How did the Forbes couple fit into the story

At the beginning of the second book there seemed to be a lot of detail spent on the character of Dr Forbes and his wife who shared residence at the Keys Hotel. I was expecting, similar to first book when the Wennerström issues were closed of at the books finish, that there would be some tie in with Forbes somewhere (despite his demise).

Am I missing something? Or did others find that this inclusion in the story served a purpose?

Perhaps I when I read the third book, it will somehow come to light. The second book was obviously written to leave a lot of unanswered questions to draw in readers to read the third.

Posted by Sully in Melbourne , 23 April 2010

By Editor

25 thoughts on “How did the Forbes couple fit into the story”
  1. I agree. In fact, while reading the book I thought this was the murder that Lisbeth would be accused of, but then it just slipped into the background. It portrayed her sense of right and wrong and the lengths she would go to free someone from abuse, but there was so much time spent on it, I thought it would come back around in the end. Perhaps later…

    Posted by Rose G in Alaska ,

  2. I agree–as a matter of fact I thought this part was written posthumously as it had no relevance to the rest of the sotry and seemed to be just page fillers.

    Posted by A Fan in NYC ,

  3. Good points. Would appear to be a dangling thread and l like the idea that it may have been added posthumously.

    Posted by Mabelle O in TorontoCanada ,

  4. Of course it is important to the plot; as even those closest to Salander come to have serious doubts as to whether she is actually capable of murder. Blomkvist has no doubt-from the first book and her rescue of him and Armansky both spend a lot of time pondering the possiblities.

    The Forbes interlude is one of many where you get an insight into Lisbeth’s morality and point of view.

    Actually the contentious point in this part of the story is Larsson’s confusion of ‘hurricane’ and ‘tornado’; two words from different languages that mean the same thing, not as Larsson indicates that a hurricane turns into some kind of waterspout, which he describes as a type of tornado. Doesn’t make sense and is in fact sloppy writing. Thankfully a rare thing in the rest of the books (so far)

    Posted by Francis B Cook in Birkenhead, Merseyside, UK ,

  5. Francis B Cook, I am confused by your statement, “‘hurricane’ and ‘tornado’; two words from different languages that mean the same thing”.

    They aren’t the same thing. Additionally, a hurricane will often spin off tornadoes as they approach land, and some of these will appear as waterspouts.

    As someone that resides on the Gulf of Mexico, the writing of the weather phenomenon isn’t sloppy at all. It is an accurate representation of a phenomenon that the author likely never experienced, but those on the Gulf Coast know very well.

    Posted by Kim in Gulf Coast of Texas, US ,

  6. I agree with you, Francis. The Hurricane incident was a rare instance of sloppy writing and was surprising given the clarity of the remainder of the book.

    Does anyone have any information as to how/why this interlude was included?

    Posted by Stella F. in Phoenix, AZ ,

  7. I also expected the Forbes’ to have some sort of significance later in the book. I also wondered why Dr. Forbes’ body was found at the airport…?

    Posted by Lauren in Sea Cliff, NY ,

  8. It got picked up by the tornado. The book says that tornados over water seem impossible but sometimes do happen.

    Posted by Judy in Lewiston, ME ,

  9. Maybe he meant tropical cyclone or typhoon. I think what matters is that the scenario showed that Lisbeth is capable of, and believes in, revenge.

    Posted by Carol in Pinehurst, NC ,

  10. To those of you with no experience of hurricanes/typhoons, waterspouts or tornados I ask you to consider Larsson’s portrayal of the described event as possible. We see all of the described weather events with regularity in FL. Waterspouts (which many of you seem to doubt are a reality. They are, in effect, a tornado over water and are generally generated in heavy weather. Just as a tornado spins out of a cloud system picking up dirt and debris from dry land, a waterspout is a tornado touching down on water, picking up whatever may be in its path. They do not last as long on the water as on land, but we see them regularly. As the lady from coastal TX explained, hurricanes are much larger and more destructive weather systems that do spin off both waterspouts and tornadoes.

    You may wish to consider the incident described as “sloppy writing” if your desire is to dispute awkward sentence construction or grammatical imperfection (both probably due to the difficulty of translation). However, the event described is an entirely possible occurrence.

    Posted by J Huggins in Jacksonville, FL ,

  11. Since the series was to include ten books, I assume Mr. Larsson was going to resolve the Forbes’ story later.

    Posted by Lenny Pincus in Chicago ,

  12. I can’t remember The Forbes or a death at the airport. I did read the story quickly and when tired, but stil . . .

  13. The Forbes incident seemed to me to be a short story inside the novel. It was a transition between the first and second noels. The incident encapsulates the Lizabeth saga perfectly- fight and/or flight, sex, underdogs, investigation, abuse, and a great moral compass. I gather Dr. Forbes body washed down to the airport on the small island. (I enjoyed it and felt it was a solid inclusion in a book where much of the plot was investigation not so much action.

    Posted by John H. in Richmond,Va ,

  14. I am in agreement with John H in Richmond. Dr. Forbes death was a declaration of war and heavy statement from Lisbeth against injustice, period. This would especially be helpful to persons who started reading the 2nd book first. As for Tornado/Hurricane, it was very clear to me what Mr. Larsson was saying starting with the fact that although Tornados are not common on water, they are not totally improbable. I do not really understand the obession about that event.

    Posted by Judy F in Wallingford, PA ,

  15. I think we can all agree that we will sorely miss more stories from Stieg Larsson, and that from his 3 novels, we can conclude that the story would most likely have gone on, maybe tying in loose ends, Dr. Fobes, sister Camila, etc. Also, no matter how great the Translator, meaning is loss in Translation. You cannot translate exactly. I think they did an excellent job of translating it into English. I only wish I spoke and read Swedish as I know I would have enjoyed it even more.

    I have not seen mention of the books made into movies here yet in the states? I hope and pray if they do, they do justice to the books.

    It would be wonderful if Mr. Larsson had left notes or outlines of future novels and if an author could be found to write the story, but since these books were published posthumously, that is unlikely.

    What a wonderful talent. He will be sorely missed.

    Posted by Connie Martinez in Branchville, NJ USA ,

  16. “I have not seen mention of the books made into movies here yet in the states? I hope and pray if they do, they do justice to the books.”

    Connie, perhaps you have not heard that The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo is out in the States…excellent film by the way! I have heard rumor that the second movie has been made and is out in theaters in Europe at the moment, unsure of that though….

    Posted by Patty in Tucson, AZ ,

  17. Hi from Australia where I have almost finished reading book #2 and can’t wait to then start on #3. The first movie has been playing in Australia for about two months – it is brilliant but subtitled which makes for a bit of speed reading. Also, the movie, as with most movies made after books have been released, omits a number of key characters – but this doesn’t take away from the brilliance of the script, I can’t imagine it would have been an easy task putting these books to screen. Have also found out movies two and three are already made so it will be very exciting when they are eventually released. There is a group of us at work who have only just started devouring these books – it’s become a bit of a competition as to who has read how much each day – quite funny. The wonderful thing is Stieg Larsson has everyone discussing theories and outcomes, and human behaviour etc, but the saddest fact is that we will never hear from Stieg again. It is great that his legacy lives on in these books. Brilliant, exciting story.

    Posted by Cheryl in Brisbane, Australia ,

  18. 2nd move due out in July in the States. Now that I’ve read all 3, I’ll go ahead and see the films which have gotten great reviews both here and abroad. (I didn’t want to see the characterizations until after I completed reading.) Hope they can capture the page-turning suspense!

    Posted by Lisa in Santa Ana, CA ,

  19. American version of the first book is in the works. Daniel Craig (the current James Bond) has been slated to play Mikael Blomkvist. As of last week (6/18) there has been no other casting. The Swedish DVD is available here on 7/2.

    Posted by NB in New York, NY ,

  20. Could it be that the Forbes couple arguing reminded Lisbeth of her parents, and she was thinking of her mother being abused by her father?

    Posted by Cindy in Marietta, GA ,

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