It’s been interesting to follow the revival of Lisbeth Salander and the excellent Millennium trilogy by the deceased Swedish writer Stieg Larsson lately. The release of the Hollywood remake of The Girl With the Dragoon Tattoo has – not surprisingly – led to renewed interest in the books as well.
Currently all three books – The Girl with the Dragoon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played With Fire, and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest – are on the New York Times list of combined print and e-book fiction. They still seem to sell extremely well, even after having been on the bestseller lists for eons: The Girl With the Dragoon Tattoo has been on the Mass Market best seller list for 137 weeks so far!
While it is difficult to establish a set of clear criteria for quality for literature in general and perhaps even more so for thrillers and crime fiction, I tend to think the fact that a book stays on the bestseller lists for a long time, and perhaps also that it makes it onto bestseller lists in many different countries, can at least be viewed as indicators of quality. For the moment, Stieg Larsson’s books seem to be on the bestseller lists many, many places: US, UK, Australia to mention some. By this measure, the Millennium trilogy scores fairly high; few – if any – books outshine them as far as longevity and spread as bestsellers are concerned.
Of well – be that as it may – I am extremely happy to see that so many still find pleasure in these wonderful books. May they enjoy a long and prosperous half-life!