Culture Club: The Millennium Trilogy
Readers review this week’s book
Thursday 29 July 2010
"Having watched the first film of the trilogy, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, I took the second and third books to read on a long train journey from London to the Cannes Film Festival. Every night, after sitting through countless forgettable films, I would forgo all the party invites and rush back to my hotel to carry on reading. Those who had already read the books were envious and those who had not were truly baffled."
David Nicholas Wilkinson
"The series begins as an immensely readable and gripping thriller, but midway through the third book it becomes bogged down with superfluous characters and reams of pointless exposition. A brave editor should have wielded the red pen. It would have been much the better for it."
"In a society that seethes with haunted pasts, corporate intrigue and shadowy villains, Larsson constructs an outstanding take on the Good vs Evil narrative. In the Good corner we have Mikael Blomkvist (a cunning self-portrait) and Lisbeth Salander, the most intriguing and complex character in modern literature. In the Bad corner there is, well, everybody else. Taking on sex-traffickers, motorcycle gangs and even her own father, Salander is the flawed, battered and bleeding heart of the story. Through her, Larsson opens our eyes to the injustices in his native Sweden that in life he fought so hard to expose. It is without doubt a tragedy that Larsson died too young to see his story become a global success and tragic for fans everywhere to know that we will never be brought under Larsson's enthralling spell again."
"What struck me was that all the baddies had no redeeming features whatsoever – and when retribution came, it was total and remorseless. Some sequences were overloaded with detail. It was good to see in the film of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo that the narrative had been tightened up, to the benefit of the story. The books were all readable and interesting but not as hypnotic as some readers suggested."
"I'm sure that I am in the minority but I have to say that the description on the front cover gave no clue as to the level of sexual violence in the book. So although I thought the book was incredibly well written I will not read the other two volumes of the trilogy, as I have been told there is more and more violence in them."
"I bought the second book for my holidays, assuming that it would last the duration, but then found myself desperately scouring bookshops for number three. The two main characters – Salander and Blomkvist – are compulsive companions and the way the plot unfolds is like watching the author effortlessly spinning plates. It's great having a ballsy female lead in successful books that kick institutionalised sexism into touch.
"I loved the first two but I'm pacing myself... Lisbeth is a fascinating creation."
"Larsson doesn't portray Lisbeth as a victim – she has been wronged mightily but she is powerful and intelligent and mad as a cuckolded rooster. I have watched the first film and enjoyed it, but it is only a shadow of the book."
"Loved all three, although the first was the best. Missing Salander already. Sniff."
"Much prefer Henning Mankell."
Next week in Culture Club: Sherlock
Please email your views on the new three-part BBC1 series, which transports Holmes to the 21st century, to firstname.lastname@example.org. The best will be published next Thursday
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