I think they're great.
I rarely buy hardbacks (basically reserved for Stark's Parker novels and sometimes Bruen), but the first in the trilogy got such good reviews I considered it. But I kept putting it off and finally picked it up when it first came out in paper. I was blown away, enough so that I bought the second in hardback. While not such a surprise, it was also great, so much so that I took the even more rare step of ordering the third as an import hardback, which I am now reading. They have a continuing theme throughout (stated in the first book's original title: Men Who Hate Women) and have a lot of social critique threaded through them, but never at the expense of the stories. Quite the opposite, in fact. They give context and depth to the very well plotted novels.
I also saw the movie of the first at AFI's European Film Showcase. Very, very good adaptation. The director was there and gave a quite amusing introduction. He did not want to make the movie, as he did not see himself as a director of thrillers. But after much resistance, the producers finally convinced him to read the book. He went back to the producers with seven non-negotiable demands, among which were: final cut, he would throw out the screenplay they gave him and start over with his own writers and it would be 2 1/2 hours. It seems the original plan was the make a conventional 90 minute thriller. If you've read the book, you know it's far too complex to fit into 90 minutes. A lot would have been lost. It still had to be somewhat streamlined for 2 1/2 hours, but they made very good choices (and retained the few more harrowing scenes).
The producers were desperate to get it made, so they agreed. I assume they were very happy with the decision when it became the most profitable Swedish film ever, even before it has played the US, where it's scheduled for the spring. It's quite a movie. I'm sure I'll be seeing it again.
I'm wondering about the sequels, though. According to imdb, they were done by another director and other writers, though they have the same cast.
Sent: Wednesday, December 30, 2009 10:25 AM
Subject: RARA-AVIS: Stieg Larsson
I'm curious if any Avians have storng opinions either way about the Stieg Larsson books. I'm planning to read the trilogy this coming year, but would love to hear your thoughts as well.
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