Review of “There Are Things I Want You to Know” about Stieg Larsson and Me by Eva Gabrielsson and Marie-Francoise Colombani

August 14, 2011 by · 4 Comments
Filed under: Reviews 

SFFaudio Review

TANTOR MEDIA - There Are Things I Want You To Know About Stieg Larsson And Me by Eva Gabrielsson and Marie-Françoise Colombani“There Are Things I Want You to Know” about Stieg Larsson and Me
By Eva Gabrielsson and Marie-Françoise Colombani; Read by Cassandra Campbell
5 CDs – Approx. 5 Hours 30 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Tantor Media
Published: June 21, 2011
ISBN: 9781452652344
Themes: / Biography / Sweden / Family /
Sample |MP3|

There is only one person who can tell Stieg Larsson’s story better than he can, and that is his lifelong companion, Eva Gabrielsson. This is her book.

There is no doubt that writing this book was a blend of catharsis and revenge for Stieg Larsson’s life partner. For the listener it provides deep insights into the man, his habits and his motivations for writing his books. All that annoying coffee drinking in the books actually IS a reflection of Stieg’s own life habits and I now forgive him for the every detailed sip in the books.

I am also left wanting to read the other perspectives on Stieg’s life, in case Eva’s is not objective in her views. It “feels” as though she is truly telling the story of a man who truly brought his fight for justice and morality from his life to his fiction. (There are other biographies out there.) He blended facts and fiction – and for those of us listening from North America – provided a view of political troubles in our idealized Sweden. Eva adds another layer of Swedish conservatism with her difficulties as Stieg’s lifelong partner, having no children, her union went unrecognized by the state and Stieg’s assets were claimed by his almost estranged father and brother.

Of note to you, dear readers, is the fact that both Stieg and Eva were huge Science Fiction fans. If you haven’t dipped into the trilogy yet, Eva’s explanation of Salander’s (the main character) cyborg-like brain in a Pippi Longstocking body with superhuman strength may whet your appetite.

It is clear as Eva’s tale unfolds that she was intimately involved in the unfolding of Stieg’s trilogy. In a way they are her stories too – the books – their children in some odd way. This story may be the story of her custody battle for the rights to finish writing (raise to adulthood) Stieg’s final book, The Vengeance Of God. From listening to her tale and her writing style, I am positive that she will have no difficulty bringing the story to completion, should she be given the opportunity.

The reader, Cassandra Campbell, has been the narrator (or one of) in a host of books I have listened to and enjoyed (especially The Help). I was surprised that she pronounced the Swedish words and places perfectly adding immensely to my enjoyment of this audiobook.

Posted by Elaine Willis

Review of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

October 17, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Aural Noir, Reviews 

Aural Noir: Review

WHOLE STORY AUDIO BOOKS - The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg LarssonThe Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
By Stieg Larsson; Read by Saul Reichlin
Audible Download – Approx. 18 Hours 50 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Whole Story Audio Books
Published: May 2009
Provider: Audible.com
Themes: / Mystery / Murder / Intrigue / Political Intrigue / Hacking / Violence / Sex / Sweden / Politics / Feminism /

Forty years ago, Harriet Vanger disappeared from a family gathering. Her body was never found, yet her uncle is convinced it was murder – and that the killer is a member of his own family. He employs journalist Mikael Blomkvist and the tattooed, truculent computer hacker Lisbeth Salander to investigate. When the pair link Harriet’s disappearance to a number of grotesque murders from forty years ago, they begin to unravel a dark and appalling family history. But the Vangers are a secretive clan, and Blomkvist and Salander are about to find out just how far they are prepared to go to protect themselves.

Better to read than to listen…maybe. There are too many characters in The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and we get to know all their names and all their breakfast habits, no matter how minor a role they play in the story. And like the overdeveloped minor characters, there are also many overly lengthy descriptions and over-described scenes that are not key to the plot. It may be that both the character and the storyline problems that I describe are more distracting in the audiobook version than in the print book. After finishing The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo I started reading the second book, The Girl Who Played With Fire, in paperback in order to compare the experiences. I still notice the excessive detail in the paperbook, but it is a more minor annoyance than in the audiobook. At first I thought my discomfort was because The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo is a translation from Swedish, but I recognized that the translation is seamless. The only other Swedish books, in translation, that I recall reading are those of Astrid Lindgren and, if memory serves, they weren’t nearly as cluttered as The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. A quick look at the paperbook edition of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo revealed that the print edition comes with a genealogical table for keeping track of the numerous members of the Vanger family.

On the whole the almost 19 hours of listening is pleasant enough. There is no doubt that the main character is compelling, the plot interesting and that the reader, Saul Reichlin, is brilliant – but as an audio experience it can be daunting – at least without carrying around a character map.

[Here’s one!]

The Vanger Family Tree

Posted by Elaine Willis