The Man Who Left Too Soon: The Life and Works of Stieg Larsson
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His best-selling books are violent, terrifying, brilliantly written and have sold millions of copies around the world, but Stieg Larsson was not there to witness any of their international success. That his fame is entirely posthumous demonstrates the dizzying speed with which his star has risen. However, when one looks a little deeper at the man behind these phenomenal novels, it becomes clear that Larsson's life would have been remembered as extraordinary even if his Millennium Trilogy had never been published. Larsson was a workacholic: a keen politcal activist, photographer, graphic desinger, a respected journalist and editor of numerous science fiction magazines...and at night, to relax after work, he wrote thrillers. As the world now knows, he had completed his third book, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest, by the time of his death at just 50 years of age.
phenomenon that may be said to have been the sand in the oyster that created the pearl of its foundation. Despite the country’s abiding image of tolerance and liberality, the ‘white power’ music scene held sway, and enjoyed a surprisingly large following, particularly among the young. It was a caustic, tendentious fusion of punkinspired rock and crudely white supremacist lyrics – if the noun ‘lyrics’ might be applicable to the words of these uncompromising anthems, the performers barking out
she must come down to the lobby. She freshens up, goes down with her most valuable possessions, and helps Ella Carmichael take blankets down to the storm cellar. Larsson handles this build-up of background tension with customary assurance. Dr Forbes is nowhere to be seen. The storm hits Petit Martinique, a few miles away, so McBain tells them to go downstairs to the already-prepared underground shelter. Salander suddenly fears for the safety of her lover, Bland, and rushes out into the stormy
marriage, and an inexhaustible lover on the side (Blomkvist). She has, we are told, a passion for sex. She and her husband have indulged in group encounters, when she discovered his bisexual side. Sex with him is not boring; it is just that Blomkvist gives her a different experience. Her husband knows about her lover – in fact, she has his full consent. She couldn’t live without both men and wouldn’t want to choose between them. She likes Blomkvist’s complete lack of jealousy and the freedom he
hacks into Bjurman’s hard drive but finds nothing odd, apart from the fact that he has not yet started her report this month. Why so late? First Blomkvist, then Zala, and now Bjurman meeting a thug with contacts to a gang of ex-con bikers. She is, unsurprisingly, worried… Larsson repeatedly has his heroine breaking in to apartments, and that scenario now reappears: at 2.30 the following morning. Salander breaks into Bjurman’s flat, armed with only a Taser. She watches him sleep then goes to his
counted upon when you discover a new writer. Perhaps he might have grown out of that element of wish-fulfilment in the Blomkvist character, and he never had the chance of a series of consultations with an editor – the usual refining process.’ But what about Lisbeth Salander? Smith has spoken highly of her in her various reviews of the books, but did she have reservations? ‘Well, I feel she is like a character from a computer game,’ she says. ‘That’s not necessarily a huge weakness, and it’s