Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Stieg Larsson's Books: Why Do People Like Them?

I thought I was going to love Stieg Larsson's books. I love mystery novels to the degree where I have turned them into one of my research interests. I am also fascinated with the Scandinavian countries. I enjoy reading literature from Sweden and about Sweden. Alongside Norway, Sweden is a country where I would love to live.

For these reasons, I was sure I would really enjoy the Millenium Trilogy. In reality, though, I find it painfully hard to slog just through the first of the books. The characters are beyond boring, the story line is painfully lacking in any interest, the writing style is horrible (translation or not, you can still spot an uninspired style of this magnitude). The only parts of the book I enjoyed are the ones that describe the beautiful Swedish climate. In the midst of the scorching Midwest summer I'm bravely dealing with right now, reading about all the cold and snow is a welcome relief. Otherwise, the book seems simply endless and not in a good way.

What I find it hard to understand is why everybody else seems to love these novels so much. If any of my readers read these books and can tell me why people go crazy over Stieg Larsson's mysteries, I would be very grateful.


Anonymous said...

I was planning on reading the first one soon. I'll let you know what I think.


Clarissa said...

Maybe by that time I will manage to get through the first one. I'm forcing myself to read 5 pages a day of it. Honeslty, I don't remember such a bad reading experience of something I was hoping to read for fun for a long time.

jeevans said...

The beginning of the first one can be a little difficult to get through. The first chapter I will admit is utterly boring. First of all you have no idea who these people are and it's all about economics. Not what you signed up for right? I'm not sure if you've gotten through the entire book or not yet but it does get extremely good. It may be a slower pace than some novels, but I felt like you did get a real sense of characters. I think what draws people in is that it's something that's foreign to them. The setting, Sweden, is physically foreign. But I also think the fact that Larsson does not shy away from violence, especially violence against women and sadism is intriguing since those things are very taboo in the US. I also think the fact that you never really know what's going on or what's going to happen, especially with the elusive Lisbeth Salander pulls readers in. Finally, I think one of the biggest aspects that has made these novels so tremendously popular is the fact that the author died before they were even published.

Anonymous said...

I hope you hung in there. I felt the same way when I started to read the first book. I had not heard of it until I joined a bookclub. I did not think I was going to make it. For anyone who has not read this yet, the first book really doesnt hook you until about page 75-76 when they start to develop the main character. She's the hook in all 3 books. While some of the things that happen can be a little bit unrealistic, they are all good reads.