Sunday, February 13, 2011

End of a Series--or Not

I had read the first of Steig Larsson's novels The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo before I heard a little of the author's story--delivering the three novels, then dying. That seemed to settle the matter of sequels. I was warned not to start the second novel The Girl Who Played with Fire until the third was released, and by the end , I knew why. Even though it ends with a sense of resolution, there were so many threads begging to be tied up.

A lot of my reading friends say they don't feel drawn to read these books, and I'll admit that based on the synopsis, I might not have been drawn to them either. I didn't find myself identifying with any of the characters in the way I might in other novels, but I began the first book out of curiosity and continued reading based on the recommendation of other readers whose suggestions usually prove reliable.

This weekend I finished (listening to) The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest, and I felt prepared to say goodbye to Lisbeth Salander, Mikhail Blomqvist, and the gang. I know more about Sweden, the cold war, journalism, police work, and computer hacking than I did before. I'll confess that I empathized with Salander, even when I couldn't put myself in her place. I wanted to see her warm up, trust people, develop some social skills. I'll admit that I also liked her getting away with the loot too.

Now, though, I just learned that at his death, Larrson reportedly left a finished manuscript on his laptop, in the possession of his long-time girlfriend but claimed by his family. It's going to be tied up in the courts for awhile, I imagine, but that should just build an interest in whatever the Girl is going to do next.

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