06 September 2010

Judging Books

I've spotted quite a few people reading books from the Steig Larsson trilogy on the way to and in France; they were, however, without exception, the English editions. So I almost didn't recognise the first book of the trilogy when I came across it in one of Cannes' embarrassingly (but not surprisingly?) limited selection of bookshops. Les hommes qui n'aimaient pas les femmes ("men who didn't like women" -- close to the Swedish original "men who hate women" although I'm not sure why the past tense was used) occupied less shelf space in this Cannes bookshop than its English counterpart but then there are fewer shelves.

Would I have even picked up the book on the basis of the French cover (left)? Probably not, on the basis of the cover alone, although given the hype and volume of chatter about the books this year and last, I'm sure I would have checked the books out regardless. The French cover makes me think of some Flowers in the Attic or other Virginia Adams pulp fiction rather than complex, epic crime thriller.

The Swedish cover, meanwhile, does make me think "crime thriller." I remembered that the original (pre-movie) English cover was red and yellow and had a tattooed girl on it but I couldn't remember its style--perhaps I never looked at it properly and now it's so ubiquitous, I only need to spot a little red and yellow to identify it. Actually, though, looking at it now on Amazon, I do remember seeing rows and rows of it in the window of Daunt Books and my first reaction was, "is this another Amy Tan type book?" Not knowing any more, I was never enticed in to read it until the third book came out and I was eventually tempted into reading all three. And yes, I do prefer the pre-movie English cover to that of the movie edition.

1 comment:

  1. Isn't that Wednesday Addams as played by Christina Ricci?