July 14, 2010

Do we want a 4th book?


Steig Larsson

Steig Larsson

It’s the inevitability of the American marketing machine. A sequel is a good thing. They will come. When movies are made, they are made to make you keep coming back from the theater. Even the bad ones (its true: Scream 4 is filming this summer). A TV show could go on forever. Yes, I still watch Grey’s Anatomy. No, it is not any good any more. Yes, it should have ended seasons ago. Law and Order was on the air for 19 years! Granted it was a decent show, but did it really need to last that long? Every once in a while I watch a nice, contained 2 season series from the BBC and I think to myself, “yes, I guess I want more, but damn was that satisfying! Why don’t we end things here?”

And yes, we do it in books too. The Boxcar Children, Nancy Drew, the Stooki Stackhouse novels. And then every once in a while, along comes a nice contained three book series that earns critical acclaim and then ends. OH WAIT.

After a relatively satisfying conclusion following a significant wait for the third book in Steig Larsson‘s Lisbeth Salander series, I thought it was over. I wasn’t relieved, but it had wrapped up nicely and it was nice while it lasted and I moved on. Read some nice nonfiction, a fabulous debut by Tom Rachman, and picked up some used books at the Strand. And then, THIS headline, last week, in the Times:

Unpublished Manuscripts by Stieg Larsson Are Found

Followed by rabid internet discussion, rumor-mongering, unconstrained excitement and anticipation, etc. I stayed away from it all, waiting for it to blow over, hoping the publishing industry wouldn’t ruin this one good thing that we had going and had properly concluded…

And then, yesterday afternoon, this:

A Few Clues About Unfinished Larsson Book

Oh god its true! And I don’t know if I’m happy about it. Of course its exciting to dig up work from a dead writer! I’m sure everyone would be thrilled if someone stumbled across a new book from Wilde, or Hemingway, or whoever! And it is a significant chunk: supposedly 320 pages out of a total of 440, and only a month from its planned completion. Some are saying it takes place in Canada, some are saying its missing not the beginning or the end, but the middle. Who knows. Regardless, aren’t we satisfied as it is? (I won’t give away the ending of the book proving my satisfaction, because I’m not a fan of spoilers, but hell – I’m satisfied!)

Eva Gabrielsson, who is rumored to be in possession of the book, will not disclose any information or the book itself to the public. I knew I liked her! So I say, “Go Eva! Keep it to yourself!” And leave me be with my trilogy. No more sequels please.