Summer Reading

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo is going to be a Hollywood movie. Ellen Page and Mia Wasikowaska are in competition for the starring role of Lisbeth Salandar. Personally I think that Ellen Page is more suited to the role if she can maintain a tough girl image. In the Swedish version Noomi Rapace was too tough without enough of the little girl that makes Salander so fascinating.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about then you’re in the same boat as Hollywood was. Prior to his sudden death in 2004 Stieg Larsson had finished three detective novels which were published posthumously; The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played With Fire, and The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest. They became a runaway hit in Europe and publishers noticed that people from the United States were special ordering the British translations. They got on the profit wagon too and the phenomenon came to the United States. I’ve never been a lemming not even when I heard the books were a runaway bestseller in Europe. Then I saw Charlie Rose talking about Stieg Larrson on his show. When I see that Charlie is actually interested in something I take notice. I went out and spent my food budget on The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.

Stieg Larsson was a Swedish writer and Journalist. He was known for his struggles against racism and right-wing extremism. Given a typewriter at the age of twelve he started writing and never looked back. He met his partner Eva Gabrielsson at an anti war protest and they were together for the rest of his life with the exceptions when she couldn’t stand his obsession, his writing. For the last fifteen years they’d lived in a state of high security having discovered that in the home of a murderer who had already killed one left wing activist there was photographs and notes targeting Stieg and Eva. The terrorists didn’t kill Stieg, in the end he was laid low by a heart attack. His last words were “I’m 54.” What was he thinking as he faded into darkness?

It couldn’t have been of the books that are now a runaway hit everywhere. Stieg wrote for relaxation. “Nobody would threaten Eva or himself over fiction” he explained. At first he’d written Science Fiction but then moved on to detective stories. These stories Stieg wrote for relaxation have sold more than 20 million copies in 41 countries and the numbers are climbing as more people in the US become aware of how good the books are.

If you need a recommendation I can tell you that rarely does a book surprise me and The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo did. It wasn’t the twist ending. I figured that out relatively early on. It was more of a twist narrative. I was astounded where the narrative went and it wasn’t something you could turn to the back page and then put the book down satisfied that the puzzle was solved. I could tell you the big spoiler right now and there would be no risk of you being bored on any page of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. If you’re not allergic to detective stories I’d say buy The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and try it out. You’ll want to read more.

Wanting to read more is the real pity here. For someone who was a  liberal and should have been well aware of the legal ramifications of an open relationship such as homosexuals are forced into  he was stupid. Wasn’t he under threat? Having died intestate his estate goes to his Father and Brother. They are the ones who get the profits and more importantly they are the ones who own the rights. If they want to approve a silly Hollywood movie or hire Fred the Ghostwriter they can. Eva gets nothing aside from the fact she physically has Larsson’s computer held hostage with the fragments of the fourth book. This mess makes the squabbling over John Kennedy Toole’s estate look simple and the way that family held A Confederacy of Dunces Hostage is true southern gothic. Why Stieg? Did you not think what you wrote was worthwhile? I do.

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2 Responses to Summer Reading

  1. Penny says:

    ordered it and will try it on vacation.

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