2.16.2010

Airplane Book Review: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

1) I read all the lesbian pathologist books two years ago
2) This was recommended to me by Ron, who knew it was on the best seller list, they are fighting over Larsson's estate, etc.
3) reading another book --- not trade paper -- I picked up subsequently -- this is well written by comparison

The unfortunate thing about this book is that -- despite the fact that the serial killer story doesn't kick in until halfway through the novel, and it is wrapped up 3/4 of the way through -- this is undoubtedly the reason for the success of the book. It is comared to Silence of the Lambs, etc. because it is a gruesome serial sex murder thing, of the type that is weirdly popular here in the U.S. Serial murderers who just happen to have killed a number of people? Bah. What we really mean by serial killers is sex/torture/kidnap/murderers with some psychological weirdness.

Now, Larsson's also praised by writing, in this book, a financial conspiracy thriller, and DOUBLE or TRIPLE sex crime. He's got two detectives, but it is the detective of the title who continues to the next book in the series. There's some weirdness in his handling of this 24 year old female character, BUT he does a few things rather brilliantly: his facts and figures about domestic violence / crimes against women in Sweden -- the chapter heads -- are well contextualized by several different aspects of the story -- it is not just linear, literal. AND this character is a ward of the state beyond majority, and suffers the abuse of the system, plainly because she suffered -- and her mother, and her absent sister (there's a doubling of the absent sister theme) -- from some serious abuse that "made her who she is." This last part is far weaker than Larsson's criticism of the system designed to protect young people, and obviously not protecting them.

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