The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Rides Again

Comments

1
Paul, do you include situations where the author dies while his series is incomplete, but left notes?

For obvious example: Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series, which I think was quite ably completed by Brandon Sanderson, but he had numerous notes.
2
I am starting to write The Girl With the Zombie Tattoo as you read this ...

... It was a Dark and Stormy
Knight ...
3
How about when the easy profits keep the publisher afloat for a little while longer while they seek fresh blockbuster authors?
4
Some of the Wizard of Oz books after the original author are fun.
5
So are we arguing that the first novel, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, was somehow "artistically" satisfying? Because it wasn't. It succeeded really despite its artlessness, I think. The book has great character development, but the financial gobbledygook was hard to grasp and the writing was weak. (The English translation was arguably further degraded by the publisher, who made excessive independent tweaks to the book, which is why the translator took his real name off it; otherwise it might have been better.)

It's the arc of Lisbeth's persecution, victory, and redemption that are so compelling in these books, not the "art." I feel confident another author can move that story forward successfully, if he's judicious. Artistically, the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo books will not at all be a challenge to imitate.
6
I agree with the premise, but do take exception to the idea that Ian Fleming was a good writer. Intriguing and evocative yes, but his words were klunker after klunker.
7
Sometimes the next author makes it more artistically satisfying:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Romance…
8
Shame an actual sequel is stuck in legal limbo due to the lack of a will.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/07/12…
9
I feel the same way about these types of books that I do about books that come out AFTER a movie instead of before it. Like ET, the book. blech, there's no point to this at all.
10
Artistic satisfaction is for artists. Corporations are not artists, my friend.
11
A number of revivals and adaptations have been artistically (and/or commercially) successful, typically ones using archetypal characters long, long after their creators' deaths and the characters became public-domain (which may be fundamentally different from an estate licensing the character much sooner after the author's death, to make money). I'm thinking of King Arthur, Robin Hood, Frankenstein, Sherlock Holmes, Jekyll and Hyde, etcetera, etcetera.
12
@#9
I feel the same way about these types of books that I do about books that come out AFTER a movie instead of before it. Like ET, the book. blech, there's no point to this at all.

I have seven letters (and three spaces) for you: B To The F, a page-by-page deconstruction of the novelization of Back To The Future.
13
@11 - Comic books are another great example. It's often really interesting to see new and different writers' takes on existing properties. Occasionally, you get material vastly superior to the original--Alan Moore's Swamp Thing leaps to mind. Or a lot of the stuff Peter David did with the Hulk.

I also agree with @1, though I would go further and say that Sanderson's hand made for a better ending than I think Jordan could have done in his later years.

August Dereleth's work to expand on Lovecraft's writings arguably gives too much structure to what was madness, but it's undeniable that his involvement was critical to the current popularity of Cthulhu Mythos stuff.
14
Has any of these zombie-fied sequels, in which a new author tries to write stories about recurring characters after an author dies, succeeded on an artistic level?


Actually several of the post-Lovecraft "Cthulhu Mythos" books and stories are reasonably well-regarded. Certainly more the exception than the rule though.

But as noted above, Larsson's books are so terribly, terribly written that if the commissioned sequel rises to the level of "workmanlike competence" it will be a notable improvement.

(Hell, if they just manage to avoid having an obvious Mary-Sue as the primary viewpoint character, they'll be an improvement.)
15
I've been reading Winegardner's sequels/prequels to "The Godfather". He's a better writer than Puzo.
16
Funny, somebody had briefly listed a new novel on Amazon using John D. MacDonald's character Travis McGee. It lasted a few days before the estate found out about it. It was quietly and quickly removed. One fan did get a copy and said she could not get past the 10th chapter. MacDonald's estate had made it very clear there will never be any new books in that series. They feel it would be a dis-service to the memory of the writer.
17
@12,

I once read a novelization of the Search for Spock. Would you have imagined that Saavik's skin smelled like pine? Me neither.
18
It basically takes 50 years for the author's dick to work its way fully out of the reviewer's mouth, and even then, it can be only partial. I would have waited before trying to make more profit off this dead male feminist's corpse, personally.
19
I can't hear the title of "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" without thinking of the original title "Men Who Hate Women" and how it was renamed into something dismissive and objectifying by men who hate women.
20
@19, does anyone ever call you "friend"?
21
These are always fucking bad. The Dune books by Herbert's son? Awful. The Foundation trilogy written after Asimov's death? That had some great authors doing it, and it still sucked.

Stop fucking the corpse and hoping money's gonna come out.
22
@20 They try, but she rebuffs them all, because anyone perfect enough to be tolerable has already achieved nirvana.
23
20- I'm not in Slog comments to make pals. I have friends who aren't even vegan, let alone perfect! And I'm nothing but lovely and nice to them. Even though they enjoy eating tortured animal carcass and maybe even have shopped at Target.
24
Want to hear some even worse news? Someone's trying to fill in for P.G. Wodehouse by writing a new Jeeves & Wooster story.
25
@Raku:

Pharyngula has a post about Gazans torturing cattle (stabbing, kicking, etc.) during a religious festival, which is just shocking and nauseating so I get your point about "tortured animal carcass".
26
Publishers have no dignity; they have quarterly targets...and they assume that we won't sufficiently reward being dignified (generally devalued) sufficiently to allow them to get away with it.