Wednesday, December 7, 2011


The best selling novels by the late Stieg Larsson were originally written in Swedish.  In fact, when I first started researching the books, I was soooo confused because the Swedish titles did NOT correspond to the English ones.  For example, the first book, Män som hatar kvinnor, literally Men Who Hate Women IS actually The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo here in the US. (A big "thank you" to my sister-in-law, JB, who translated the various editions for me.) 

Front: US covers   Back:UK covers

I didn't have a clue - at first. Why in the world would you title a thriller, "Men Who Hate Women"? Apparently, US editors agreed with this assessment and promptly switched to a more "provocative" handle. But get this: when Larsson was a teenager, he witnessed the gang rape of a girl, which led to his lifelong abhorrence of violence against women. Having failed to help the girl, he made it his mission to combat sexual abuse against women through his writing. Ergo: Men Who Hate Women.

The editing didn't extend to the book covers though, in my opinion. The US editions come in plain, garden variety text-on-background staging. Nothing there to reel you in. A sure case of "don't judge a book by its cover". If my sister-in-law hadn't been gushing over the trilogy (along with the many great reviewers on Amazon), I probably wouldn't have picked it up.

The main female lead, Lisbeth Salander, features prominently in the UK covers. She is a twenty-something punk with poor social skills, relying on her intelligence and photographic memory to solve cases. Paired with investigative journalist, Mikael Blomkvist, who works for the magazine, Millenium, the two team up to solve crimes.

It is thought that at least half a dozen books were planned in the series, with Larsson having written most of a 4th book before his untimely death.  An American film adaptation of the first book, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, is slated to hit theaters Dec. 21, 2011.

For information on the Millenium Trilogy Collection, visit Just Charming!

UPDATE: Apparently, Lisbeth Salander's "look" is now a major fashion movement in Europe:

H&M is launching a limited edition line "Millenium Look" in some selected stores in Europe beginning 28 Nov in Colette in Paris, 14 December in H&M stores in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Den Haag, Utrecht and Eindhoven as well as online!
Thanks to my alert sis-in-law, JB, correspondent-extraordinaire from Holland.

1 comment:

  1. It took me awhile to get into these books, but they were worth it!


Praise. I could use lots and lots of praise....