It’s hard to believe Larsson was the second best selling author in the world in 2008. There were some nice parts of the story line and Lisbeth is a compelling character but almost all the other characters were dull and the dialogue was often wooden or plain unnatural. Time and again he proved that he didn’t understand the technology he refers to, even the basic stuff (despite appealing to the tech audience). Finally the political propaganda was a bit too much – every woman was brilliant and most of the men were pigs, etc.

Posted by GM in London , 7 February 2010

By Editor

16 thoughts on “Overrated”
  1. agree with the last part. The men, except for a few, were real pigs. Too much. I felt really mad after i saw the film. But some of the ways these men killed, do happen, so it has validity in that respect. As for the tech stuff, I would not know if it’s plausible. It’s fiction so I don’t really care. What bugged me was that our hero did not see the writing on the wall? he would not tell the murder about his findings and drink whisky with him…he was too smart to all of a sudden forget everyone was a don’t tell sustpects what you have found out! that part was so un-intelligent! Couple of other mishaps like that…but I though the film was well made, basically by an all-Danish crew with Great Swedish actors – which is smart. Swedish is a better language to listen to and teh Swedish actor have always been great and the Danes are better film makers nowadays.

    Posted by lene in los angeles ,

  2. Passive agressive men who “see themselves as good guys” yet consistently put down women whenever they can…beware. Lisbeth has many fans including me..


  3. “It’s hard to believe Larsson was the second best selling author in the world in 2008. There were some nice parts of the story line and Lisbeth is a compelling character but almost all the other characters were dull and the dialogue was often wooden or plain unnatural”



  4. The third book in this series starts out a bit slowly, but I urge you to give it time. I think it’s probably the best of the three!

    Posted by Ellen in Grayling, MI ,

  5. I agree with PC that the first book was much better executed than the second. I think the second was about 100 pages too long and could have benefitted from a good editor to rein in Larsson (buried alive! – come on). However, Larsson has created a fantastic character in Lisbeth Salander.

    I saw the movie recently and think Noomi Rapace portrayed her nearly perfectly from a character and manerism standpoint. Ms. Rapace is much more athletic, muscular, and physically bigger than I picture Lisbeth but that’s a small thing. Now, when I read the third book I will see Rapace’s Lisbeth Salander in my mind.

    Posted by MM in Michigan ,

  6. definitely overrated…it’s just pure smut…who cares about such a filthy character?

    Posted by Mary Ellen in M’Boro ,

  7. I enjoyed the three books a lot.I thought the third book didn’t have enough of Lizbeth however. What I would like to know is how is self-defence viewed in Sweden? Other than the three murders in book two Lizbeth is charged with committing crimes while defending herself. In America she would be a heroine for surviving the attacks and dispatching the bad guys.

    Posted by marabel in Midd ,

  8. It?s interesting how opinions can so vary. A number of people criticized that the plot was implausible; my impression is that for fiction, it was pretty tight. Some thought that the technical explanations were unrealistic. Though I have little experience with computers beyond being adept at windows office, I thought it was completely believable. I thought some of the men were portrayed as being ignorant pigs but I thought others were compassionate, insightful and appropriately reactionary. All in all, my contention is that this is some of the best fiction that I have read in a long time. Fast paced, interesting subplots, excellent character development, and intriguing. The fact that so many people were eager to buy the third volume speaks to its popularity.

    Posted by Mark in Los Angeles ,

  9. I enjoyed the three books. I agree that parts of it bogged down, but I kept wanting to find out more about Lisbeth. I found her intriguing–if somewhat unbelievable. My problem is with the fundamental premise that her rights were violated when she was placed in a mental hospital. What else would you do with a 12 yr old who fire bombs her father?? I mean that does suggest some instability. Inadvertently she played into Sapo’s hand, but it didn’t seem like that much of a stretch for them to argue that the child had some real problems. Obviously Teleborian violated her rights once she was placed, but that was not what Edklinth objected to. He–and Blomkvist and Armansky kept harping on a fabricated diagnosis that violated Lisbeth’s rights. I am a psychologist, and I don’t see that placing her in a mental hospital was so egregious. Now the treatment she got there was, but again they were not aware of that when they launched the initial investigation. That only came to light after she wrote her autobiography. Can anyone explain what I am missing?

    Posted by Janet in Garnet Valley ,

  10. Janet The man nearly killed her mother, he terrorised the family and the police chose not to investigate him but her reaction to what her father did to her mother. I saw the infringement of her rights as being that no effort was made to understand why she did what she did or even see it as a child’s “rational” response to a terrifying existence. She needed help obviously but her committal to hospital was not because she needed that help but because they wanted her out of the way. They did not for example take her into a care system. They did not care why she did what she did. So commital to a mental hospital was for the wrong reasons. That she might have needed psychological or psychiatric help is irrelevant. That’s my reading of it anyway.

    Posted by madmary in Birmingham UK ,

  11. Men Who Hate Stiegy. This whole phenomenon is perpetuated by self-hating men and bitter women. What a distorted, sordid fantasy! Any wonder Steigy checked out at 50 or that Swedes have one of the highest suicide rates in the world?

    Posted by Eddy G. in DC ,

  12. So far, I have found the books to be boring. Despite the rave reviews I have heard and read. That’s actually why I chose to read them in the first place. I only read about 100 pages of the first, and then someone took it from me, so then I started reading the second while I wait to get the first one back. I’m only about 100 pages into the second as well. Normally, books will catch my attention by this point. Usually, by time I’m done the prologue, I’m hooked. If not, when I’m done the first chapter or two. The first book, I had a difficult time following. I reread so many paragraphs over and over trying to follow, and just couldn’t. The second book, seems to be starting off very slowly. If it doesn’t pick up soon, I’m afraid I will be giving up on it as well. If it does turn out that I enjoyed the books, I will repost.

    Posted by Cortney in Bear, DE ,

  13. Hi Cortney,

    I would encourage you to stop reading the second book first and try to follow the books in order. There are story lines from the first book that impact the following two books. Reading them out of order will reduce your enjoyment of the story line.

    I agree with you that normally books catch my attention in the first hundred pages, but Larsson’s writing is different. In Girl with a Dragon Tattoo I can remember checking the page number and realizing that one hundred pages in Larsson was still introducing his two main characters and explaining the mystery. Same deal in the second book, In Girl Who Played With Fire the first hundred pages almost feel like Larsson was meandering. In truth that lull was just a quiet before the storm that runs all the way to the conclusion of the third book. You have to give these books more time to get going, it’s part of the way Larsson wrote.

    Posted by Alan Turner in Detroit, MI ,

  14. Thanks Alan!!! I have noticed while reading the 2nd book that I am missing quite a bit of info since I didn’t read the 1st book yet. And I agree, it does take a while for these books to get going. I was worried at first that I just wasn’t going to get what was so enticing about these books. But I have given the 2nd book a chance. I kept reading hoping that the part that would finally catch my attention was right around the corner on the next page. I’ve finally reached that corner. It’s not to the point that I can’t put the book down yet, but I can’t stop myself from wanting to read more, either. Thanks for the advice! I think I’m just going to get another copy of the 1st book so I can read it and don’t have to wait anymore. I won’t be able to stop reading the 2nd book if I don’t have the 1st book to take it’s place. Thanks again!

    Posted by Cortney in DE ,

  15. Actually I suggest listening to the abridged versions of the books on CD. Read by Martin Wenner, I was REALLY impressed. Best audio books ever!

    Posted by R. Lawrence in Worcester ,

  16. I agree completely with the overrated description applied to Stieg Sarsson’s novels. The first Lisbeth adventure was a good, fast read even if some of the details defied reality. But the second book was frankly boring. I read the beginning, some of the middle and the end and was glad I purchased the book at a discount. I will read the first part of last Lisbeth installment at my local bookstore to see if it holds my interest before shelling outthe purchase price. Fiction may be fiction, but when the writer leaves out details that bind the story together and/or add the ‘gee, this is really real’ factor, they lose me. Elizabeth George did that when she killed off Inspector Lynley’s wife and unborn child. I haven’t touched a book of hers since. Michael and Lisbeth and the other cast of characters seem a bit too put together and ‘super-human’ for me, even if they are Swedish.

    Posted by pc in Rochester in Rochester, NY ,

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