Home > Larsson > So I’ve finally finished Men Who Hate Women and…

So I’ve finally finished Men Who Hate Women and…

First, when did amazon start putting movie trailers on their book pages? When I was a wee one we used to talk about how film adaptations were killing reading. Perhaps that’s not true, but it still strikes me as strange, and maybe a reason for booksellers not to be integrated media companies.

Second, I’m perplexed. Genuinely. I had been secretly hoping that there would turn out to be nothing to the mystery, or that the mystery would turn out to be something completely different from what I thought. No. It’s a serial killer. Although he confesses he’s a serial kidnapper first and foremost, and only incidentally a serial rapist, and then the killing is a kind of tidying up. OK. So you deal with him, and then there’s the aftermath – because we still haven’t figured out the actual plot that brought us here, so that’s a nice coda and it lets us have a happy ending. Fine, I’ll indulge an extra 20pp for that. All very tidy, and fairly efficient if you’ve been moving at Tolkien speed.

What’s that you say? There’s still another 50 pages left? The Scouring of the Shire, perhaps?
No. It’s sort of tidying off loose ends. You see, we got involved in all this through a whole other story, and that’s unresolved. So we have to… sew it up quickly using the extensive pipe already laid? No, sorry. Leave it dangling for a sequel? Ha, ingenious! No. Tie it into the main narrative using pipe we hadn’t previously noticed? Um, no. Write a whole extra novella about international finance capers with a sting operation that has zero suspense because the one being stung knows nothing about it and the protagonists have superpower hacking abilities? Yup.

Really, these are rookie mistakes. And I’m not surprised Larsson made them, because after all, he was writing for his own entertainment and never submitted his manuscripts to a publisher. But why would they get through to the published work? And why would that work be lapped up by an international audience, and made into a movie?

This is one case where I sincerely hope the movie isn’t too faithful to the book.

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