How to Fully Enjoy Popular Fiction

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Reader Comments (18)


Actually, it reminds me of another joke from Jon Haldeman: "Bad books on writing and thoughtless English professors solemnly tell beginners to 'Write What You Know', which explains why so many mediocre novels are about English professors contemplating adultery."

April 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNalano

I got through a good portion of the first book before I got stuck on a section that was specifically about Kalle just sitting around, making notes, and no progress. Then I said "screw this noise", and went to read something interesting.

Oh, and you forgot to mention that the girl is conveniently bisexual, I'm told.

I'm not one to use words like "overrated", but I do wonder if the series would've sold so well if Larsson wasn't dead.

April 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJonn

Best advice about writing fiction : do NOT write about what you know, that's boring - write about what you would LIKE to read yourself.

April 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKevinKunreuther

Score! I haven't read the books, (didn't intend to, even before this) but this was still completely funny to me. Loved it!

April 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterVictoria

You totally have to write about what you know. Like how Kafka wrote about his experience metamorphosing into a bug, and J.R.R. Tolkien described what he witnessed when Sauron invaded Middle Earth.

April 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterInnominate

Just the next hour of my life. !!Yay!!

April 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSue Dunham

Excellent! And actually the movies really condense the books well - very uber violent though - more in the fact that the European movie would be an NC-17 here.

April 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBeejcctx

Hey Scott, thanks for the warning!! I was undecided about whether to read those books, and your pithy analysis made the decision for me.

Can you please do my other thinking for me too?

Note from Scott: Well now I feel bad. I enjoyed the books enough to read all three. They have flaws, and I found those flaws pretty funny at times, but please, if you like a crime thriller with a strong female protagonist don't let me discourage you from giving the books a try.

April 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSolak

Love all three books- just finished reading them again for the nth time- but I still thought this comic was a riot!

April 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBiscus0001

Sweden is apparently the Maine of Europe. Just STAY AWAY!

April 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterUnderTheDark

I've read the books, thought the over arching story was pretty interesting backed by some bad writing and atrocious translation. Author went into way to much detail in some areas (seriously, I don't care about the specs of their laptops or the full content of their sandwiches).

April 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNigel

If you want to read a much better crime novel with a strong female protagonist, try "Smilla's Sense of Snow." Probably my favorite novel of any genre.

April 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJudas Peckerwood

i rated the trilogy as one of the best books i've read this year coming in second only to "jane eyre."

April 6, 2011 | Unregistered Commenternavarro

I like the advice about writing what you want to read. I can see how "Write what you know" would be useful in some ways because you'd know what you were writing about, but it also could be very awkward in other ways, especially if you took people you know and fictionalize them.

April 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKrisL

I read the first book and thought it was brilliant, albeit rather harrowing. I read the sample chapter of the second book and thought I'd spent enough time reading about sexual abuse in the first one, I didn't really want to read the others.

April 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterHyphen de Plume

I posted this on my roommates fb because she absolutely loved the books and movies. Her friend saw it and printed it out for her class. Now there are printed copies of this comic in some college in Victoria, BC. It's kind of a sighting, except I didn't actually see them and I heard about them second hand.

April 13, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterquietdevious1

I definitely write what I want to read (usually that's the reason I'm writing it, because I want to read it and no one's written it). It's also good to write what you want to know about, then the research is fun.

April 17, 2011 | Unregistered Commentermordredlefay

@ Judas Peckerwood: FTW

"The plans we keep secret are the ones most likely to succeed."
- Peter Hoeg, "Smilla's Sense of Snow"

May 9, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterpaganoid
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