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Stieg Larsson = Swedish Dan Brown

February 19, 2010

They’ve spent months on the top of the bestseller lists, and came highly recommended from a few people who usually have opinions worth listening to. But the Steig Larsson books really are very silly. Dan Brown silly. You’ll find spoilers aplenty below the break as I expand upon this thesis.

PROTAGONIST
Stieg Larsson: Uncommonly perceptive, debonair man that the ladies go mad for
Dan Brown: Uncommonly perceptive, debonair man that the ladies go mad for

HEROINE
Stieg Larsson: Intriguing, young, independent, brilliant, attractive and sexually enthusiastic
Dan Brown: Intriguing, young, independent, brilliant, attractive and sexually enthusiastic

BAD GUYS
Stieg Larsson: Network of deep-seated corruption and conspiratorial secret societies
Dan Brown: Network of deep-seated corruption and conspiratorial secret societies

GUY WHO DOES DIRTY WORK FOR BAD GUYS
Stieg Larsson: Huge blonde freak who feels no pain
Dan Brown: Albino spooky monk who self-flagellates

PROBLEM-SOLVING
Stieg Larsson: Brilliant heroine hacks computer networks
Dan Brown: Brilliant heroine cracks ancient codes

PRODUCT PLACEMENT
Stieg Larsson: Apple computers and IKEA furniture
Dan Brown: Smart cars

SCANDAL ABOUT AUTHORSHIP
Stieg Larsson: Ooooh, death and sordid bickering about co-author
Dan Brown: Ooooh, fashion death (blazer + skivvy) and sordid bickering about plagarism

READER’S IMPULSE TO FLING BOOK ACROSS ROOM IN DISGUST
Stieg Larsson
: Frequent
Dan Brown: Extremely frequent

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6 comments

  1. Gold!


  2. […] While at Ma’s house, I plucked a novel from her shelf for a quick holiday read – Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult. It made me cranky after a hundred pages or so because it was so formulaic. I read ahead, and lo, an amazing twist right at the end, who’d have expected it. Astonishing. The inevitable coupling of the two attractive, competent, single characters introduced at the start was the last straw and I flung the book on the table. Mild treatment really, considering my well-established proclivity to toss pulp fiction across the room in disgust. […]


  3. Hm, my problems with the first book were different from yours, but I do like the Dan Brown analogy. Brown’s books are still worse AFAICS though, entirely because of the helicopter/handkerchief/parachute ending. Stieg Larsson has yet to make me laugh out loud for several minutes.

    I did laugh at the reading list all through the first book though – talk about “here’s where some of my ideas came from”.


  4. OK, now finished book 2.

    Book 2 is much more Dan Brown-esque, but I maintain that Larsson is still a better writer, with a much better grasp of physics. Salander was starting to remind me of a kind of sociopathic Nancy Drew/Phryne Fisher though – seriously, she’s apparently a genius at everything (except actually interacting with people and music).

    Again, my problems with the plot were… um… many, actually more so than the first book.

    And yes, of course I will read book three. With a cliff hanger like that how could I not?

    Oh yeah, don’t ever read anything by Matthew Reilly. My opinion of (of all people) Jeremy Clarkson went up when I read an article by him totally dissing Reilly. As he said: Long haul flight. Flying racing cars. How bad can it be? Short answer: worse than you thought possible. On the other hand you can laugh at his books. Another person with a really loose grasp of basic physics.

    Also avoid James Patterson. The man has ADD, his books have up to 59 chapters. Some of them are a page long. I’ve managed exactly one book of his, and it hit the wall at least 5 times. And his female characters irritate the shit out of me.


  5. Am in the middle of book three. Dear God, did this book need an editor or what!!! I am amazed the translator didn’t start editing, what with the need to tell us 5 times in three pages in almost identical wording that Salander was alive only because the .22 was a small cailibre, a toy compared to most guns. Maybe they set up a macro instead.


  6. […] of style So much better than the original July 11, 2010 Remember my rant about The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo? Well, I did enjoy the New Yorker parody. Yes I […]



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