Yes, that's right folks The Bloggerhood Of The Traveling Book has proven so successful it's now gone on tour! Now this goes back a way. If you want to know the history of it and how I got involved you can check here and here. The condensed version is Swedish author Stieg Larsson's The Girl Who Played With Fire has been sent from Unfinished Rambler to Quirkyloon to Boom Boom Larew to me to 00dozo. And now we're spending the week sharing our thoughts on what we've read. We're reviewing in the same order. Check out the following reviews from earlier this week...
Unfinished Rambler - Monday
Quirkyloon - Tuesday
Boom Boom - Wednesday
Just so you know, there'll be no spoilers in my review. I'm not going to get into the plot of the book. But I will tell you how much I enjoyed it.
So how do I start this thing. Well, maybe with a question. What do you get when you cross a 90 something pound, tattooed, computer-hacking, social outcast, misfit waif of a young woman with a somewhat womanizing yet earnest, best-selling investigative journalist?
Well, you get an action-packed trilogy by Stieg Larsson comprised of The Girl With The Dragon Tatoo, The Girl Who Played With Fire and The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest - known collectively as The Millenium Series.
The character Lisbeth Salander is quite the heroine. Thank god she's fictional. If she were real she'd be one mean mo-fo. How can I best describe her? She's an introverted, tattooed, brainy, rockin', punkish goth. Sorta like Quirkyloon. Ah, no I'm just kidding. Quirky's certainly no introvert and I'm not sure if she has any tattoos - if she did it wouldn't a dragon but it might be a zombie! I digress. You know the character Abby in NCIS? Okay, now think of Abby as the clean cut, appropriately dressed one of the family. Lisbeth is her polar opposite.
Not a reasonable facsimile
I have to say that while the first of these stories has been around for some time I always thought these were "chick books", you know maybe like a new version of Harlequin Romance novels. Something womany, right? Boy, was I wrong. And I had no idea there was a trilogy or that each of these books has been made into a movie.
It's hard to mention The Girl Who Played With Fire without mentioning the other two as the storyline carries across the three books. But thank God they're individual books. With each coming in at just over 600 pages can you imaging trying to carry the whole she-bang along in one volume to read every time you had to go to the toilet?
The Girl Who Played With Fire is a "page turner" just like the other two. Primed by the first volume, I dove right into it and was done in a matter of days.
With a background in journalism myself, I enjoyed how the storyline combined prying, comprehensive, investigative journalism techniques undertaken by main character Mikael Blomkvist with the computer-savvy, take-no-prisoners character he shares the novel with, Lisbeth Salander.
I also enjoyed Blomkvist's approach to the ladies. He seemed to know just what his women's wants and desires were and just how to address them to their satisfaction, if you know what I mean. I don't mean to brag but he kinda reminded me of myself in that way. Hey, I pride myself on knowing when to turn down the volume on the football game or when to change my socks after a couple of days. I'm thoughtful and considerate like that.
Anyway, the book weaves all this against an ongoing theme of social injustice vis-a-vis the treatment of women in society.
And there's the matter of ethics, what's right and wrong, be it journalistic research, a police investigation, cold-war espionage, computer theft, revenge and retribution and, yes, even love.
Larsson died of a heart attack at the age of 50, prior to these novels being published. It is said he left three-fourths of a fourth book on his computer and the synopses for a fifth and a sixth book which he intended to include in a total of ten books. How unfortunate his passing. If he had managed to complete the rest then I'd rush right out and snap them up.
This book, indeed the series, has everything a lover of great stories is looking for. In fact I haven't read a collection of works like this since I read His Dark Materials, a trilogy of fantasy novels by Philip Pullman. You may know the first volume, The Golden Compass.
So if you want a good read. Buy this book, or look it up at your library. Or, if you aren't in a hurry, hang on until it comes your way on the tour of The Bloggerhood Of The Traveling Book.
In the meantime visit my fellow member of the Bloggerhood Of The Traveling Book, and the person responsible for the badge at the top of this post, 00dozo @ When I Reach, for her take on the book tomorrow.