I thought The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo was extraordinary, The Girl Who Played With Fire even better and The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest a compelling end to the series cut short by the death of its talented author.
But now Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist return in a continuation of Stieg Larsson’s Millennium series…
On 27 August 2015 a novel titled The Girl in the Spider’s Web authored by David Lagercrantz (translated into English by George Goulding) will be released in Australia by Hatchette Australia and in the United Kingdom by MacLehose Press. It will be released in the United States by Knopf and in Canada by Viking under the same name on 1 September 2015.
The Girl in the Spider’s Web is already available to pre-order from leading book retailers – Amazon, Book Depository, Kobobooks, Booktopia (Aus), B&N.
Somewhat ironically, in the Millennium Series creator’s birth place of Sweden, this new installment will be published as Det som inte dodar oss or What Doesn’t Kill You by Norstedts.
So in whose hands has the Millennium Series legacy been placed?
David Lagercrantz, is a former crime journalist and novelist best-known for co-authoring the 2014 memoir of Swedish soccer player Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
According to Sonny Mehta, Editor-in-Chief of Knopf in an interview with The Wall Street Journal,
“It’s got a whole chain of American characters in it, and American settings as well.”
Hmmm, personally I’m not sure why that is cited as a good thing. I think the European, and particularly the Swedish setting (with its particular legal system) was one of the key ingredients that made the Millennium Series so special.
UPDATE: On 22nd July UK Publisher MacLehose Press released additional plot details. Apparently Blomkvist and Salander had fallen out of touch, a Swedish scientist Professor Balder renowned for work in artificial intelligence needs protection and wants Blomkvist to publish his story. Salander had been working with Balder. Salander is also trying to hack into the US National Security Agency on some kind of revenge mission and ruthless cyber gangsters known as Spiders are after her.
Stieg Larsson, who died of a heart attack in 2004 at age 50, was survived by his partner of 32 years Eva Gabrielsson. However under Swedish law, because the pair were never married and Larsson died not having made a will, his estate was divided between his father and brother. In a statement via MacLehose Press, Stieg’s father and brother, Joakim and Erland Larsson, explained the decision to allow a new book to be written,
‘to keep alive the characters and the world that Stieg Larsson created. We see it as a way of offering his many readers the continuation they have been longing for. We chose David Lagercrantz because we think he is highly suited to the task. David is a skilled writer who has portrayed odd characters and complex geniuses throughout his career. He will be doing it his own way.’
But according to the Daily Mail,
Eva Gabrielsson said last month that the journalist, who co-founded the anti-racism magazine Expo in Sweden, ‘would be furious’ if he knew someone else was writing his story.
Gabrielsson, who lost a bitter battle with the late author’s family to manage his work, added that Lagercrantz was ‘a totally idiotic choice’ as he lacked Larsson’s left-wing activist background.
I would love nothing more than to experience the thrill of reading about Salander and Blomkvist again, but I’m not sure I will be rushing to get myself a copy of this upcoming blockbuster. Will you?
More generally, how do you feel about established authors writing new installments of famous book series’ after their creator’s death?
It’s happening more and more lately, for example Agatha Christie’s family authorised the recent publication of The Monogram Murders featuring Hercule Poirot written by Sophie Hannah and Anthony Horowitz received authorisation to use the Sherlock Holmes character in his novels House of Silk and Moriarty. Horowitz is now writing the next James Bond novel with the blessing of Ian Fleming’s estate.