I have seriously decided to not read this series. My friend/office mate Clarissa recommended this for reading when during one break discussion, I’ve shared my experience with reading the Hunger Games Trilogy. She told me that I should try reading the Millennium Trilogy.
I think I’ve already mentioned before, to checking plot/summaries of movies and books before actually seeing or reading it. So I googled the series and the author and I’ve already decided that reading about sexual violence against women and corruption and not just about government corruption I tell you but the soul deep corruption kind, is not a good relaxing material to read on a weekend. I get enough hearing and seeing about depressing news in real life thank you. But I’m so glad my friend convinced me again after another round of discussion and after promising to check the books and another round of googling, I was ready to give it a try. Then Clarissa brought me book 1. I started reading Friday night, I finished it last night.
BOOK 1 : The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
At first I don’t think this is a material for everybody but now I’m comfortable to say that everyone must at least give this a try, if not for anything else but for how kick-ass the main character Lisbeth Salander is. But seriously though, the author’s insights on the abuse of power were passionately conveyed on the book it is but sad if people will not experience it themselves by reading the book. The book is dark but the bursts/splashes of hope and compassion and social conscience here and there, is unexpectedly moving. Although I have to mention that the switching from first names to last names was a bit disconcerting at first.
The only thing I have in common or relatable, with the main character is our height and weight. She is one protagonist so layered and complex but surprisingly straight-forward, pro-active and the combination of vulnerability and ruthlessness is not so common and so fresh, so fascinating.
It wasn’t an easy “read” experience for me. Mikael Blomkvist’s (one of the protagonists), propensity to having casual sexual relationships with any female convenient is a bit hard pill to swallow. It feels uncomfortable to me, it bothers me. The idea of an open relationship, coming from a background ingrained that making love is an expression of love and is sacred, is very discomfiting and awkward but still I’m drawn. Because if there’s one thing about reading that I’ve realized is that, the amazing experience and opportunity to read about things I haven’t heard, seen, experienced and imagined. And most importantly, it again underlines my conviction that although some people do not act my norm, it just means they just ARE and that even if judging is an easy bandwagon to fall into, I refrain from judging, for the simple reason that I am not them. I can never ever be them, so who am I to judge anyone? Reading for me is inexpensive travelling. And although it is in some ways not really equivalent to actual interaction with people, it still is one of the cheapest ways to connect, learn and be a better person, don’t you think?
Again, it will not be an easy read but the narration is fluid and the plot very solid and credible, you’ll be turning the next page. I’m looking forward to reading books 2 and 3.
I hope you have a relaxing Sunday everyone!
BOOK 2 : The Girl Who Played With Fire
The book 2 of the Millennium series is about 2 inches and 649 pages. I had a slow start, been really busy at the office, but boy did I picked the pace up on Friday night!
If you decide to take on this phenomenal work of Herr Stieg Larsson’s you better get all 3 books!
The idea of Lisbeth “in love” with Mikael Blomkvist irritated me a lot. I tried discussing it with Clarissa (the girl who got me hooked in this series, thanks Calang!) and she said it is most probably because Mikael’s character is not assuming and demanding. I could intellectually accept that. Aside from the sex, which I have no impression of being exceptionally amazing either, I just can’t understand the pull Mikael have. A likely explanation also would be, Mikael was the first person that didn’t encroach on Lisbeth’s very introverted personality. Again, I leave it to the expert, I’ve stumbled upon a book by Robin S. Rosenberg, The Psychology of the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, 304 pages of analyzing the multi-faceted Lisbeth Salander.
Okay if it isn’t so obvious yet, the biggest draw of the book for me is the female protagonist. Book 2 showed another amazing layer of Lisbeth. She is a mathematician who for the most part of the early chapters was engrossed and fascinated with Fermat’s theorem (go on, google it), a genius, one of the best, if not the best hacker in the world, have sparred with world class boxers and the photographic memory of course comes very handy and she have uncanny chess playing skills. In fact, in one scenario, she played chess with Palmgren while reading a book on the frequency calibration of radio telescopes in a weightless state.
Book 1 was not an easy read, especially the sadistic rape scene and the scene right after it, the one where Lisbeth went home, cleaned herself up and crawl to bed, to put it succinctly, disturbing. But book 2 made me almost forget about that very hard scenes. It was Holger Palmer’s love that made it for it.
He loved Lisbeth like the daughter he never had.
Book 2 is like seeing an action movie only better. Better because the good guys are in-step with the bad guys if not ahead. The second book is indisputably all about Lisbeth.
BOOK 3 : The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets’ Nest
I jumped directly from page 649 to page 1 of book 3. The book is thick(746 pages) and holding it while reading was such a hassle.
What was so memorable for me was how the few people who knew Lisbeth can’t help but be genuinely worried and took it upon themselves to help her and be on her side of the ring if push comes to shove. I love their loyalty and I like how they were able to do one hell of a job of acquitting Lisbeth.
These books have infuriated and bothered and challenged me and it was a very long time that I felt like this. It surprised me!
My Millennium experience was one exhilarating ride! Though reading the last few pages was such a let down, because I’m going to miss the unlikely duo of Blomkvist and Salander.
Thank you for this wonderful work Stieg Larsson.