In the blood-soaked hands of the hair-raising, always surprising director David Fincher, the creepy remake of Sweden’s grisly thriller The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo is dreary and confusing but technically superb—a darkly photographed and superbly acted film. It is not my cup of bitter tea laced with arsenic, but I admire its tenacity in keeping the viewer dazzled, while the toxic effect of its violence, sometimes unwatchable, left me charged. I hated the 2009 Swedish film version, my dashed attempt to read the book (the first volume in the crime trilogy by the late, overrated Swedish novelist Stieg Larsson) put me to sleep faster than a double-dose of Dalmane, and I still don’t understand why it has been recycled in an estimated $100 million remake as unnecessary as it is unoriginal. It is also impossibly long-winded. When it ended, after just under a whopping three hours, I ended up impressed, in spite of my reservations. If I had found it even half as incomprehensible as it is, I might have liked it twice as much.
Oh, my god, that plot.
The attacks in Norway have produced a conversation about Europe’s issues with far-right extremism that many Scandinavian crime writers have addressed in their work already.
NPR speaks with Ann Holt, a former justice minister in Norway who is now a bestselling author of detective fiction.
At The New Yorker Book Bench, Read More
In next month’s issue of W, Lynn Hirschberg tries to decipher why director David Fincher went with Rooney Mara to play Lisbeth Salander in The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. Given that the movie is the first in “the biggest movie franchise since Harry Potter,” the audition process was bound to be contentious. Read More
Half-year numbers indicate that Random House has benefitted handsomely from the Stieg Larsson hysteria, CEO Markhus Dohle says in the memo posted on GalleyCat. Parent company Bertelsmann reported a “surge of profits” in a release, and in the memo Dohle claims the publishing house was a “significant contributor” to the uptick.
Random House Read More
Time to relax post-BEA—summer Fridays, the publishing world’s traditional long weekends, start today. So! Pack the many free totes you collected with some (non-required??) reading and head for the Jitney now.
Or seek out a more creative destination. Knopf publicity director Paul Bogaards, who had a pretty good week with the new Read More