Sunday, October 25, 2009

dragon tattoo

I finished The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo a little while ago, before I began my month-long slog through John Adams. I've been reading a lot of crime/mystery/suspense drama in the last year. My wife loves the genre and she reads really fast, so there are lots of books to choose from. Because I've read so many of them, they have a certain sameness to them. Similar to watching a TV series: you get comfortable with the characters. Writers know this of course and characters are written into series all the time. The sameness I'm talking about, is from author to author, and character to character. They all have similarities that tend to bubble up when reading lots of books like this. I often feel that they are are part of some super-series.

Stieg Larsson's characters were refreshing for me because they broke that mold. The writing is strong, and face-paced. Which for me means
short chapters that sometimes alternate between the various sub-plots, creating mini cliffhangers, and encouraging us to read on. Its hard to say with a translation, how much of the language is Larson's and how much of a nod should go to Reg Keeland, the translator.

In all, I enjoyed this carefully constructed story of a hardworking magazine publisher/journalist and his drive to uncover old truths, often against his own better judgment. The antiheroine of the title is an interesting character and remained, to my mind at least, rather mysterious for a title character. It will be interesting to see if she shows up again in the next two books as the titles seem to imply. I will probably pick them up. The book was long (644 pages) and much of it takes place in a northern European winter. I suppose these two things suit one another.

The about-the-author blurb states that Larsson died in 2004, "shortly after delivering the manuscripts for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire, and the third novel in the series." I understand that the third is titled The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest, and is due to be released on May 25, 2010.

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