Nobel a likely no-no for Sweden's king of crime fiction
The Swedish Academy, which awards the Nobel Prize in Literature, has not yet asked my opinion. But when they do, I'll advise the distinguished committee that the world's most prestigious literary award for 2008 should go to Stieg Larsson.
It is remotely possible that they won't heed my advice. For starters, they'd have to take the highly unusual measure of awarding it posthumously. The Swedish author died of a heart attack in 2004, aged 50, shortly before his Millennium Trilogy became a worldwide phenomenon.
Reviewers throw around epithets such as "masterpiece," "the total detective novel" and "a major literary work." The French translator compared Millennium to Balzac's Human Comedy. In Denmark, the first volume has outsold all other books bar the Bible. Will Larsson catch up with God? It's not out of the question.
The hype is justified. I opened the first book, "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo," and did not come up for air for 500 pages. Career tip: Do not start reading on Sunday night. Before you know it the clock says 7 a.m. and you realize with shock that you are going to arrive late for your 8 a.m. meeting unshowered and with bloodshot eyes.
Emphasis added by me.
This is for crime fiction?!
I must read this. I hadn't heard of any of this until now.