Are Stieg Larsson and Dan Brown a match for literary fiction?

From The Guardian:

Lisbeth-Salander-Noomi-Ra-006 On my way back to London the other day, I was clawing my way toward the buffet car when I noticed with a shock that more or less the entire train carriage was reading… novels. This cheered me up immensely: partly because I have begun to fear that we are living in some kind of Cowellian nightmare, and partly because I make a good part of my living writing them. Where were the Heats and the Closers, I wondered? The Maxims and the Cosmos? Where the iPads, the iPhones, the Blackberrys and the Game Boys, the Dingoos and the Zunes? Why neither the ding of texts, nor the dong of mail? Barely anyone was even on the phone, for Christ's sake. They were all reading. Quietly, attentively, reading.

My cheer modulated into something, well, less cheerful (but still quite cheerful) when I realised that they were all, in fact, reading the same book. Yes, you've guessed it: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo who Played With Fire and who, some time later we are led to believe, Kicked the Hornet's Nest. In the next three carriages it was the same story – men, women, toddlers. A glance out of the window revealed that even the cows were at it – nose deep, hay forgotten. And when, finally, I arrived at the buffet car, I was greeted with a sigh and a how-dare-you raise of the eyebrows. Why? Because in order to effectively conjure my cup of lactescent silt into existence, the barrista in question would have to put down his… Stieg Larsson.

In terms of sales, 2010 has been the year of the Larsson. Again. His three books have been the three bestselling fiction titles on Amazon UK. Along with Dan Brown, he has conquered the world.

More here.