Today is the release day in the U.K. for the English-language version of The Girl in the Spider’s Web: A Lisbeth Salander novel, continuing Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Series by David Lagercrantz (RH/Knopf; RH Audio; RH Large Print). We won’t see it here until Tuesday, and critics are in a competition to review it first.
Daily New York Times critic, Michiko Kakutani, has reviewed all the previous titles in the series. Her take on the new book is summed up in these lines, “Though there are plenty of lumps in the novel along the way, Salander and Blomkvist have survived the authorship transition intact and are just as compelling as ever … Spider’s Web is less bloody, less horror movie lurid than its predecessors. In other respects, Mr. Lagercrantz seems to have set about — quite nimbly, for the most part — channeling Larsson’s narrative style, mixing genre clichés with fresh, reportorial details, and plot twists reminiscent of sequences from Larsson’s novels with energetically researched descriptions of the wild, wild West that is the dark side of the Internet.”
USA Today chimes in, “Rest easy, Lisbeth Salander fans — our punk hacker heroine is in good hands.”
The Washington Post‘s Patrick Anderson is less enthusiastic, saying, “I recall the Larsson books unfolding gracefully. Lagercrantz’s narrative is fragmentary and confusing. It’s almost impossible to keep track of all the hackers, scientists and killers who emerge briefly, vanish, then turn up again after you’ve forgotten them,” It ends with a reference to Larsson’s long-time companion who fought against the continuation of the series, “Don’t be fooled. Gabrielsson was right; Larsson deserves better than this.”
The book is currently at #33 on Amazon’s sales rankings and holds are heavy in many libraries.