Wednesday, January 14, 2009

For the Record

I just received word that the late Stieg Larsson’s The Girl Who Played with Fire, has reached the No. 1 position on British hardcover bestseller lists, with Patricia Cornwell coming in at second place with her new novel, Scarpetta. According to publisher Quercus, Larsson’s latest thriller is “the very FIRST translated hardback to reach the UK No. 1 position in history to date!”

I’m not terribly surprised by such news, considering that Mark Lawson of BBC radio 4 reviewed Larsson’s latest in The Guardian this past weekend. He wrote, in part:
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is now followed by the second volume, in an English translation that has none of the awkwardness common to cross-tongue novels. Larsson’s series shares a quality with a previous phenomenon of translated literature: The Name of the Rose. Umberto Eco transposed Sherlock Holmes to a different time and genre and imported learning from history, theology, philology and other disciplines. Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy is likewise an enjoyable and instructive compendium of pop-culture references and academic knowledge. The numerous middlebrow allusions include James Bond (a crucial document is titled “From Russia with Love” and the characters are chasing a shadowy Eastern European villain with a distinguishing characteristic), while [Lisbeth] Salander is recognisably a Lara Croft for grown-ups--a female Terminator.
Meanwhile, Joan Smith of The Sunday Times writes of the new Girl:
Conscious of the way crime and other networks transcend national boundaries, it’s a very modern novel. What makes it outstanding is the author’s ability to handle dozens of characters and parallel narratives without ever losing tension. Larsson was as vexed by misogyny as any author I’ve come across, but he was also a fantastic storyteller. This novel will leave readers on the edge of their seats.
Incidentally Quercus/MacLehose Press has set up a new Web site filled with interesting information about Larsson and his work.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Lisbeth Salander bears a close resemblance to Kathy Mallory from Carol Oconnells series. I dont consider her an original character because of this.