I'm on the fence a little with this one. I don't think the author did a lick of research on "dykes" or people with aspergers syndrome. His handling ofI'm on the fence a little with this one. I don't think the author did a lick of research on "dykes" or people with aspergers syndrome. His handling of both (based on my own experiences with both) is shallow and sometimes problematic. I can't help but feel that the story could have been made all the richer if Salanger's character had been given a little more attention. Instead, Stieg went the route of cliche and developed Lisbeth's sexuality as a result of confusion and bad experiences with men. This is reinforced by her "girlfriend," who, of course is tall, attractive and into S & M, latex and sex clubs. The author does very little to demonstrate Lisbeth's "strange" or "weird" social inequities other than to state that she's "not normal." For that reason, I found myself constantly frustrated and ready to battle when the author finally gets around to building her character a little bit more. But he never does. And for that matter, he does little to build Berger's character either. All I know is that she screws around "like a man." How convenient. As much as I'd like to imagine this woman, I find it very hard to because she seems so obviously constructed to fit into a stereotypical heterosexual male fantasy. Stieg seems to have been aware of that so he included a scene in which Berger screws to men at once to subvert the cliche. It didn't work.
I must say that I was also frustrated by the search for Salanger. About half way through the book I contemplated shelving it because it was a redundant story going nowhere but circles. The last chapter definitely saves the entire novel. And the moment when Salanger stops to contemplate the resolution of that pesky equation was fantastic. However, I wish more had been done to solidify her as the heroine and turn her into the complex individual that the author on the surface describes her to be but seems hesitant to flesh out. The bar is set high for the third novel in the series!...more
I loved reading this book and could relate to so many of the issues that the author confronts head-on and in an incredibly frank and sincere way. SheI loved reading this book and could relate to so many of the issues that the author confronts head-on and in an incredibly frank and sincere way. She doesn't skate a fine line around "delicate" issues and there are moments of self criticism/ revelation that I will not soon forget. For example, when she finally meets her biological father in person and is incredibly struck by the fact that they have the same "ass!!" She knew then that she was without a doubt related to this person....more
My one complaint about this novel is that I wanted more. The story is well crafted and concisely rendered. Perhaps a little too concise? There are briMy one complaint about this novel is that I wanted more. The story is well crafted and concisely rendered. Perhaps a little too concise? There are brief, but lovely moments of reflection and inner dialogue that build a sense of the main character, Sara, without entirely revealing her. The reader is kept at a respectable distance - a device that I found entirely interesting. By the end of the story you realize that you know little more about the basic narrative than what you read on the book jacket, but the teeny glimmers of insight that you did gain were nonetheless captivating. I suspect that the author was hesitant to write in any more detail about the South Pacific Islanders and their tattooing practices/ daily minutae because the research that would have necessitated may have been too demanding. But I suppose that is what I was left wanting?