By Henry Goldblatt
Updated January 04, 2011 at 04:57 PM EST
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I hate the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo series. To many, that is the equivalent of saying “I kick puppies,” or “I choke babies,” or “American Idol is the best show in the history of television.” Swedish author Stieg Larsson’s crime trilogy about crusading journalist Mikael Blomkvist and his hacker lover/pal Lisbeth, in my view, is poorly written, ridiculously plotted, and (yawn!) incredibly tedious. (This is coming from someone who spent seven years working at Fortune magazine and has more than a passing knowledge of the financial arcaneness that dominates the end of the first book.) Today, I realized I’m not alone. A few brave resistance fighters are speaking out, most notably Joan Acocella in this week’s New Yorker, who tries to understand “Why People Love Stieg Larsson novels.”

Her best passage is below:

It’s a paragraph that is far more beautiful than anything Larsson wrote. (Indeed, his description of Lisbeth’s visit to IKEA is far more tortuous than actually going there.) What do you all think? Have you read the books? Do you think they are worth all that acclaim? Or should I just say that I kick puppies?

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