Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Fiction Novel: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, Author: Stieg Larsson, Movie: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Part 2

Skip the books & the movies

Okay let's finish this and move on:

The American film is truer to the book than the Swedish. Strange huh?

I don't recommend the books any more than I do the movies. If you're already acquainted with the material, I welcome your opinion. No offense to the estate of Stieg Larsson but he doesn't have much in the way of voice.

In the book and the American movie, Lisbeth deals with her guardian in such a way as to also protect other women from him.

The book goes even further. The name of the book in Swedish translates to "Men Who Hate Women" and Lisbeth continually refers to that.

In a conversation with Mikael, she also takes Harriet to task for letting years of killings go on by running and hiding instead of telling someone about her brother. Mikael attempts to defend Harriet by pointing out that Harriet didn't know her brother had taken over the killing when her father died.

But even then Lisbeth does not let Harriet off the hook and IMO rightly so. If Harriet had spoken to someone about what happened to her, he would have been caught or, at least, caught sooner.

As far as the American movie weakening Lisbeth in the end by breaking her heart at the sight of Mikael with his other woman, the book does it also. My daughter, who saw all 3 Swedish movies, says that it had to be done to set up the next books.

Lisbeth and Mikael end up together in the end of the third book but believe me, their romance is definitely not worth the effort.

In the book Lisbeth does not ask Mikael if she can kill the killer. She makes sure Mikael is alright and then goes after him much like the Swedish version. Leaving aside whether it's right or wrong for her to have gone after him, do American men need to give women permission to wreak vengance on their oppressors? I think that's really telling.

In the first blogpost I mentioned the American version taking bits of Lisbeth's genius and giving it to Daniel Craig. Actually they were just more accurately following the book.

The depravity is still there, though and I agree with Delia's comment to the first blogpost. The book, IMO, is "torture-porn" using the excuse of  "bringing awareness or empowering the victims." I, like Delia, question Larsson's version of empowerment.

As to the Millenium Trilogy, don't waste your money or your time, my friends.


  1. Duly noted. And, as I said, my money will be going to the Henson estate. :)

  2. "exquisitely boring crap that should have been cut from the beginning" -- Word. And also when that storyline is wrapped up at the end. I didn't give a crap, it was terrible.

    I only read the first book and found it a pretty run of the mill thriller. I think its popularity (which was HUUUUGE -- I was still at the bookstore when they came out in English) is in great part because of Lisbeth's character. She's not your usual protagonist for a thriller. But other than her, yawn yawn yawn.

    As for her falling in lurv with Mikey... I think Mikael was a Mary Sue. An author's fantasy character based on himself. The tipoff being... he's so boring and yet every woman he meets wants him. So I knew Lisbeth was going to have feeeeelings for him, because he was just So Irresistible. And she so Thorny and Vulnerable.

    As for his writing itself--hard to judge when reading a translation. I heard the French translation was better. (The books were huge in French, for years, before coming out in English.) I suspect his writing still sucks in Swedish. ;-)

    Before he hit the big time, Sweden's big thriller writer was Henning Mankel. I haven't read him yet, but if the books are like the TV series based on them, they'll be much more up my alley. More psychologically rich, and more touching.

    ...Thanks for bringing this all up! It's nice to see that so many other ladies disliked the book too! Heh.