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Old 12-29-2011, 11:14 AM   #1921
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Yeah, Tolkein's Hobbit and Trilogy go without saying. As far as Dresden I just didn't like the author's writing style, it didn't have anything to do with not knowing the back story, and I figured out some of the back story anyway.

Speaking of really bad writing style (IMO) I started a fantasy novel by Sherrilyn Kenyon and it was so awful I had to quit in the middle. The plot looked like she was just figuring things out on the fly with no advance planning. It was typing, not writing. She went on my ban list. I don't understand how she has published multiple novels. Must be something there that I don't see. At least I could read another Dresden novel if I wanted, I'd just rather focus on books and authors I'm likely to like more.

Larsson's Millennium Trilogy was great. The movies, not so good. It's impossible to replace all the detail and complexity of the book with special effects and cram it all into 90 minutes on the screen. The saddest thing is that the author had never been published in fiction, wrote the three novels in the Millennium series and parts of a few more, then died of a heart attack before any of them were published, so he never got to see the success of his novels. And also sadly, we'll never see any sequels. (What's left is hopelessly tied up in courts by a family dispute.) The movies are probably okay for people who don't like reading. But people who enjoy reading could probably skip the movies altogether.
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Old 12-29-2011, 09:00 PM   #1922
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First...you should try the Dresden series from the beginning...there is a lot of back story before you ever get to "Changes." Loved the Steig Larsson and have no interest in seeing the movies.

I started reading SF/Fantasy when I was 5 years old, starting out with "The Hobbit." Always up for new Author names, even though I have a stack of 50 in line first!
I would also recommend starting from the beginning. I however did not thing Storm Front(Book 1) was up to the standard of all the other books n the Dresden Series. But I kept reading because my parentsg loved them. I was not dissapointed. They are no in my top 5 book series.

I would have to say that Harry Dresden is one of my favorite characters. He is a bit a SOB in a in a good funny way. I began reading them in March and read them one after another until I was done. I even may have to go back and read them again soon.
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Old 12-30-2011, 12:48 PM   #1923
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Larrson's novels are so dark ... I'll probably see the movie eventually, but doubt I'll make it through. My Swedish friend loved on movie from one of his novels (there aren't many, are there? He died after only writing 3 or 4, right?), but at the time it was only in Swedish. She loved it and asked if I'd read any of the books (she knows I'm a mystery buff and read a lot of novels in translation). Funny, I don't mind a dark novel, or even a violent one, but don't care for it in TV or movies.
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Old 12-30-2011, 01:38 PM   #1924
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Claire I completely agree with you. I don't like violence per se but novels, particularly dark ones, need the emotional edge. Try to think of a mystery or suspense novel where nobody dies and you'll see that it's almost impossible to write a book like that or at least one that gets published. At least we can be glad that they're just imaginary characters who suffer this.

If they made the Millennium trilogy into a movie (or movies) and kept all the violence in it would be impossible to watch, too horribly gruesome far all but the most cold hearted people. They had to tone it down for movies, leave some out and imply but not show other parts.

I saw GWTDT in Swedish with English captions. I saw the two sequels (Swedish versions) dubbed into English. I have not yet seen GWTDT remake English version and not sure I will. I think eventually I'll reread GWTDT and if it's enjoyable even knowing the plot I'll follow with the other two in the series. (Keep in mind that I read all three novels before they were ever available as movies, and glad of it!)

Movies made from novels have never been as good for me as the novels themselves. There is far more plot and character detail, more dialog, novels are far more complex than movies they're made into. This is necessarily so because it could take you 10-12 hours to read a novel but that has to be reduced to an hour and a half or two hours on the screen. Visual detail has to take the place of plot, character and dialog complexity. My imagination is good enough to generate the equivalent of visual details so I enjoy the greater complexity of written novels. However actively reading is more work than passively watching a movie, and many people would have their entertainment presented in front of them than have to do any work to enjoy it. To each person his or her own. I'll take the novels over the movies made from them.

Wikipedia has an excellent article on Stieg Larsson, including the novels (three of them, plus uncompleted partial works) and the story of his death and the aftermath. I suggest that anybody interested in the author should read this article.

Yes, I am quite a Stieg Larsson fan. It just breaks my heart that he died so young, that he never got to see the success and acclaim that his novels achieved, and that we fans will never read the fourth and later installments of this great series. I'm sure if he hadn't died prematurely that the series would have easily gone on to several or a dozen.
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Old 12-30-2011, 02:25 PM   #1925
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Too late to edit this in, just wanted to add:

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (first in the series) works completely well as a stand alone novel, including a satisfying conclusion. If you're not sure want to read the trilogy you could read this series debut novel and afterwards decide if you want to continue.

The second in the series has a bit of a cliff hanger ending (not satisfying as a stand alone novel) and you should not read it unless you plan to continue on to the final third novel (which picks up right where the second ended). Thank God the third and final volume has a satisfying conclusion! It's wonderful that the series stands complete, for us fans and for the author too.

And to make it entirely clear, these three novels must be read in order!
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Old 12-30-2011, 02:35 PM   #1926
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Too late to edit this in, just wanted to add:

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (first in the series) works completely well as a stand alone novel, including a satisfying conclusion. If you're not sure want to read the trilogy you could read this series debut novel and afterwards decide if you want to continue.

The second in the series has a bit of a cliff hanger ending (not satisfying as a stand alone novel) and you should not read it unless you plan to continue on to the final third novel (which picks up right where the second ended). Thank God the third and final volume has a satisfying conclusion! It's wonderful that the series stands complete, for us fans and for the author too.

And to make it entirely clear, these three novels must be read in order!
I, too, loved Steig Larsson's books. Sadly he died before we could enjoy any more of his talent. He was one of those authors that, in my estimation, was a wizard at "painting pictures in my head" as I read his stories. Authors like that are few and far between and true treasures.
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Old 12-30-2011, 02:59 PM   #1927
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Too bad we can't make a list of these authors and series, except unfortunately the list would be different for every person.

I have to go through lots of losers before I find a keeper. The last dozen or so years I've decided one thing that has helped me deal with the losers a lot better. I'll read the first 50-100 pages and then pause to consciously decide if the novel is worth completing. Reading, for me, is in some ways similar to eating. It's more difficult to push away the plate than it is once you've cleaned it. In a novel it's natural to want to know how it all ended, so if you're midway in a novel it's difficult to put it down until your curiosity is satisfied. I just steel myself and resist this impulse, and make a critical decision if I want to waste several hours of my life completing an insipid novel. There's far too many novels to read and far too little life to waste any reading novels that don't perform.

So I hope somebody else will adopt my idea if you already haven't. Read about 50-100 pages of your novel and then put it down for a few minutes and consider whether completing it is worth your time. If not, move on to another novel and hope it will turn out better.
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Old 12-30-2011, 03:08 PM   #1928
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how would you rate it?

And who was the author?
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Old 12-30-2011, 03:25 PM   #1929
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And who was the author?
I think it's an anthology.
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Old 12-30-2011, 03:30 PM   #1930
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  1. John Adams (I want to read the letters between him and Abigail)
  2. Mozart (I would love to be able to look at his original manuscripts of music as he wrote it)
  3. Herbert Hoover (How did he feel when the Depression hit and he was blamed for it)
  4. Queen Victoria (How did she handle the assassination of her daughter Victoria (her namesake) married to Czar Nicolas)
  5. Any one of the scholars who have been translating the Dead Sea Scrolls. (Do they really say what I have heard)
Well there are my five people I would like to sit down to dinner with.
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