Girl 2

Stieg Larsson, The Girl Who Played with Fire (2006, English translation 2009)

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I apologise for not listing the translator’s name – I left the book in the Paris Bercy train station so can’t check on such things. It was gripping enough, and I plan to read the third book in the trilogy; I did see the three books, in French, with much more appropriate covers than the English editions’, in a shop window in Lyon (yes, I read the book while travelling). The French title of this one translates as something like The girl who dreamed of a jar of petrol and a match.

I wish Stieg Larsson had lived to see his book through the editing process. I think they would have benefited — less repetition, perhaps, a less plodding pace. But even though I’m not as entranced by Lisbeth Salander as Stieg evidently was, this was a very good train and hotel read. A comedown after Anna Karenina, but then what wouldn’t have been?

My next blog post will be about walking in the Loire Valley.

4 responses to “Girl 2

  1. A review that is a combination of damning with faint praise and praising with faint damns! Well!

  2. I didn’t really mean it that way, Jane, though I suppose I wouldn’t really urge anyone to rush out and read the trilogy. It’s maiin interest for me, which I didn’t say because I was just dashing something off on a hostile keyboard with limited time, is the connection to Pippi Longstocking. Readers who Love PL would probably also love Lisbeth Salander.

  3. A late followup here, J. The translator is Reg Keeland; I looked up the Swedish title and it fairly translates to “the girl who played with fire.” What did Henry Higgins say? “The French never care what they do, actually, as long as they pronounce it properly.”

    • Thanks, Will. On the other hand, the French title of the first book is an exact translation of the original, and makes a lot more sense than the English/US title, which opted for the “Girl who” format rather than the much better “Man who hated women”

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