Discussion Forums - Hidden Gems Hidden Gems

Topic: Stieg Larsson books, are they worth it?

Club rule - Please, if you cannot be courteous and respectful, do not post in this forum.
  Unlock Forum posting with Annual Membership.
Subject: Stieg Larsson books, are they worth it?
Date Posted: 7/14/2010 11:40 PM ET
Member Since: 11/11/2008
Posts: 34
Back To Top

So I keep hearing how fabulous the Stieg Larsson books are but I don't know if I will like them. What do you think, are they are good as people keep saying?

Date Posted: 7/14/2010 11:48 PM ET
Member Since: 12/26/2008
Posts: 1,958
Back To Top

I've read the first two.  While I enjoyed them, I don't think they are for everyone.

The first one had about 80 pages about a libel case that one of the characters was facing.  It was important to the central story because it gave you insight into a main character, but it was pretty long for an introduction sort of thing.  The rest of the book had a really interesting mystery, but I would put it in the category of a literay thriller rather than just a fast read.

The second book moved much slower for me, even though I knew all the characters from the first book.  And I got some of the characters confused because of the similarities of their names and jobs.  But, again, it was still good. 

Both of the books were atmospheric and had great character development.  I just don't think they are for everyone.  I have the third on the massive TBR pile, but it will have to wait.

In general--if you are a patient reader who enjoys character development, atmosphere, and a well thought out plot, then you might enjoy them.

Last Edited on: 7/27/10 6:55 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/15/2010 12:54 AM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 8,411
Back To Top

I'm on about page 55 of the first book, and it's holding my interest.  I think it will be a good series. 

Date Posted: 7/15/2010 7:07 AM ET
Member Since: 6/28/2009
Posts: 5,738
Back To Top

Last Edited on: 5/27/11 5:48 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 7/15/2010 11:45 AM ET
Member Since: 1/11/2009
Posts: 176
Back To Top

I am on the second book right now.  This is not usually my type of read but I have to say that I absolutely love these books.  They are very graphic though and some parts can be disturbing but if you can handle those parts it is an extremely good read.  Do give yourself a chance to get used to names of the people and places as they are foreign to most of us.  It won't take long.

One more thing, I watched the movie The Girl With The Dragon Tatoo last week (after reading the book) and have to say that I was totally disappointed.  The book is ten times better.  I have to say that the book was detailed that I had visualized things pretty much the same as they had it in the movie.

I agree with Catherine B....try to pick it up at your local library or pick up a PB copy at Wal-Mart or somewhere for about $6 to see if you like it first.  If you don't like it you shouldn't have a problem getting rid of it on here.

Date Posted: 7/15/2010 11:58 AM ET
Member Since: 9/16/2007
Posts: 188
Back To Top

I thought I might start reading them, but I read the review below, and now I really don't have much interest in reading the books at all.... but I haven't tried them, so I don't know ...


Date Posted: 7/15/2010 5:00 PM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2006
Posts: 7,886
Back To Top

The best series I have read hands down.  Loved it.  I am so sad there will not be any more books from Larsson.

Date Posted: 7/15/2010 9:51 PM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2007
Posts: 5,931
Back To Top

I thought they were great.  They definitely require an investment of time and concentration, and they aren't for the squeamish, but the plotlines intertwine beautifully and Lisbeth is one of the best characters of the decade. 

Date Posted: 7/15/2010 11:15 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
Back To Top

I haven't read the 3rd yet but I really liked the 1st 2.  They aren't for everyone.  I don't want to give away somethign that might turn people off because it's kind of a spoiler. You can PM me if you want to know although I imagine there's reviews that give it away out there. 

Anyway I liked them alot. But no one can say whether or not you will like them. Everyone's taste is different. But I would say there are more people who liked these then didn't. 

I wouldn't read them if you are more of a cozy reader and don't care for a more hardcore mystery.

Last Edited on: 7/15/10 11:15 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/16/2010 2:07 PM ET
Member Since: 5/4/2008
Posts: 364
Back To Top

Loved them and highly recommend the Swedish film version of Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.  It came out on DVD and Netflix instant streaming a couple weeks ago.  It was fairly true to the book and the production and actors were great!

Date Posted: 7/16/2010 10:15 PM ET
Member Since: 12/29/2007
Posts: 12
Back To Top

I did not like them at all.  I tried Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and finally gave up.  The movie might be good, but haven't seen them.

Date Posted: 7/17/2010 1:12 PM ET
Member Since: 5/2/2010
Posts: 7
Back To Top

I just ordered the first one from the library. I'm waiting for it to become available. I saw the Swedish movie based on the first book. I usually don't watch/read books that have such graphic content in them. But, I have to say, (I'm not sure how the book is) the movie had a fantastic scene in it that finally, finally stops painting every woman as a victim, but someone who can take control. I found the movie oddly empowering.

But, please note, this movie is VERY graphic. It's rated R, but I'm not sure I'd show it to a 17 year old. It's extremely detailed in terms of the scenes, which are brutal. I actually fast forwarded through one of the scenes as I couldn't handle it. However, like I said, I found the movie oddly empowering.

Now, I don't know how true the movie is to the book. But, I'm hoping the book has more detail in it about the characters. I would like to learn more about the female heroine.

Date Posted: 7/17/2010 3:58 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
Back To Top

If I remember right they delve more into Salander's past in the 2nd book. 

Date Posted: 7/23/2010 6:33 AM ET
Member Since: 2/11/2007
Posts: 280
Back To Top

Read all three and loved them but I liked the second one was the best.

Date Posted: 7/27/2010 12:01 PM ET
Member Since: 7/24/2005
Posts: 147
Back To Top

I don't read murder mystery / thriller type books generally.  When I first started reading Girl with the Dragon Tatoo, I couldn't quite get into it.  As was mentioned above, it started with a background story on a libel case - which was important to understand, but didn't grab me.    I put it down for a month, and when I picked it back up, i was HOOKED.  It turned out to be  a very good book and I am looking forward to reading the next!

Alice J. (ASJ) - ,
Date Posted: 7/29/2010 10:19 AM ET
Member Since: 5/13/2009
Posts: 42,746
Back To Top

I liked the series a lot. Book 3 tied it together quite well.


Date Posted: 8/19/2010 8:21 PM ET
Member Since: 8/19/2010
Posts: 8
Back To Top

bought the first book when visiting Seattle and found the best store ever- The Mystery Bookstore!  Anyhow, they told me there that it takes about 75 pages to get into the book.  Boy they weren't kidding.  More like 150.  I kept plodding on thinking that if everyone else thinks it is so great then I MUST finish it!  It did finally pick up, and left me at the end feeling like it was a good book.  Now 6 weeks later?  Eh.  It was just okay.  Won't bother with the others.

Date Posted: 8/21/2010 1:49 PM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2006
Posts: 7,886
Back To Top

My favorite series. 

I read in the newspaper this morning that Larsson left a 4th book partially written and he had outlines for 6 more.  What a loss for his readers!. 

Last Edited on: 8/21/10 4:11 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/22/2010 5:01 PM ET
Member Since: 1/11/2008
Posts: 3
Back To Top

I read the first one about a year ago. I watched the movie on Netflix and absolutely loved it. When the second film came to an independent theatre in my town, I decided  I had to read the second book before the movie left town. Bought it, read it and saw the film in a four day period. Loved them both.

That said, I agree with the post that called it a literary mystery, not pulp. Extemely detailed and well written. Lisbeth is absolutely the most insteresting character that I've come across in a very long time. Graphic violence in both the film and books but it works in the context of the story. I say read them. I am trying to resist the urge to buy book 3 but I don't think I can.