Wednesday, February 16, 2011

January books

I've been really good at keeping my promise of four books a month...So far :) 

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Stieg Larsson

It was a page turner, that much I attest to. I finished the 600-odd paged book in record time! I began reading because I got bored waiting for my dinner and I had no intention of finishing it. But finish it I did – in one evening with several bathroom breaks in between. I never even got to eat.  

I’ve had the book for awhile but I stayed away because of all the hype around it. But with a movie coming out – a movie I will most certainly watch if only for Rooney Mara – I thought it was high time I gave it a read.

It took quite a while for the story to reel me in. Lisbeth Salander, the titular hacker with Asperger’s syndrome, didn’t immediately make an appearance. After several chapters, I got restless and read the ending. It’s a bad habit (I know!) but I have to know if there’s something I can look forward to.

The Girl with a Dragon Tattoo is a thriller set in Sweden. That bit is hard to forget because they drank a lot of aquavit and referenced Ikea often. I should like to shop in Ikea myself but even thinking about aquavit makes me shudder. It tastes like nail polish remover. 

No one had any crayfish though. I was almost disappointed.

Digression: Here are photos of Toni during the Swedish Crayfish party ’08 and at home later that evening. We had a couple of shots of aquavit and went a little loopy.

Also starring is (can I say ‘starring’ if I’m giving a book synopsis?)Mikael Blomkvist, a middle-aged, disgraced financial journalist who is irresistible to women. (But) He (only) beds 3 during the course of the novel. After over 600 pages, I still don’t get why. Maybe the two other books in the series would condescend to explain. I hear Daniel Craig is playing him in the movie, which makes it even more mystifying. I’m not really a huge Daniel Craig fan.

After the murder-disappearance mystery plot surrounding the high-profile Vanger family played out, the story then focused on Blomkvist’s quest to take down one of Sweden’s wealthiest and most powerful businessman guilty of financial crimes, among others. He never made an appearance in the book, by the way, which made it a bit difficult for me to care about this particular subplot, but it was interesting in its own way. Blomkvist is a part owner of a magazine (Millennium) that is about to go under because of the scandal he caused and the enemies he made. I have a soft spot for books that deal with publishing, even tangentially. (The Devil Wears Prada, Confessions of a Shopoholic. I’ll Take Manhattan, Lipstick Jungle etc…I read them and loved them all!)

And during all this Lisbeth was doing some major sleuthing… She’s a freelance private investigator after all.

The original Swedish title of the book translated to English is Men Who Hate Women, which should give you an idea of the central theme of the book. Some parts were horrific to read. I was sure it was going to give me nightmares.

I'm not "in love" with this book but I like in enough to be currently reading the sequel. I'm about a hundred pages in. I've read the ending, too. I can't help it. 

For your viewing pleasure, here is Rooney Mara as Lisbeth Salander:


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