I'm late to the party with this one, so I won't bother to write a full review.
I read the whole trilogy after seeing the first movie. (I am, of course,...moreI'm late to the party with this one, so I won't bother to write a full review.
I read the whole trilogy after seeing the first movie. (I am, of course, assuming that they will make the others.) After seeing the movie, I knew much of what to expect in the book, although I have to say that it was nice to see some of the things I'd inferred from the action of the movie laid out explicitly in the book. (view spoiler)[In particular, I was glad to see that I was right about Katniss' relationship with Peeta in the first Games--that she was uncertain about her feelings but knew she needed to manipulate the sponsors. (hide spoiler)]
If I hadn't read the full trilogy all at one go, I might have stopped after the first book. It was good, but seeing the movie first (as well as the sheer predictability of it) weakened the emotional intensity of it for me. However, I did have the full trilogy, and the second book sucked me in completely.
I understand there is some debate in fan circles about the last book. I will put myself in the camp of those that loved it. It was brutal and exactly what it needed to be.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
On April 23, 2012, I will be giving away 20 copies of this book as a part of World Book Night in Detroit.
In order to be better able to "sell" the book...moreOn April 23, 2012, I will be giving away 20 copies of this book as a part of World Book Night in Detroit.
In order to be better able to "sell" the book (aka, convince people to take a free book from me), I bought a copy and read it. I started the book yesterday afternoon and I finished it today--before noon.
There is very little that I can say about this book that has not already been said. It is tragic, and hopeful, and incredibly painful. I cried as I read about Henrietta Lacks' death. I found the struggles of her children heart-wrenching as well.
Skloot explains that she originally wanted to tell the story of Henrietta Lacks, in part because so little was known about her as a person--despite all of the knowledge about the HeLa cells, grown from slices of her cervical tumor. In her effort to learn about Lacks, Skloot contacted a professor that had access to the family. After long, continued effort, Skloot managed to meet and speak with Henrietta Lacks' surviving children. They had been continually abused by the medical community (even having their genetic profiles published in a medical journal without their permission in the 70s), and it was a difficult task to gain their trust. In the process, this book shifted and changed. Originally about Henrietta and the HeLa cells alone, instead it became a book about the Lacks family and the use of tissue cultures in scientific research. Henrietta's surviving daughter, Deborah, specifically wanted the book to be about Henrietta and her older sister, Elsie, who died at 15 in an institution for insane African American patients. (Elsie was not insane--her exact diagnosis remains unknown, but she most likely suffered from a combination of deafness and developmental mental problems.) This also became a book about Deborah and her struggle to understand her mother's role in modern science.
This is a moving, difficult book about a complex situation and a series of ethical mistakes. I highly recommend it to anyone, but especially to those entering the medical field. We must remember the ethical failures of our past so that, just like every important lesson, we don't repeat them.
If there is one final lesson that I think this book teaches, it is that we cannot have such a thing as "informed consent" if don't have an informed population.(less)
**spoiler alert** This book is nearly 600 pages long, and I read most of it in one day. Once I picked it up, I could not put it down.
Larsson's writing...more**spoiler alert** This book is nearly 600 pages long, and I read most of it in one day. Once I picked it up, I could not put it down.
Larsson's writing (and the translation from Swedish) is superb. The book is filled with details, all of which add to the story. At times, the narrative seems to follow tangents, but all of them serve to illustrate essential facts about our characters and their lives.
From what I understand, this book has been made into a movie, and one of the alternate titles is Men Who Hate Women. I find that appropriate. As much as this is a novel about the girl with the dragon tattoo, it's also about men that don't think women--or even some other men--are human.
The villians are one of the weakest points in this book, but that's only because we readers are never invited into their thoughts. While we may understand some of their motivations based on commonly understood bits of psychology, much of their reasoning is left unclear. The sad fact is that their are plenty of men like this in the world, men who hate women, and we may never understand them. All I can hope for is that there will be a Blomkvist and Salander to bring them down. (less)