Barry Forshaw (biographer of Steig Larsson), speaking at the Scarborough Literature Festival, tries to convince us that Larsson's Millennium trilogy is good, despite how badly written it is. An interesting argument. Apparently, the rumour that if only Larsson had lived, his books would have been better edited, is false. His editor says they are exactly as the author intended. In other words, in my opinion, poorly structured, poorly plotted and with flimsy, unengaging characterisation.

According to Forshaw, Larsson enjoyed his comics, and that made sense to me, what he should have been writing were graphic novels. How they have gained the reputation for literariness is beyond me. Not that some graphic novels can't be literary, I should hasten to add, just that many are not, and don't pretend to be.

During the talk it was also suggested that Lisbeth Salander is Pippi Longsotcking (Astrid Lindgren's wonderful creation) grown up. I was saddened by this thought. Pippi is above all other things kind and generous. Not adjectives I would associate with Larsson's broken and brittle heroine.