The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo: 9 links for 6 Degrees of Separation

January 8, 2017 | No comments


The starting book for the first 6 Degrees of Separation Chain this year was The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (which I had suggested to Kate). It is no secret that I absolutely love Stieg Larsson’s trilogy, and I actually had a hard time getting started with my chain this month because I had so many ideas of how to link it. I finally settled on using my pet peeve about the translated title, but here are the other ideas that I considered using.

Books published posthumously | All three books in the Millennium series were published after Stieg Larsson passed away in November 2004. A link could be made to e.g. The Janson Directive by Robert Ludlum, the first book in the Paul Janson series, which was published after Ludlum passed away in 2001.

Series that were not finished because the author passed away | Larsson had planned for the Millennium series to consist of 10 parts, but only the first three books were completed when he passed away. A link could be made to Snow Angels by James Thompson. It is the first book in the crime series about Inspector Kari Vaara, which was supposed to consists of five books, but only four were finished when Thompson unexpectedly passed away in August 2014.

First in a trilogy | The original Millennium series is a trilogy, so links could be made between The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and e.g. The Fellowship of the Ring, the first book in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Series continued by another author | In 2015, a fourth book called The Girl in the Spider’s Web, written by David Lagercrantz, was published (and two more have been contracted). A link could be made to The Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlum, which is the first in a trilogy that was extended into a longer series by another author (Eric van Lustbader) after the death of the original author. Alternatively, a link could be made between The Girl in the Spider’s Web and The Bourne Legacy by Eric van Lustbader, since both are the fourth book in the series, and the first book written by the new author. I would then first link The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo to The Girl in the Spider’s Web using the fact that both titles lost their charm when translated to English. The original Swedish title of the Lagercrantz’s book is Det som inte dödar oss or ‘That Which Does Not Kill Us’ which I much prefer over The Girl in the Spider’s Web.

Crime series in Sweden | Millennium is probably one of the most famous Swedish crime trilogies. A link could be made to Roseanna, the first book in the Martin Beck series by Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö, which by many are considered the series that really started Swedish noir. Alternatively, a link could be made to Kristina Appelqvist’s trilogy about literature expert Helena Waller, starting with Minns mig som en ängel (‘Remember Me Like an Angel’) which sadly has not yet been published in English, but which like the Millennium trilogy, has a protagonist that is not a police detective.

Crime series with a reporter | One of the main protagonists in the trilogy is the journalist Mikael Blomqvist. A link could be made to Spåren på bryggan by Lars Rambe, another crime novel set in Sweden where one of the protagonists is a reporter (named Fredrik Gransjö).

Strong female character | The character setup is one of my favourite things in the Millennium trilogy. At first, the main protagonist appears to be the journalist Mikael Blomqvist who is the one that mostly drives the plot forward. Themewise, however, the main protagonist is Lisbet Salander (and with the English titles, the focus is definitely on her). Lisbet is probably one of my all-time favourite characters because she is so strong and complex. A link could be made to other strong female characters such as Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins or Beatrice Prior in Divergent by Veronica Roth (although in my opinion, Lisbeth Salander is in a league of her own).

Book better than film adaption | I’m a big fan of using film adaptions as a way of linking books. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo was made into a film in 2011 starring Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara as Mikael Blomqvist and Lisbeth Salander. I hate this film adaption with a passion and I could write an entire post about it. (The only thing I will say it that was originally made into a Swedish movie in 2009, starring Michael Nyqvist and Noomi Rapace, and it is a perfect adaption, which in my mind makes the US film even worse because there was absolutely no need for that film.) If you wanted to use the film adaption as a link, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo could be linked to The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman, which is another great book that was made into a horrible film (in 2007) starring Daniel Craig. Like with the US version of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, only the first book in the trilogy was made into a film.

Plot line tied do an event multiple years ago | The plot in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo has two levels – part of it is very much set in present time whereas the underlying motivations for everything that happens is based in events taking place earlier. Links could be made to numerous books where a previous event has strong influences on the present, such as The Lake House by Kate Morton or The Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain.

If you made a chain, what did you use as your link? Or what’s the best link you think someone else made with The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo?