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Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

I'm a bit behind the curve on this, but I recently finished The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and I have some thoughts.  In my opinion, the financial story was a drag on the rest of the Harriet Vanger mystery thread.  I know several people who never got past the first 50 pages because of the deep financial ramblings.

For some reason, I'm an eternal optimist when it comes to books and other media.  I don't think I've ever walked out of a flick or abandoned a book once I've started it.  Maybe it's a carry over of the clean-your-plate club mentality ingrained at meals.  Maybe it's because I do a lot of reconnaissance before selecting a movie or book.  Although, the media scouting doesn't always work.  I remember going to see Mr. Mike's Mondo Video in the late 70s or early 80s, and it was awful.  I should have walked out, but like some rosy-glassed Pollyanna, I kept thinking it might get better.  It never did. 

At times, Larsson seemed to drop one plot thread for too long, luckily Lisbeth's character was so intriguing, learning more about her kept me reading.  Her payback to her court-appointed advocate proves that "Revenge is a dish best served cold."  I couldn't help but take visceral pleasure in how she turns the tables on him.

I also learned from this book, how little I know about Sweden.  When Larsson described towns, I had trouble visualizing anything but snow, and the food in the book struck me as cold and unappealing--no comfort food there.  No mac & cheese.  Pickled herring just doesn't cut it for me.  Even when the scenes in the novel were set in warm weather, I still felt chilly reading it.  The characters seemed cold to me too, very detached in their relationships.  Blomkvist has no problem sharing his lover with her husband, and he seems removed in his relationship with his daughter.  He doesn't even seem too concerned when heading off to prison.  Lisbeth is alienated from almost everyone.  I hope their budding romance is pursued in the next book as I saw glimpses of  a heart and emotion there.  Seeing her and Blomkvist evolve into people with emotions would be an appealing storyline. 

I have not seen the movie, but it will be interesting to see how the story fares on the big screen and how much of it is devoted to the financial story--my guess it not very much.

What do you think was the greatest appeal of this novel? 

Friday, July 15, 2011

I've Been a Bad Blogger

Well, it's been a while since I last blogged.  I've promised myself to be a more faithful poster in the future, but being a writer has certainly become more complicated the past few years.  In addition to putting pen to paper, you must now stay visible by blogging, tweeting, Facebooking and perusing LinkedIn.  I like social media, but it does cut into actual writing time. 

From the articles I've read on effective blogging, the cardinal sin most often committed by bloggers is failing to post.  I confess, I'm guilty.  I hope to go and sin no more.