Millions of readers in Europe and the United States have bought and (presumably) read Stieg Larsson’s Swedish mystery The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and its two sequels. How patient those millions must be. Digging through the 644 pages of the first book, with its inept backstory, banal characterizations, flavorless prose, surfeit of themes (Swedish Nazism, uncaring bureaucracy, corporate malfeasance, abuse of women, etc.), and—worst of all—author Larsson’s penchant for always...
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