Does anyone else think the first book could in theory stand alone? it has a very definite ending, and though there are unanswered questions about salander’s background, it’s ok to leave some things a mystery i think. don’t get me wrong I’m glad he wrote the other two and I wish there were more, but the first book has a stand alone feel to it in my opinion. thoughts?

Posted by missuspickypins in fort collins , 1 August 2011

By Editor

15 thoughts on “can the 1st book stand alone?”
  1. I just finished reading the first one (I know, I am late) and I was satisfied with the way it ended and i do not feel I need to rush to read the second, so I agree with you, it definitely has a stand alone aspect to it.

    Posted by BrainDrops in Montreal ,

  2. I also agree. I just finished the trilogy three days ago (after two weeks of non-stop reading, thanks to an urge from watching David Fincher’s amazing trailer), and looking back at the *whole* story as a whole, I guess I can say that the first book can be used as a stand-alone novel. The thing is, when you have “The Girl Who Played with Fire” and “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest” staring at you, it’s hard to resist.

    Posted by WaspNest in New Lands ,

  3. Well I had the same thoughts… only after watching the Swedish film. Tomorrow I’d head out to the nearest bookstore.

    Posted by AliceXJane in Manila ,

  4. When you fall in love with the characters, though, no book can be stand-alone. You ALWAYS want more. Stieg Larsson really left the ends well, so you look for the next book. I must admit, my work was somewhat neglected this past week as I devoured the trilogy.

    Posted by Lisa in Vernon ,

  5. absolutely the first one could stand alone, but of course I’m very glad that he wrote 2 more..I just think of them as one long book anyway..

    Posted by Vas in Washington DC ,

  6. I inadvertently picked up the second book, read it and loved it. Midway thru I learned of my error so I then read th first book an loved it. I’m now ready for the third one.

    Posted by Tommy.37215 in Nashville TN ,

  7. Book can stand alone, just about, but books 2 and 3 are two parts of the same narrative. Neither of these two makes much sense witout book 1.

    Posted by Iestyn in Cardiff ,

  8. First book can stand alone, but reading it makes a difference when you read the next two books. In some passages the author recaps scenes from the first book so the reader can understand what’s going on.

    Posted by Lucia in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil ,

  9. Is it just me or does anyone else find the third book TGWKTHN, was not as good as the first two? I couldn’t put down the first two, but could not finish the last one, also saw the movie this weekend and it was wonderful..

    Posted by Diane in San Diego, Ca. ,

  10. This is along a similar vein. Can the whole trilogy stand alone? I’ve just finished the 1st and am debating about the 2nd & 3rd. I don’t need or want to know what happens in either, just if it’s worth it to keep reading since the whole series was cut short.

    Posted by Erin in Viriginia ,

  11. The 1st book could stand alone but this would be a mistake. TGWPWF is the strongest of the 3 novels and is very enjoyable. The character developement is complete from the 1st novel so the story can move rapidly in novel #2.

    Posted by Ron in Vancouver, B.C, Canada ,

  12. I don’t believe TGWTDT started as a stand-alone novel. My belief is that Larsson overwrote the first novel, which initially bled into the second. Since it was sooo long, he found a reasonable cutoff place for the first, went back and ensured loose ends were taken care of, ended it, then took up where he left off and fashioned a new plot for TGWPWF. I may be wrong, but as an editor I’ve come across this in writers before and have had to separate one extremely long and unmanageable manuscript into 2 books…story and sequel. Even though TGWTDT ends with loose ends tied up, it simply didn’t feel right when I read the last page. I turned the next page just to make sure I wasn’t missing anything. Just sayin’…

    Posted by Jean Ferguson in Toronto, Canada ,

  13. I don’t think the intention was as a stand alone novel either as he planned 10 novels. You may well be right, Jean F, about his first novel being too long, hence presenting two novels together to the publishing houses. If you just read TGWTDT you could hypothetically stop there. But if you go onto the second, like Lestyn says, you absolutely have to go on to the third if you want to find out what happens.

    Posted by Amanda in Zwolle ,

  14. well, if you’re gonna push it, you could prop it up with bookends, otherwise it could stand alone.

    Posted by Dragonreader in Alamogordo ,

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