First and foremost I have to say that I liked this better than The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
. Second and nextmost I have to say that I still
do not give one rat's ass about Lisbeth Salander.
Wait, let me qualify that.
I think I probably could really like Lisbeth Salander, but I don't like what Larsson has done with her as a character. I was annoyed by the first book because it was evident that Larsson had a penchant for surly girls with combat boots which (I believe) is a brand-new thing in Sweden because he was way too fascinated by her for me to believe that surly girls are at all the norm in his country.
But in this second book she sort of cleans herself up a bit. I'm not really a fan of that, but okay. However, then she went and did something I'm totally baffled by. In this second book she shows up with a fresh boob job. A what now? A boob job.
This is so uncharacteristic of her, I can barely deal with it. I realize that the purpose was something along the lines of making herself unrecognizable, as she does some other things with that purpose in mind. Then Larsson seems a little fixated on them in the beginning, only to never reference them again. I thought that they would serve a purpose in the story, like they would include Go-Go-Gadget-nipples! or would serve as a flotation device or something. But they were never mentioned again, which leaves me to believe Larsson simply wanted to feminize Lisbeth more than she had been previously - something I don't think was necessary at all. She cared too much about her new breasteses which I had a hard time really wrapping my mind around since normally she's such a bad-ass and all. The Lisbeth Salander I thought I knew wouldn't give two fucks about her body to begin with, and then wouldn't give two more fucks about her new breasts to the point that she has to have sex with a 16-year-old boy for the first time after getting them, I guess to like break them in or whatever? She wanted to make sure they looked normal, that much I got. Lisbeth? Caring what someone thought of her titties? I'm not buying it.
(This may be the most I've ever talked about boobies in a review. Ever.)
Other than that, the story really is okay. I felt it was more of a page-turner than the first book, and I certainly cared more this time - at least I cared enough
to try to keep all the names straight. Still, I'm sorry, I managed to confuse Blomkvist and Bublanski in my head. Whatever, they both start with the letter B. And I'm lazy.
There's less graphic, violence sex in this one. Y'know, if that's important to you. There's still violence
though, and some good bits of that, I might add. Not American Psycho
-violent, but a nice enough amount to not seem completely out of line for the story.
I've read some reviews that complain that Lisbeth disappears for most of the book; it's probably not surprising but I actually liked it when she was out of the picture. Not that she was fully out of the picture. They talked about her a lot. TOO much, as far as I was concerned. It was all IKEA, 7-Eleven, Billy's Pan Pizza, and LISBETH. Lisbeth is amazing, Lisbeth can do no wrong, Lisbeth is a dyke, Lisbeth isn't a dyke, Lisbeth will cut you, Lisbeth wouldn't kill anyone, Lisbeth had a bad past, OMG what was Lisbeth's bad past. I think the book could have been cut in half if the editors had just removed all of the times Blomkvist puts Lisbeth up on a pedestal. Once was enough. Anything after that was redundant. Faste is a prick, got it. Move on. The guy with a ponytail is a tank. Noted. Mimmie Wu is into some raunchy things. Jeez, who cares.
It still sounds like I didn't really like the book, doesn't it? I don't know what to do about that. It kept my interest, I'm not disgusted by it, and I consider it to be a step above a "popcorn read" which is what I considered the first book. I still don't think these books are nearly as incredible as everyone thinks they are, but this is the first time I finally got an inkling as to what my be considered appealing by the masses.