The Man Who Left Too Soon

The Man Who Left Too Soon

The Biography of Stieg Larsson

Book - 2010
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The stranger-than-fiction life story of the author of "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo " His three novels are violent, terrifying, brilliantly written, and have sold millions of copies around the world, but Stieg Larrson was not able to witness their international success. Since he died in 2004 the author of the Millennium trilogy has received international fame with dizzying speed. But when one looks a little deeper at the man behind these phenomenal novels, it is clear that his life would be remembered as truly extraordinary even had his trilogy never been published. Larrson was a workaholic: a political activist, photographer, graphic designer, a respected journalist, and the editor of numerous science fiction magazines. At night, to relax, he wrote crime novels. By the time of his death at the age of 50 he had completed "The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Next," the third book featuring the hypnotic Lisbeth Salander. His relentless personality and political convictions did not make life easy. He famously took on some dangerous neo-Nazi opponents, making for much speculation that his enemies, who often told him that his days were numbered, may have a hand in his premature demise. This difficult man, brilliant and multifaceted, is the subject of a penetrating biography and a celebration of his remarkable life and books.
Publisher: London : John Blake, 2010.
ISBN: 9781844549405
Characteristics: ix, 294 p., [8] p. of plates : ill., ports. ; 24 cm.


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Feb 27, 2011

I think biography is a misnomer for this book although it is a great critical review and recounting of the Millennium Trilogy. It had very little about Larsson’s life. Because the author (Forshaw) is really into crime writing his main focus was relating the works to other crime writers and reporting what other crime writers thought of Larsson’s work. There was considerable speculation around whether or not these unedited novels would have been runaway best sellers if Larsson had not died. We will never know. It might show that the art of modern writing has become too prescriptive and massive editing takes out the richness that millions and millions of readers sucked up.
I really think it is a shame that Larsson’s common-law wife of over 30 years, Eva Gabrielsson, did not inherit rights to the royalties. Shame on Sweden for its archaic laws and shame on Larsson for not taking better care of her.

Jan 13, 2011

What a frustrating disappointment this book was. I found it an extremely superficial (and highly unorganized) portrait of the author, providing no significant addition to my knowledge of him and the issues surrounding his work and estate. The majority of the book are three chapters with excruciatingly long synopses of all of the "The Girl Who" books, and then a few chapters on the movies, Larsson tours in Stockholm, and what other mystery authors think of Larsson and the series. The book gave the impression of having been hastily put together and hastily printed on poor-quality paper.


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