Monday, November 29, 2010

Reader's report

The first reader of the ms. of the first two volumes of Stieg Larsson's Millennium trilogy was Lasse Bergstrom, "the legendary publisher-in-chief of Nosredts ... who had published all sorts of writers from Sjowall and Wahloo to Ingmar Bergman. It was clear from his report that he had read all 1300 or so pages in scarcely five days..."

"What is new about Stieg Larsson in relation to Sjowall and Wahloo, Mankell, Edwardson and other successful Swedes in a genre with rather too many practitioners is that he has a kind of encyclopedic gift for literary tension and entertainment, and without any apparent effort can move between different planes of action with barely a noticeable change of gear. It is no coincidence that the two novels are long. Larsson is able to keep several plots going at the same time, and to bring all the threads together at the end. ... But what distinguishes Larsson's two novels definitely from Swedish predecessors in the genre in not just the quick-change feats but above all his choice of principle characters. The dogged journalist Blomqvist no doubt has literary forebears, but I find it hard to think of an equivalent of Lisbeth Salander anywhere else in the worlds of crime novels or films. ... Larsson portrays her with both tenderness and humor, and against all odds the way he does it becomes if not credible at least vigorous and absorbing."

Praise indeed from one of our leading publishers for over half a century, and a man well-read in crime fiction.
-- from Gedin, Eva. "Working With Stieg Larsson." From On Stieg Larsson, in the Steig Larsson's Millennium Trilogy Deluxe Boxed Set.

No comments: