Manny's Reviews > Män som hatar kvinnor

Män som hatar kvinnor by Stieg Larsson
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Sep 15, 10

bookshelves: swedish-and-norwegian, strongly-recommended, too-sexy-for-maiden-aunts, older-men-younger-women, blame-jordan-if-you-like
Recommended to Manny by: Jordan
Read in September, 2008, read count: 1

One of the best thrillers I've ever read. Great story, great characters, very intelligent and thoughtful. Writing is nothing special but it doesn't need to be.

___________________________________________

I finally saw the movie a couple of days ago, and I'm a bit conflicted. On the plus side, it conveys the feel of the book very well, and several of the main characters are excellently realized. I particularly liked Lisbeth, who was just perfect. But they have taken some enormous liberties with the story. For example, Erika, who in the book is a central figure, has almost disappeared.

So if you're a purist, you might want to avoid this, but in the end I decided I liked it. I guess it's just a bit too long, and cuts were necessary.

___________________________________________

I just read the following passage in Precious Williams's review of this book, but I have seen at least half a dozen similar ones:
The constant references to sandwiches (you get the impression the Swedes eat at least an entire loaf of bread every day), coffee (how on earth do they manage to sleep?) and breasts became tedious very rapidly.
I can stay silent no longer. Precious and others, I lived in Sweden for most of the 80s, and I can tell that you Stieg Larsson wasn't making it up:

1. Sandwiches. Yes, you're right: Swedes love sandwiches. There's a widespread belief that eating bread is good for you. When I was there, I caught the tailend of a popular campaign by the Ministry of Health, whose tagline was Ät 6-8 skivor bröd om dagen - eat 6-8 slices of bread a day. Moreover, Swedish bread is delicious. I'm thinking about kruskalimpa and rågrut right now and my mouth is watering. If they were on sale here, I'd definitely eat more sandwiches.

2. Coffee. Swedes used to drink more coffee per capita than any other county in the world, though I understand that they've now slipped a couple of places. It's powerful stuff too, but you get used to it. Fun facts: Swedish has a verb fika, meaning "to drink coffee" and a noun, påtår, meaning "a second cup of coffee". You know, the old Eskimo/snow thing.

3. Breasts. Topless sunbathing is popular in Sweden, and Swedes are in general extremely relaxed about nudity. Swedish men have pretty much the same interests as men everywhere else in the world. If I were drunk I'd probably recount an anecdote or two at this point, but as it is I'm afraid you'll just have to take my word for it.



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Comments (showing 1-23 of 23) (23 new)

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Laura well, you should try the second book which is even better than the first one. I won't spoil you about the third one....


message 2: by Manny (new) - added it

Manny I've read all three, in Swedish! Though personally I liked the first one best...


Laura I enjoyed quite a lot the second volume, my favorite, Lets hope the fourth will come soon after the legal battle of his window for her rights.....


message 4: by [deleted user] (new)

I liked the feel of the film. Okay they taken enormous liberties with the book but I can't see how they could have done it in another way.
Being a swede I read the book and couldn't understand how they could translate. The characters are so fantastically Swedish. I think the film really mirrors that.


Moira Russell There is already a MOVIE? Whoah!


Moira Russell Manny wrote: "I've read all three, in Swedish! Though personally I liked the first one best..."

OMG I wish I could read these in Swedish. Do you know if the English translation is any good? It seems a bit flat and sometimes clunky. I wish I wasn't such a monoglot.




message 7: by Manny (new) - added it

Manny There are in fact movies of all three books! We've now seen the first two (the third one is out on DVD in a couple of months). I was relieved to find that Erika was back in the second instalment. I'm guessing that the delay in releasing them outside Scandinavia may be due to the complications around Larsson's estate.

I haven't read a translation, but people who have seem less than impressed, so maybe it wasn't that well done. His style in Swedish is pleasant and unpretentious, and he has a good ear for dialogue. I would definitely not call him either flat or clunky.



Moira Russell Manny wrote: "There are in fact movies of all three books!"

WOW, I wish I could see them!....argh, they'll probably get remade in the States with Kristin Stewart or something. sigh.

His style in Swedish is pleasant and unpretentious, and he has a good ear for dialogue. I would definitely not call him either flat or clunky.

Yeah, it's not so great so far: 'When thereafter they met by chance in a bar in Soder they had all but come to blows.' Urgh. However, many, many people have told me I will love the punk heroine, so I'm sticking with it.






message 9: by Manny (new) - added it

Manny According to IMDB, the first movie is being officially released in the UK in March. Not sure about the US. I don't see any UK/US release date yet for the second and third ones.

they'll probably get remade in the States with Kristin Stewart or something.

No, no, please not Kristin Stewart!!

I looked around, and saw speculation about George Clooney as Blomkvist in the remake. Not totally thrilled - I think he's too good-looking. I can't think of anyone who would be a good Salander. Noomi Rapace, who plays her in the Swedish version, is very good. It has already made into a major star in Scandinavia.



Moira Russell Manny wrote: "Not sure about the US. I don't see any UK/US release date yet for the second and third ones.

I bet we'll get remakes. Maybe I can catch the originals on PBS or DVD. //resigned

I looked around, and saw speculation about George Clooney as Blomkvist in the remake

WIKIPEDIA SAID BRAD PITT NOOOOOOOOOOO

I can't think of anyone who would be a good Salander. Noomi Rapace, who plays her in the Swedish version, is very good. It has already made into a major star in Scandinavia."

//googles Ooh my!






message 11: by Lucy (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lucy if Angelina Jolie were a few years younger, no doubt they would cast her as Salander. As it is, Kristen Stewart would be a possibility, which is terrifying. I have seen the first film and thought it was fantastic...I would be so disappointed if they remade it. Especially with Clooney as Blomqvist. Ugh. I wasn't sure about Michael Nyqvist at first, but I was convinced by the end.


Moira Russell Lucy wrote: "I have seen the first film and thought it was fantastic...I would be so disappointed if they remade it. Especially with Clooney as Blomqvist. Ugh. I wasn't sure about Michael Nyqvist at first, but I was convinced by the end"

After seeing the trailers for the three (!) flicks on YouTube I am now really hooked and even more sorry I speak only English. Also, Michael Nyqvist is cute!




Madeline I just saw a trailer for the US release of this movie and am so excited. Mostly because the trailer was mostly made up of quick shots from the movie, and I was able to tell immediately which particular scenes of horror they came from.

"Hey look, it's a shot of a blond girl with blood on her mouth running away from a house in the woods. Wonder when that takes place OH GOD I REMEMBER THAT PART OH GOD OH GOD."


message 14: by notgettingenough (last edited Sep 14, 2010 05:14PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

notgettingenough Manny: I just read the following passage in Precious Williams's review of this book, but I have seen at least half a dozen similar ones:

The constant references to sandwiches (you get the impression the Swedes eat at least an entire loaf of bread every day), coffee (how on earth do they manage to sleep?) and breasts became tedious very rapidly.

I can stay silent no longer. Precious and other, I lived in Sweden for most of the 80s, and I can tell that you Stieg Larsson wasn't making it up:

1. Sandwiches. Yes, you're right: Swedes love sandwiches. There's a widespread belief that eating bread is good for you.

2. Coffee. Swedes used to drink more coffee per capita than any other county in the world.

3. Breasts.


I think on breasts you were saying you like them.

But Manny. The mere fact that it is true, doesn't mean it isn't tedious. (I'm not saying it is or isn't tedious, merely pointing out the obvious.) I could write a book full of things that English people do every day that would be as boring as batshit even if culturally accurate.


message 15: by Manny (new) - added it

Manny I think on breasts you were saying you like them.

I can already see the Onion headline:

AREA MAN LIKES BREASTS

But Manny. The mere fact that it is true, doesn't mean it isn't tedious. (I'm not saying it is or isn't tedious, merely pointing out the obvious.) I could write a book full of things that English people do every day that would be as boring as batshit even if culturally accurate.

Um... I must say that, until everyone started talking about it, it hadn't occurred to me that I should react to the coffee and sandwiches. Contemporary Swedish novels often tell you what the characters eat - I just read a rather good description of how Annika makes dinner for her family in Nobels Testamente. Mikael and Lisabeth aren't really into cooking, and they tend to live on coffee, sandwiches and pizza. It seems entirely plausible, and I've seen worse devices for anchoring the story in reality.


message 16: by notgettingenough (last edited Sep 15, 2010 02:50AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

notgettingenough Manny wrote: "I think on breasts you were saying you like them.

I can already see the Onion headline:

AREA MAN LIKES BREASTS

But Manny. The mere fact that it is true, doesn't mean it isn't tedious. (I'm not s..."


It's not that I personally mind, though I found it dull too in this particular book.

The guy, as you observe, is not exactly a great writer, so the issue really is that this guy makes this subject boring.

Australian men like drinking beer and picking fluff from their navels. I just wouldn't even try anchroring a story to that....

Good morning!


message 17: by Manny (new) - added it

Manny The guy, as you observe, is not exactly a great writer, so the issue really is that this guy makes this subject boring.

Well, he's better in Swedish. He's not a terrific stylist, but the language is quite pleasant. I get the impression it hasn't been well translated.

Australian men like drinking beer and picking fluff from their navels. I just wouldn't even try anchoring a story to that...

Oh, I truly think you're underestimating your abilities here! You should give it a shot and see how it works out.

Hm, let's see... the obvious title is Navel Gazing. Bruce's girlfriend is trying to get him into meditation. He dutifully does the om mani padme hum routine but he can never see the jewel in the lotus, he just wants to pick out the fluff from his damn navel and then go for a beer. And that was just the first thought that occurred to me.


message 18: by notgettingenough (last edited Sep 15, 2010 12:55AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

notgettingenough Oh dear. My breasts have insisted on having their say. So: 'we are not tedious or boring. Any suggestion they are by goodreads reviewers or NGE's brain are completely ridiculous.' Break off here to say, sorry, but they are getting a bit overexcited and bouncing up and down, so if this is getting wobbly-hard-to-read that is why. They continue:

'Descriptions of coffee and sandwiches may get boring. Descriptions of breasts never do.'

Signed 'BREASTS'.

Well, I don't know about that. Being a heterosexual female, I'm just not that into them. Sorry, breasts, but.


notgettingenough Manny wrote: "Australian men like drinking beer and picking fluff from their navels. I just wouldn't even try anchoring a story to that...

Oh, I truly think you're underestimating your abilities here! You should give it a shot and see how it works out.

Hm, let's see... the obvious title is Navel Gazing. Bruce's girlfriend is trying to get him into meditation. He dutifully does the om mani padme hum routine but he can never see the jewel in the lotus, he just wants to pick out the fluff from his damn navel and then go for a beer. And that was just the first thought that occurred to me."


First thoughts are the best. Hmm. I think you are on to something.


message 20: by Manny (new) - added it

Manny I look forward to reading your story when you've finished! But if you manage to sell it, I want 5% of the proceeds. Or at least a pint of ice-cold Fosters.


Janice I thought this was one of the best books I've ever had the pleasure of reading. Was hooked from the onset and couldn't put it down. I totally agree with your review.


Jordan Ok not to step on anyone's toes. I however hated this book. I found Mikael so completely distasteful that I threw the book right into the Ocean! Horribly annoying character.

Sorry Manny! I think this is the only book we have disagreed about. We have a pretty good track record though. I think we are allowed this one! ; P


Carlo Finished it recently and loved it, but I don't agree that it is a good thriller. So far Angels and Demons was the best thriller I've read, but I have to say I'm not a big fan of the genre.

I loved this because I saw more than a thriller in it. Also, the character development was good for both Salander and Blomkvist, and let's not forget the setting.

The funny thing is that while reading the book, my consumption of coffee tripled from an already high "dose".


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