Friday, May 27, 2016

Continuity

I arrived exceptionally early to the airport this evening, due to a combination of Memorial Day weekend traffic paranoia and some TSA understaffing drama, which fortunately were both non-issues, but it gave me a chance to peruse around the bookstore for longer than usual, which I love.

I can typically spend hours reading the backs of books and puttering, although the chance to do so doesn't come up too often. And tonight here it was, but I spent nearly all the time I had contemplating one thing. Steig Larsson's Girl with the Dragon Tattoo trilogy is hands down the greatest thing I've ever read. Each individual book on its own and the series together; I've never been so entranced by a story or characters. Lisbeth is the most intoxicating character I've ever come to find in fiction, and I'll admit, I was a little behind when I started reading them, unaware that their beyond-brilliant author was already gone, and there would never be another part of the series.

Again, very behind on all-things Lisbeth, I'd completely missed the news that someone would be picking up (or trying to) where Larsson left off. And here it was, the fourth book in the series, years later. My first thought when I realized what it was was total excitement. And then, so many other things. How gutsy. How dangerous. How potentially disappointing. Writing a novel is complicated enough without writing someone else's novel. One that already has so many complex characters, so many fans, so many plot lines.

So the contemplation, although I knew I would buy it, was, do I dare? If it's a disappointment, will I regret it? Not for the money or the wasted time but, the way a sequel can ruin the original for you when it's done wrong, will this crush my love for these stories?

It's a bit dramatic, yes, and like I said, I knew the second I saw it I would buy it. I couldn't step away knowing there's a next part to the story. And I've done no research yet to find out who the author is. I'm curious if he's spoken publicly about his decision to write it. Did he know Larsson personally? If he did, does that make the decision easier or more complicated? Was he a writer of crime fiction before? A writer before? A lover of this series?

All the confidence in the world couldn't make me continue a book I had that much love for that was started by another person. No matter how much you think you know, you can never get inside the writer's head, dead or alive. You'll never know what was intended for the characters. What additional back-stories the author had that weren't included in their entirety in the stories.

Then there's an entire other issue of tone and language, but who knows, maybe that's easier to mimic.

Boarding the plane, book in hand, expecting the best and the worst. I've never nerded out so hard. He was just so goddamn talented.

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