not as good as all the hype, I thought the other two were mediocre. This review explains why in a way I never could articulate for myself. Acocella also offers theories for why the books are so incredibly popular.  Just a warning, if you haven’t read the books and have any desire to do so, don’t read the review, it’s chock full of spoilers.

However much the book was revised, it should have been revised more. The opening may have been reworked…but it still features an episode-somebody telling somebody else at length (twelve pages!) about a series of financial crimes peripheral to the main plot- that by wide consensus, is staggeringly boring….Elsewhere there are blatant violations of logic and consistency. Loose ends dangle. There are vast dumps of unnecessary detail. When Lisbeth goes to IKEA, we get a list of every single thing she buys (“Two Karlanda sofas with sand-colored unholstery, five Poang armchairs, two round side tables of clear-lacquered birch, a Svansbo coffee table and several Lack occasional tables,” and that’s just for the living room.) The jokes aren’t funny. The dialogue could not be worse….

To read more go here.

And if you’ve read the books and want to read a particularly funny parody of them, try The Girl Who Fixed the Umlaut.

 

3 thoughts on “I’m glad somebody said it.

  1. I read the first book and also thought it was “okay”. I felt that it was in serious need of a good editor. It probably could have been a much better book if parts had been taken out (like the 12 pages mentioned above). I really don’t have much inclination to read the other two.

    • I read the second one thinking maybe it would get better. I was disappointed but the second one ends in such a way that it’s virtually impossible not to want to read the third one. I don’t know if you read the article I linked to but it talks about the editing process and how the editor was seriously limited in what he was able to do with it for various reasons.

      • yes, thank you for encouraging me to read it. Now I don’t feel the need to read books 2 &3 🙂 I did like the Lisbeth character. I found her quite believable and compelling…and she also seemed the most tightly written too. I thought Mikael was a much weaker character.

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