Wednesday, December 09, 2009


I wrote this a week ago but forgot to post it. Should I be concerned by my scattiness?

Over the weekend I took a break from 3 Cups of Tea and read the final book in Steig Larsonn's Millenium trilogy, Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest. Like We Need To Talk About Kevin, I'd resisted reading Girl With a Dragon Tattoo for several months. I'd thought Kevin was about child abuse, and this time I'd thought Tattoo was about a semi slutty Chinese girl. I realise that to assume is to make an ass of u and me, or in this case, just me, but I've met a handful of people who'd had the same impression. Thinking about it, the books came out when stories of child abuse/slutty girls of Far Eastern origin were a dime a dozen. Thankfully, I am relatively amenable to Far Eastern sluts, so determined to read Tattoo much more quickly than I had Kevin.

Girl With a Dragon Tattoo introduced the characters of Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist. There were a handful of characters who featured through the series, but it was these two who were central. One of the most interesting aspects of the series was the insight it gave into Swedish culture and society, and the two protagonists were ideal outlets for this. Lisbeth Salander, operating outside of conventions, was a good counterpoint to Blomquist's vehicle for the communication of sociological ideals and the compromise position that most citizens take. In the first book, Blomquist investigates a missing persons cold case, unveilling a serial killer in the interim. Lisbeth assists him through this, and together they solve the mystery. In the second book, colleagues of Blomquist's are murdered and he investigates. This time Lisbeth is connected to the case, which unfolds in a mass of intrigue interwound with the Swedish Social system. The twists can be as complex as those in Wild Things. It ends on a climax.

This final book is just as gripping as its predesessors, which is saying something. It is a definitive ending, in so far as much of Lisbeth's mystique is stripped away, so it is difficult to imagine a post-humus extension of the tale on the author's behalf. In this day of tacked on sequels or prequels, I find this almost a novelty and think it lends to the mystique of the book. As an ardent paranoid, I can't quite believe that Steig Larrsenn's death was mere tragedy, why would I? Perhaps the Millenium stories cut too close to the bone, bwahahaha... Who knows?

In any case, I think the trilogy is worth reading amd recommend it to everyone, even if only because the Scandanavian syntax is fairly attractive, and Swedish society is quite different to that non-Scandinavians are used to.

PS, why is everything a trilogy these days? I realise there is a Christian metaphor at work and all, but still, kudos to Christopher Paolini for turning his trilogy into a quadrant (if that's what it's called).

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