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Mom's Reading Corner: The Stieg Larsson Trilogy

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Is The Girl with Dragon Tattoo and the two other books that followed worth reading? Ask our new columnist, my mom, Lenore Stoller.

Introducing a new column by one of the most avid readers I know, my mom. Mom reads at least two dozen books per year, is involved in book clubs in Southampton (she volunteers at the library) and Boynton Beach Florida and is always on the inside track when it comes to discovering great books. So for her first assignment, I asked her to tackle the Steig Larssen Trilogy and asked her, "Mom, should we really believe the hype - and will I really love it as much as everyone says I will? Let's find out...

Mom's Take...
I have just completed the Stieg Larsson trilogy, (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo; The Girl who Played with Fire: The Girl who Kicked the Hornet's Nest). After getting through lengthy discussions about finance, computer hacking, long, unpronounceable locales in Sweden and a myriad of characters often too many for me to recall along with their roles in each book, I have to say, I really enjoyed the series. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo however, was the novel I enjoyed the most - in fact it was my favorite of the three books. However, if you prefer to see closure from a book series, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest tied up all the loose ends from the second novel and was pretty good, but definitely not one of my all time favorites.

When I went to school, my teachers always insisted that once you started a book, you had to finish it. And so, after learning about the author's biography, I did feel a sense of obligation to finish all of his books. Did his real life as the editor of the Expo mirror his stories? Was he murdered by a radical neo-Nazi or did he die of a heart attack because he smoked like a fiend? Did you know that the original title of his first book was "Men Who Hate Women?" Personally, I prefer that book title over the ones that were selected but I guess publishers know better - I'm just a voracious reader who made it her mission this summer to finish these books! That being said, I'm pretty sure I won't read any other Stieg Larrson sequels in case any were left on his computer after he died - but I would go see the movie that is currently being made. Perhaps once you read them, you'll have an entirely different opinion about the series - but as they say, that's why we have chocolate and vanilla ice cream!

And now, Beth's Take...
Mom's absolutely right on the chocolate/vanilla scenario. Whatever flavor Stieg Larrson was dishing, I just wasn't getting it. After, I went out and bought The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, try as I might, I could not get passed page 30. I never had a teacher who told me to finish every book and so rather than torture myself, I started a a much easier read filled with infidelity, betrayal, gossip and more...Fly Away Home by Jennifer Weiner. Now that's a novel I can sink my teeth into...review coming soon.

Posted in: Blog, Book Club, Mom's Reading Corner on 09/06/2010


  • Quite interesting that the original title for the book series was "Men Who Hate Women" and not surprising it was changed. The original title, even if more accurate to the story, sounds more like a psychology self-help book, which would have certainly limited its appeal.

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