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Boxed set edition of the Millennium Trilogy, the first volume of which, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, has been adapted as a major Hollywood film starring Daniel Craig to be released on the 26th December.
I was very excited about the first book. Although not particularly impressed by the writing style of Larsson I was truly amazed by the an interesting and extremely engaging first book of the trilogy. It had everything: a thorough historical background, a Sherlock Holmes style setting and a fresh more humane perspective with strong female characters. Simply Excellent!!!
Second book was less exciting but it retained certain attractive qualities: intriguing background stories, dynamic plot line and almost encyclopedic insights. I was a bit alarmed by more apparent division of black and white among characters. The main group started to become more and more static, they stopped evolving. Borderline supernatural abilities of some of the main characters also raised an eyebrow but I brushed it off as an artistic decision of an eccentric author.
And then I got to the third book. I was terrified by how self righteous and uninteresting all the main characters have became. Blomkvist turned into a conflicting crossbreed between a ladies-man who will pretty much sleep with anything that moves and "mother Teresa" who is soooo sensitive and understanding of all the problems of every woman he meets that he just can't help but have sex with them all. To summarize he evolved from a strong yet caring male into a whiny douche-bag.
I also noted that there was not one negative female character in the third book. It was an absolutely absurd setting. In a way instead of patriarchal system reader was offered a polar reverse with matriarchal one. Don't get me wrong I am all pro woman's rights and I agree that there are great injustices committed against women socially as well as in the work place but it turns into a very one sided and therefore incredibly boring nag-fest. In light of this quality the third novel reads like a self-righteous rant in the style of Ayn Rand.
Another interesting contradiction is the double standard when discussing the social contract. On one hand Blomkvist/Larsson constantly wags his finger at any and all figures of authority, constantly lecturing everyone how they should abide by the rules while cherishing and upholding the democratic rules of society and constitution. But on the other hand it seems when the opportunity is right the law can certainly be taking into the hands of vigilantes, no matter how unlawful the activity is, as long as it coincides with what Blomkvist/Larsson ideas of what is good and moral. It is ironic that the same type of cross examination of the absurd self governing and self justifying principles, on which bases Peter Teleborian finds Lisbeth crazy, can be applied to Larssons own ideology.
To summarize the trilogy:
3-Waste of paper
Given the degradation of the style af the trilogy I would only recommend the first book, well maybe the second one too.
VV i Ann Arbor
Submitted: 8 January 2012
ALEX by Pierre Lemaitre
‘It enthrals at every stage of its unpredictability. Grippingly original’
- The Times.