Let me preface this point by emphasizing that I’m a big fan. I found the series to be intriguing, suspenseful, believable and captivating. I was bothered however by how Salander was able to immobilize Niedermann. Salander was hiding under a workbench that had eight inches of clearance from the floor. I find it impossible to imagine how, from within an eight inch space, she could reach out and manipulate a nail gun that fired seven inch nails to a position far enough above his feet that she could successfully obtain an angle that anchored him to the floor. It would have been more believable for her to somehow sneak up behind him, clobber him in the head with sufficient force that he was dazed and dropped to the floor, then use the nail gun to fire nails into his limbs. I?m just saying?.Really?? hiding in a 8 inch space?7 inch nails?.good angle?both feet?not likely?

Posted by Zack in Los Angeles , 16 June 2010

By Editor

19 thoughts on “A critical point a bit implausible.”
  1. I loved the books as everyone else has said, but I have some areas that I found implausible. One is how was Blomkvist able to subdue Niedermann all by himself?? Granted he had a gun, but he would have to have put it down, or not been holding it too securely as he “took off his belt and made a noose with it.” (p.501) Then standing between the giant’s legs to loop it around his arms–surely the gigantic Neidermann could have taken either of those opportunities to level Blomkvist. If anyone can explain that, I’d be very interested.

    Posted by Janet in Garnet Valley ,

  2. As a big fan of the books (for all the reasons and more stated before) I thought I’d write to reply to Janet in Garnet Valley.. Niederman was petrified because his ONLY fear in life had been the dead returning to haunt him.. he had just ‘killed’ and buried his sister only for her to return to ‘kill’ Zalachenko, the sight of this fully encapsulated all of Niederman’s fears and therefore made his capture ‘relatively’ simple.. In normal circumstances he would have swatted Blomkvist whether he had the gun or not.

    Hope this resolves your implausibility issue.

    Posted by Simon in Bristol ,

  3. Haven’t you heard of “poetic license? I am amazed at the need people have to pick apart the “realism” and “plausibility” of a novel. It’s a novel, for God’s sake, or, in this case a trilogy. On the other hand, Larson himself would probably encourage critical and inspired debate about his work.

    Posted by Noreen in San Diego ,

  4. This is LISBETH we are talking about..you don’t mind her digging her self out of a shallow grave with a cigarette case…but nailing her brother to the floor is cause for concern???


  5. Feeble or not, I would have thought her Dad would have made absolutely sure that Lisbeth was dead. Why did he shoot her with such a whimpy pistol? And wouldn’t Neiderman have stomped the crap out of her?

    Of course, it is fiction, and I am damn glad Lisbeth survived. You see, I have a CRUSH on her. I’ll bet one or two other boys and girls do as well.

    Posted by sulimander in bryn athyn Pa. ,

  6. neiderman should have been able to just rip the nails from his legs (as implausible as even getting the nails shot in his feet is) since he feels no pain why would he not simply pull them out?

    Posted by benwashere ,

  7. Lisbeth comes so plausibly close to death, but then through some fantastical luck and determination she lives — I think Stieg Larsson used his interest Si-fi thrillers to create some of this implausible fiction –What do you think??

    Posted by Katie in Los Angeles ,

  8. Dude… Ok. I love the books however it is a common curtesy to every writer and piece of media art to have a suspension of disbelief. If you start to analyze every detail that very well could have been based on time constraint you loose the work in details that while matter do not break the plot

    Posted by Tara in Denver ,

  9. It’s called ‘the willing suspension of disbelief’. As readers, we are happy to accept some of these fantastical details. Like when the fox lifts his leg on her grave. As I learned it, a fox doesn’t lift. But it’s not really about these things. We are on a journey and we should enjoy the story and not think about how many inches it would take to get a giant down. Afterall, she’s a super hero!

    Posted by Hannah in Ventura County ,

  10. Come on people…verisimilitude…she’s so tiny none of her nine lives is feasible in reality…you have to suspend your disbelief and just go with it. I agree with Hannah – you have to route for the super hero!

    Posted by Kristin in Northbridge, MA in USA ,

  11. Agree with Kristin. It doesn’e matter if it not believable, in fact, thank goodness it IS fiction. Fantastic read.

    Posted by Annie in London UK ,

  12. It drove me crazy that two persons tried to kill each other and they’re kept two rooms apart in the hospital with zero security… I was willing to suspend my disbelief for the rest of the book… I am soo sad that there won’t be a fourth

    Posted by GB in Canada ,

  13. I’ve jsut finsshed books 1 and 2 and might not bother continuing on with #3. It’s all just too lame. Let me rip through a few of my peeves:

    – the conversation is woefully unrealistic; no one in real discussion would speak so … thoroughly and repetitively. If you call me and my mobile was off I might not apologize by explaining such — and why in goodness name, in the middle of a murder investigation would ANYONE turn off their cell phone?

    – the superfluous details and odd product placement distracted me. It seems irrelevant that it’s a Macbook, or a Tungsten Palm. A “laptop” or a “PDA” would do fine (especially when the PDA – at least to the end of Book 2 – didn’t actually do anything.)

    – do I really need to know the product names that Salander bought at IKEA when she furnishes her apartment. (no)

    – there’s this weird way the various characters repeat the plot points over and over. the cops repeat what Blomqvist just realized and what the baddies just did. Just because they are just getting it, doesn’t mean I have to read it three times.

    – I cannot suspend my disbelief that everyone seems to be a kickboxing expert, or has trained in boxing or is a professional boxer or…. how ’bout rewriting this with normal people who don’t just happen to have special skills that will get out of pickles. Now that would be a story.

    enough already.

    Posted by Peter in toronto ,

  14. Wow, Peter in Toronto, really tore the book to pieces. Just enjoy the read.

    Posted by Dragon Girl in Harrha ,

  15. man, peter it seems you can’t handle good writing. no one reads fiction for it to be completely physically possible. its the story. also detail seems to really bother you and you seem to have troubles paying attention to the story and get distracted by simple things. And also,sulimander in bryn, i do too.

    Posted by DJ Jablonski in Bratt ,

  16. It’s a novel people! Not a factual account of anything. Just let it be fun and silly, don’t pick everything to bits. Relax!

    Posted by JA Arena in Melbourne ,

  17. If anyone has seen the American TV cult classic series MacGyver, you’ll know what I mean when I see some similarities between the title character of that show and Lisbeth. MacGyver was a secret agent of sorts with a knack for getting out of trouble using only the everyday objects around him. Lisbeth is very similar. Matter of fact, there’s a scene in a MacGyver episode where Mac staples a bad guy’s jacket to the ground to keep him there. So you can imagine how I laughed when I came to the point in the novel where Lisbeth nails Niedermann to the ground! Granted, MacGyver hated guns and wanted nothing to do with that sort of violence, but I do see some similarities between the two characters, and I have to wonder whether Larsson ever saw the show. Some of the stunts MacGyver pulled definitely stretched the limits of credibility, though all were replicable under the right conditions. Point is, even when the novels are less than totally believable, they’re still great fun. Relax and enjoy the ride!

    Posted by Linnea in Minneapolis, MN ,

  18. Nailing someone’s feet to the floor will most certainly stop their aggression: an obvious move, no doubt. I must echo someone else’s stickling though: I am a carpenter and the biggest nail I have ever driven with a pneumatic tool is 3-3/4? and it need 120 psi of AIR. The biggest I have HEARD of is 4-7/8? An ELECTRIC nailer capable of firing 7? nails doesn’t exist. I think Larsson wrote the number 4 and it got misconstrued as a 7 in the bustle of life. If this is the biggest problem with the book, then I say it’s pretty shallow to pontificate critically about a great adventure series.

    Posted by Fred in Calgary ,

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