Millenium Tour, Stockholm

“There’ll be a new book, a fourth one at the end of August”, we were told today by Carin, our tour group leader for the “(Stieg Larsson) Millenium Tour” run by the Stockholm City Museum, Stockholm Stadsmeet. “We don’t know very much about it”, she went on to say, “except that it hasn’t been written by Stieg Larsson”. The author of the new book was a surprise to me. He is David Lagercrantz, who wrote the best selling book about Swedish footballer, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and for whom, Carin told us, there was “sport” in writing a new book with the Millenium characters, more than about making money. She also told us there was a fourth unfinished manuscript, and that Larsson had scoped out several other books.

Having watched the three Swedish films, and the American one, having read all through books in English, and having slowly started the first in Swedish, I was really interested in undertaking the tour. My friend, Grant, had also been on the tour a couple of years ago, and had highly recommended it. I would recommend it too.

Over two hours, as you walk around the streets of Södermalm, you get a really strong sense of the physicality of the places mentioned in the books. Our tour guide, Carin, was also really knowledgeable about the films, and about the places that made it into the films, and those which didn’t. Often the changes were made for practical reasons, such as the inability of a film crew to actually fit into a small one-way street. Other times they were made for artistic and aesthetic reasons, such as finding another location which illustrated a thematic point better.

Carin has also had some lovely anecdotes about the film. For example, for the American film they needed to recreate a winter scene in Stockholm in the middle of May, and so brought in a great deal of man-made snow. There is, however, a continuity error, as in some of the scenes, you’ll actually see snow mixed with trees with their leaves on, and pot plants in full-bloom.

The tour begins with the home of Mikael Blomqvist, and ends with the home of Lisbeth Salander, which we were told was actually owned by a family who doesn’t actually live in the house, except for their annual New Years Eve Party. What a waste! It has great views.

The tour guide, Carin, was excellent. She was clearly knowledgable about the books, and with many interesting insights I’d never considered previously. For example, she notes all of the “good” characters live on Södermalm, Kungsholmen is “neutral ground”, and all of the bad characters live in other parts of Stockholm. She also mentioned the connection with Astrid Lindgren’s work, which I’d never previously knew about. Carin brought a lovely sense of humour to the tour as well, and so it was a really enjoyable way to spend a couple of hours on a Saturday afternoon in Stockholm. Highly recommended.

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