The characters are amazing, even in the translated versions.
I also really liked the movies. They're very graphic but well worth the viewing!
Me- BW, 30
Him- fWh, 36
Mostly R'd, minus a few scars...bought a house and got a puppy...And baby makes 3! She arrived August 2013
I absolutely love the character of Lisbeth. She is one bad ass chick. The first book only scratches the surface of her character and much more is revealed in the second book.
I have seen the Swedish movie of the first book. It truly does justice to the book. Hollywood is also creating a version of the movie with Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara. It is supposed to be released in Dec. I have my doubt whether it will live up to the Swedish version.
I actually stayed up until 4:30 in the morning reading "The Girl Who Played with Fire". I could not put it down.
Kjersti.....thanks for all the info. I had read a little about the author, but you really filled in some gaps.
I have a question, though....why was it so vital that they not marry out of fear of the danger? I would think that anyone close to him whether married or not, would be a target....
You are welcome!
You're asking a question that opens up areas that are contentious in Sweden and, at least to us English-speakers who live in our English-speaking countries, genuinely mysterious.
From what I've read (quoting people who span a fair breadth of being pro or con regarding any of the people involved), he didn't have anyone other than his life partner that he was "close to." He had a vast array of people he had worked with for many years and people who considered themselves his friends, but who--evidently--he really wasn't very close to. From his standpoint, he was probably very "friendly" without ever being what we would call a "real friend."
Most everyone is agreed that his relationship with his father and his brother was difficult and what we would call "estranged" (although I'm not sure that, in Swedish terms, this would be an accurate description, since I "get" that their idea of "relationships"--both family relationships and otherwise--can be significantly different from ours). I think it's fair to say, from what I've read, that his relationship with both his father and his brother was both cool and distant (very distant emotionally, in addition to being distant geographically, since the father and brother are, from what I have read, very typical of the general pattern of Swedes who come from the extreme north of Sweden). The fact that his father and his brother wound up with "everything" (pretty much) is, given their real life relationship with him, pretty much akin to unexpectedly winning the world's biggest lottery with a ticket someone bought you as a small gift and you didn't even quite know you ever had.
He was, from what I've read, EXTREMELY aware of the constant danger he (and Eva) were in. He took pains to never have the same schedule or route to anywhere. He varied everything on a daily basis so that no one observing him could predict when or where he would be or would be going at any particular moment. There were pains taken to be as unobtrusive as possible, both when he was alone and when he was with Eva. (And she is an architect. She had her own life that she could use, to some extent, to obscure his life when he was alive.)
There is also some question about her contributions to the three books. Some editors who had, over the many years of his career, seen his attempts at fiction (he was a prolific non-fiction writer) flatly do not believe that the man who wrote what he, personally, submitted to them for possible publication over the years COULD have been the same person who wrote the Salandner trilogy. People who knew both of them very well have said that Eva's contributions to the trilogy were (at the very least) substantial, and could well have been SO substantial that she fully and rightfully deserved co-credit as author, with him. There really has been some fairly sophisticated analysis of his earlier (unpublished, so far as I know) attempts at fiction, and there seems to be a growing body of expert belief that he was definitely not the sole author of the the three novels...and if this is so, then the person who turned what were probably his personal initial ideas into publishable fictional form was Eva. So far as I know, she has always refused to speak about this when asked.
He left a whole lot of real life mysteries behind when he died, and why he (inadvertently) left his estate to probably the last two people on earth he ever wanted to leave it to may be just the beginning.
[This message edited by Kjersti at 7:25 PM, October 15th (Saturday)]
This is book Club and I think we could get into a whole discussion of the different social and legal aspects of Swedish life vs American Life that doesn't really belong here. But now that you have explained some things I am going to go back reread the books with a little different view. I loved them...but have to admit I spent a fair amount of time confused about certain things and spent some time researching several things on the internet (kroner drove me nuts until I finally looked up the currency conversion).
I find it painful to think that Eva might have helped write his books, yet his estranged relatives ended up with all the royalties. And admire her for not giving him up, if that is the case. Reputation of one's now dead love vs millions of $$$$. Very difficult decision to for her to make. Or, to her credit...maybe it wasn't so difficult.
I saw another preview today for the Hollywood movie coming out....I am going to watch the Swedish trilogy before I see that one.
Another somewhat related question....what is it with the numerous Swedish murder/police procedure books suddenly out since Larsson's books? Sweden is a relatively small country, population-wise, homogenous and largely rural. Do they really have that high of a crime rate....or just an obsession with the subject?
We are supposed to be caught up in the high pressure world of Nordic financial journalism (really?), while watching characters act like they are in any episode of Scooby Doo combined with a specific Brady Bunch episode, when they aren't living out some middle aged man's fantasy (of course every female wants to jump his bones), with some hard violence to make it seem thrilling...
I wanted more war history. I wanted more emotion. I wanted more plot twists.
I want that afternoon back...
[This message edited by asurvivor at 3:13 PM, October 18th (Tuesday)]
I know some on this forum loved the book, so I hate sounding too harsh, but this book...
I actually gave away books two and three, without telling my wife, who bought them.
You could start with the second book and get most of what happens in the first book.
Third book was pretty good too but the second is my favorite.
[This message edited by Bassgirl at 3:20 PM, October 20th (Thursday)]
Can you skip the first 50-100 pages of book one to skip past the financial business stuff (I literally could not force my eyes to move across the page to read more about someone's financial transfers)? Do we need to know about who transferred money where to understand the bulk of the story?
Feel free to skip the financial business parts, the Swedish politics parts (once you get the general gist of what is going on), and the Swedish laws and legal system parts (and again, once you get the gist of what is going on). These parts can be dense, hard for us to read, and can be not very interesting for those of us who are not Scandinavians.
If you get to parts of the book that you then don't understand what is going on (or why), then--if you want to--you can go back and reread the relevant sections that you earlier skipped so you will then understand. At that point, those sections will be far more interesting to you anyway, since you will, at this point, now have built a base on which to understand why they were written in the first place.
[This message edited by Kjersti at 6:12 PM, November 2nd (Wednesday)]