Girl with the dragon tattoo

The Girl Who Played with Fire – the movie

It is a terrifying thing to go to the movie of a book you absolutely loved.  This book kept me up very late at night, I was totally engrossed in this book and the characters were so cool check the posting on it.  So, going to the movie was a bit scary, would it live up to my expectations?  Would they ruin it with cinematic tinkering?  No they didn’t.  I really enjoyed it.  I don’t know how you would cope if you hadn’t read the book, there is a lot of stuff happening in this and they certainly left out quite a lot of the detail, but man there is such a lot of detail in those books and I guess they had to.

Look it isn’t as good as the first movie, but it is a close second and I really liked it once I got back into the groove, and the fabulous woman who plays the main character is just perfect, when I grow up I’m going to be like her, great love scene too actually.

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest by Steig Larsson

Well, I’m done.  I’ve knocked the Millennium Series off now, and they great!  It seems that if you start talking about these books in a public place it makes it really easy to strike up conversation, everyone is reading them.  The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest is the third and final one – if you don’t count the unpublished one they have found on the authors computer, but can’t publish because of disputes over who should be paid the royalties.  Steig Larsson is dead now, no more fabulous books to keep me up late at night – till 2am a few nights, such a shame.

Actress Noomi Rapace who plays Lisbeth Salander

This third one I found, in the beginning, took about a 100 pages or so for me to sort out all the characters and get them ordered in my mind.  Lots of names all beginning with the same letters and sounding the same in my mind, but, this is the book that pulls all the threads together, you couldn’t possibly stop after the second book.  This one gives you closure.  You have been reading a story where lots is going on and there is so much action that you don’t need to think too much about how it all fits together, but in this one you get lots of ah ha moments as you find out exactly who was double crossing who and why.

If you want to watch a preview of this movie, which is out in Europe but a long way off here, given that the movie of the second one isn’t even here yet then go and have a look here (YouTube Link).  Have a look at Mary Whipple’s blog for lots of links to the videos and info.  I also like this interview with the actress who plays Lisbeth Salander.

There has been a bit of discussion at school about whether the books are too violent to have on the shelves.  I love this kind of discussion, and it’s great to get people talking about these kind of books because often it is the things that make some readers uncomfortable that also make them have to think about what it really is they object to.  In the case of these books it is the violence usually that they cite, but I also think that the frankly written sexuality in the books is something that makes people really uncomfortable.  Lisbeth’s fluid sexuality is really well written I think, and the fact that there is well written lesbian sex in the books – written by a man – makes some people really uncomfortable.  There is also heterosexual sex, violent sex and rape in the books, but if you ban the books for that reason then you are really missing the point.  These books, I think, are about power, control and manipulation by the state.  There is blatant, state sanctioned misogyny in the story as a kind of back story, the original title was Men who hate women, and the author had spent many years researching Sweden’s dark and seedy side. It seems that a lot of what he knew to be true, about how the State manipulated the media and managed to control the lives of ordinary citizens is written into these books as a fictional situation.  I imagine this is not particular to Sweden, and you have to remember that they are fiction.  Maybe fiction based on some real situations but fiction nonetheless.  See the post about the other one in the series here.

The girl who played with fire by Stieg Larsson

The second book in the Millennium series.  I declare right here that I haven’t read the first one, The girl with the dragon tattoo, but I saw the movie, see the post below, and was assured that the second book picks up the story pretty much from where the movie ends.  It is a seamless flow, well done to the movie makers for putting almost all of the first book in the movie.  The character of Lisbet Salander is very cool, she kicks butt, she has a well defined set of morals even if the code is somewhat different from what would be considered the norm.  This book has mountains of action, it keeps the pace fast and even though there are multiple characters with hard to remember names (which can seem rather similar at times) you don’t get lost.  It is fantastic.  No 3 in the series is waiting for me and as soon as I’ve had a wee break from Sweden for a couple of weeks I will get right into it.  Can’t wait.  Below is the trailer for the book series from the Australian publishers. Here is the link to Stieg Larsson’s website.  As most people probably know he wrote all three books, presented them to his publisher and then tragically died.  What a loss, these thrillers are intelligent, clever, and very controversial.  There has been debate in my local library world about whether they should be in the school library given the violence and drama, but as I sit here there is much worse than what these books contain happening on my television right now, so they will be in our library.  It would be a shame to deny the clever readers the opportunity to read these beautifully written books.

The girl with the dragon tattoo by Stieg Larsson

I gave in, I bowed to pressure and I went to see the movie before I had a chance to read the book.  Wow did I have a good time.  It is brilliant, the acting is superb, the setting picture perfect and the tension is totally extreme.  In the theatre there was this huge intake of breath when the tension finally broke.  Yes it is a bit grim, very grim, it makes you squirm in your seat but you should all rush out and see it.  Blimmin fantastic.

In other related news tonight I start the second book in the series, straight to number two for me.