Reviews

Larsson, Stieg: The Millenium Trilogy (2005 – 2007) – Publication History

Is it too late to wish everyone reading a happy new year? If yes, never mind. If no:

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

With that out of the way, let’s move on to today’s blog post. Or a series of posts? I’m not even sure. I feel like there is so much I want to say that it will be hard to pack it all into one post, but we’ll see.

First off, confession time: I think I will be suffering from a major book hangover after finishing part three of the Millenium trilogy tonight.

I’ve been meaning to write about this series for a while now, since I initially thought I could review each of the three novels individually. However, if you’re a regular reader – or even subscriber (please do subscribe if you want to make me a happier person!) – you will have noticed that those individual reviews didn’t happen. Whenever I finished one of the novels I was faced with a decision:

a) Write a review about it.

b) Start reading the next novel.

Go figure. (Yes, they’re that good!)

I also realise that I missed the initial hype surrounding the trilogy by about ten years. The reason I got into reading it now is that in 2015 David Lagercrantz published a fourth instalment to the trilogy, a fact that I found very intriguing.

At first, not having been overly familiar with the original trilogy, I didn’t even realise that the fourth book is by a different author. Only the byline “Continuing Stieg Larsson’s Millenium Series” tipped me off, and I was immediately intrigued. Why did this Lagercrantz guy publish a sequel to a well known series, the last part of which had been published about ten years ago?

I looked into the matter and found out that Stieg Larsson, the author of the original series, had died before the trilogy was even published – the first three books were published posthumously. Another thing I didn’t know about was the fact that Stieg Larsson hadn’t planned for his famous trilogy to remain a trilogy. Apparently he had outlined a total of ten books before he passed away and left only finished drafts of the first three books of his series.

So it was this unique publication history and the announcement of David Lagercrantz continuing Stieg Larsson’s work that first got me interested in the Millenium trilogy. However, it didn’t take long for me to become obsessed with the series itself. If you’re one of the lucky people who get to spend time with me on a regular basis*, chances are you’ve heard me talking about these books on at least one occasion.

* Lucky if you like hearing about literature that is. But then…if you don’t – why are we even friends?

I will try to arrange my many thoughts on the topic into a semi-coherent blog post (or maybe two) over the next couple of days.

For now let me just tell you: I’m scared. I am absolutely mortified that part four (which I downloaded onto my kindle as soon as I finished the last part of the trilogy) will not measure up to part one, two and three. I’ve read mixed reviews so far: some reviewers claimed that part four reads like “a real Larsson”, while others called the fourth instalment a mollycoddled rip-off of the original trilogy. I really hope it’ll be the first!


Let me know:

  • Did you read the trilogy – and maybe even the fourth part by David Lagercrantz? 
  • Did you ever come across a book that had such an interesting publication history that you felt enticed to read it?
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4 thoughts on “Larsson, Stieg: The Millenium Trilogy (2005 – 2007) – Publication History

  1. I really enjoyed the trilogy. I thought the characters were fresh and quite complex (socially, intellectually and emotionally). I remember the books swallowing me up and hardly letting me go. That immense amount of pages was not an obstacle but a present for us.
    As for part four….. it isn’t the writing style that was bad, but rather the author’s inability to embrace all the things that Larsson did. Larsson presented all forms of sexual relationships (polygamy, straight, hetero and homosexual, deviant and repressed) without flinching an eye. The fourth book was so stripped of that, I felt like we were in a different universe. I understand that those themes are not easy to deal with, but they were important to the trilogy.
    I don’t want you to think it was all about the sex, but rather the ability to weave it into a book unmercifully, confrontationally, in its rawest forms. Not being able to do that, how could it possibly weave a tale of two sisters whose lives were torn apart and shaped by sexual violence and abuse.
    Also, I just didn’t believe in the character of the sister. She seemed rather two-dimensional and sinister to the point of comical.
    If you liked the fourth book, I am sorry to treat it so badly. I would love to hear your take on it.

    Like

    1. YES! So much yes!
      Also yes to everything you said about part four. I don’t have a clue what happened to my review of the fourth part. I definitely meant to write one. Something must have come up to distract me from it. Thank you for reminding me – I should definitely get on that!
      Spoilers: I didn’t like it. It wasn’t bad, just mediocre and disappointing compared to parts one to three. Lagercrantz just isn’t Larsson!

      Liked by 1 person

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