I just had to take a break from Proust! And I had to see what all the shoutin' was about. Unfortunately I was rather underwhelmed. Based on the priorI just had to take a break from Proust! And I had to see what all the shoutin' was about. Unfortunately I was rather underwhelmed. Based on the prior clamor surrounding this book, I expected great things and that was a mistake. Had I not read anything about it before I read it, I might have bumped it up a star but this book suffered under the hype.
Primarily, I did not get the lead character, Mikael Blomqvist. Larsson writes him as being admired and easily liked in the book by the other characters, and obviously he is the lead/hero, but I didn't find anything remarkable about him. He has sex with nearly every female that crosses his path, including married women and women more than half his age, and he does this seemingly just because they are there rather than by any compulsion or professed interest in them. That's not new.
He abandons his daughter and the character even admits he is a "bad father" although this unlikeable fact seems to be portrayed by Larsson as being acceptable BECAUSE the character can admit he is a bad father. What?
He smokes constantly and drinks more coffee and hard liquor than should be humanly possible to process and -- like the sex -- seemingly because it is just offered and available rather than due to any personal preference or need. (I constantly kept thinking how AWFUL the character's breath must really be!)
He serves time in prison -- the cause for which Larsson mitigates as being due to a sympathetic error in journalistic judgment by Blomqvist rather than as a headstrong choice or criminal pathology. This editorial choice by Larsson makes for a really boring character.
In short, Blomqvist seemed to me to be a character without any real character at all and that would explain why he faces no crisis of conscience, no challenge to his mission, and basically confronts no internal conflict whatsoever in the progression of the story. He is a very static character.
How boring is that?
And yet, he is proposed as the "hero" of the book. mheh. I didn't buy it. Maybe they can do more with it in the movie?
The general story, however, of the dysfunction and pathological behavior of a very wealthy corporate-owning family, and the ultimate discovery of life-long hidden secret behavior, was interesting. I did not find it clever or tricky, nor did I have any "ah-hah" moments. But interesting and fairly well written in that aspect.
And the character of Lisbeth Salander was quite an interesting portrayal. There did seem to be surprises, turmoil, conflict, and quite a bit of internal chaos happening in her. She is the only reason the book succeeds. She is instantly shocking, somewhat repulsive, and yet she makes you want to know what she is going to do next. ...more
Fascinating facts! Since 2005, the best chocolate in the world has come from Italy (as selected by the Academy of Chocolate in London). Toscano BlackFascinating facts! Since 2005, the best chocolate in the world has come from Italy (as selected by the Academy of Chocolate in London). Toscano Black 63% made by Amedei near Pisa. The best selling classical music recording of all time is Vivaldi's "The Four Seasons." Luciano Pavarotti was a school teacher before he was ever discovered as an opera singer. We wouldn't have "James Bond" movies but for the Italian amily that created broccoli (a cross of cauliflower and rabe named for the Broccoli family of Calabria). Albert Broccoli bought the rights to the Ian Fleming novels and voila!
Hoffman has also written "little known facts" books on several other locations, including New York City....more
I really loved watching Andre play tennis. The game isn't the same without him playing so I was very anxious to read this book.
I loved the beginningI really loved watching Andre play tennis. The game isn't the same without him playing so I was very anxious to read this book.
I loved the beginning of this book and enjoyed the seemingly consistent "openness" of his memoir. I especially liked the detailed stories of his more memorable tennis experiences.
But I have to be honest. By the end of the book, I was sort of wishing I hadn't read it. I realize the point of his memoir was to "tell all" and let people know the darker parts of his persona so that people understand that he is not and was not everything people thought about him. But really, I didn't want to know that he lied to reporters -- all the time about pretty much everything -- which is exactly why we all seemed to think what we thought about him! OR that he lied IN A SIGNED STATEMENT to the ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals) about his drug use. It really bothered me that he would do that and he didn't even seem sorry or ashamed that he did it. And the language. The book is riddled with really foul language. Rather shocking. More so considering that in his afterword, he focused on how much he hoped his CHILDREN would cherish and enjoy the book. Huh? Why would you want your CHILDREN to read that sort of thing?
Sort of takes the polish of his star for me....more
Quite witty and thoroughly fun to read. A collection of short stories that make you laugh out loud. Just a wee bit too anecdotal and thus the 4, ratheQuite witty and thoroughly fun to read. A collection of short stories that make you laugh out loud. Just a wee bit too anecdotal and thus the 4, rather than 5 stars....more
I spent an afternoon in the bookstore and picked this up to peruse. It is a true "coffee table book" and can be read easily in a short period of time.I spent an afternoon in the bookstore and picked this up to peruse. It is a true "coffee table book" and can be read easily in a short period of time. The gist: the author left stacks of post cards around and about with a note asking folks to mail him the card containing an anonymous secret. He got most of them back and this book is a collection of those secrets. One woman confessed that during her marriage, she ground up sleeping pills and put them in her husband's food so he would leave her alone! LOL, except she said it never worked. Darn the bad luck. A most disturbing confession was the person who admitted the he/she contemplated suicide all the time and if we really knew why, we would want him/her dead, too. Hmmmm. ...more
I received this book as a birthday gift and stayed up late and read the whole thing. Many wonderful looking recipes. My rating might go up to 4 or eveI received this book as a birthday gift and stayed up late and read the whole thing. Many wonderful looking recipes. My rating might go up to 4 or even 5 stars once I start cooking from it and find it as easy as she alleges it should be. But in reviewing the recipes, they look sort of involved. I am a tad bit intimidated already!...more
Well, hmmm. I did not think it was everything it was supposed to be cracked up to be. But an interesting story of enlightenment and life's journey. ItWell, hmmm. I did not think it was everything it was supposed to be cracked up to be. But an interesting story of enlightenment and life's journey. It was a quick, easy read, however. So if you have a few days, give it a look see....more