Sparrow’s review of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium, #1) > Likes and Comments

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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

Possibly not so great as my loathing for Blomkvist at any moment, but this may be beside the point.


message 2: by Sparrow (new)

Sparrow Huh, really? What do you loathe about him?


message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

You'll probably want to wait to finish before reading my review, but I thought the whole thing was pretty misogynistic, and Blomkvist the smarmy exemplar of this. YMMV; I'm in a clear minority on this one.


message 4: by Sparrow (new)

Sparrow Yeah, I usually try not to read reviews before I finish a book. I've pretty much heard the story of this series like twenty times from different friends, though. But, not recently, so I am reading with a pretty fresh mind.


message 5: by Jessica (new)

Jessica Wait, are these actual passages from the books, or parodies of the book's style?


message 6: by [deleted user] (new)

If you enjoy it, that's cool. I'm not trying to threadshit.


message 7: by Jessica (new)

Jessica *book


message 8: by Sparrow (last edited Jun 18, 2012 09:00PM) (new)

Sparrow They are actual passages. I don't care for the writing style, but I was posting the quotes to remember them because they are parts that I like. I am actually really liking it now. It definitely turned a corner for me. It seems really smart to me at this point.

But, that could change again, of course.


message 9: by Jessica (new)

Jessica Huh, it sounds like you are translating sort of awkwardly from Swedish... I did like the one about the feminist novel though! Hahaha.


message 10: by Sparrow (last edited Jun 18, 2012 09:03PM) (new)

Sparrow Yeah, I think Keg Keeland is translating awkwardly from Swedish for me. There are all these weird moments like hyphenated words that are normally compounds, and that totally bugs me because this woman I hate at school always sends out emails talking about the week-end. Definitely awkward.


message 11: by Jason (new)

Jason Sparrow wrote: "...because this woman I hate at school always sends out emails talking about the week-end."

Who does she think she is, Maggie Smith?


message 12: by Sparrow (new)

Sparrow But, would Maggie Smith even do that? I think the OED has accepted the compound of weekend. She is so terrible (not Maggie Smith, who is wonderful, but this school lady).


message 13: by Jason (new)

Jason No, I just meant that bit from Downton Abbey where she goes, "what is a week-end?" The way your "friend" hyphenates that just reminded me of that scene.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zhfpBW...


message 14: by Sparrow (last edited Jun 19, 2012 10:14AM) (new)

Sparrow Ohhhh, yeah! hahahaha. That was such a good part. I obvs need to re-watch. And, funny enough, that is what people post on facebook every time this lady sends an email about the week-end, but I hadn't put that together. Good job catching me up on facebook double-inside jokes.


message 15: by Jason (new)

Jason Haha, it's my pleasure. :)


Nenia *The Flagrant Liberal* Campbell wow. are we long-lost siblings? because you pretty much touched on everything i liked and disliked about the book hahaha.

(totally bought a beef rueben sandwich after reading this because i was craving pickles and sauerkraut)


message 17: by Jason (new)

Jason OH TEH SANDWICHES, hahah

Are you going to continue the series? The violence just gets worse...


message 18: by Sparrow (new)

Sparrow Pikachu wrote: "wow. are we long-lost siblings? because you pretty much touched on everything i liked and disliked about the book hahaha.

(totally bought a beef rueben sandwich after reading this because i was cr..."


haha! I don't even usually like pickles! But, yumm, actually maybe I do.


message 19: by Sparrow (new)

Sparrow Jason wrote: "OH TEH SANDWICHES, hahah

Are you going to continue the series? The violence just gets worse..."


Oh, that's funny. My friend was saying last night that there isn't that kind of violence in the second and third.

I'm not sure. Not right away at least. I want to read the second in the Proust series, but, also, I want to get through some of the books I own but haven't read. I don't feel totally compelled to continue right away, but it seems likely that I will sometime in the future.


message 20: by Sparrow (last edited Jun 21, 2012 10:50AM) (new)

Sparrow I have to say that while I find reading the violence physically unpleasant, it made the book feel worthwhile. It did not feel sensational or unrealistic to me, even though I know in some ways it was, but it is truly the kind of thing you hear about working at the courthouse or in domestic violence work. I have done very little of that kind of work, and even I have heard cases like this. Not necessarily the serial killing, though I do think that happens.

Anyway, rather than feeling sensational, it really felt to me like a super pissed off journalist wanting to tell me about the shit people tell him every day. I thought it felt fair to describe the violence.


message 21: by Jason (new)

Jason Was that Nils Bjurman scene in this book?


message 22: by Sparrow (new)

Sparrow Yeah, it's like the first thing that actually happens in the book other than people eating sandwiches.


message 23: by Jason (new)

Jason Ok, for some reason I thought it was later. It's all a blur of rape and torture to me I guess. Glad you liked it, though. I thought it had a lot of flaws, but I liked it a lot too.


message 24: by Sparrow (new)

Sparrow Yeah, I don't know if I actually can say I "liked" it, even though there were things that I think I did like about it. But, I am glad it exists.


message 25: by Jason (new)

Jason After the David Fincher movie came out, I had this long friendly debate with my friend who questioned whether the amount of violence in this story is actually necessary. Like to the extent that it is such extreme violence. I mean people, women, get raped all the time, and yes rape is a violent crime, but is it always so extreme like the way it is portrayed in the book? Is Larsson guilty of sensationalizing it in order to make his books more "interesting"? Or were his intentions genuine? I think trying to answer that question is sort of interesting.


message 26: by Sparrow (last edited Jun 21, 2012 11:23AM) (new)

Sparrow Jason wrote: "After the David Fincher movie came out, I had this long friendly debate with my friend who questioned whether the amount of violence in this story is actually necessary. Like to the extent that it ..."

I think four years ago, I might have said it felt exploitative, but it didn't feel that way to me now. And, even then I might not have said that. It feels weird to say this, but, while I don't think the violence was necessary, and I think he could have written it without the violence, to me it didn't need to be necessary. I'm not totally sure I'm going to be able to say this in a way that makes sense, but I think it is bad that women fear describing the violence and hatred they have experienced, and I think describing violence, in and of itself, can be important.

I went to this DV training, and a woman came to one of the classes and talked about the years of violence she experienced at the hands of her husband. One of the things she talked about was how he would come home and break one of her fingers if she had done something he didn't like. And you could see her shaking while she was describing it, but she said, and you could fully tell, that one of the major reasons she was shaking was that it was so hard to tell the story - not because of reliving the story, but because it is bad to talk about experiencing violence.

I will say that if at any point, Larsson had described one of the victims as looking super sexy or whatever in her victimization, I probably would have burned the book. But, I think that talking about violence is actually important if it is for a purpose. The way he talked about the killings sounded to me like stories someone had told him, and stories that you actually read in court cases, so I thought it was effective that he told them. They didn't feel necessary, but they also didn't feel to me like, "Ohhhh, and what if someone did this?! Kinky!" Which would have made me really angry. I think it could have easily gone in that direction, but to me it didn't.


message 27: by Sparrow (last edited Jun 21, 2012 11:31AM) (new)

Sparrow To be more clear, I think it is bad for women to be afraid to describe violence they have experienced because I think it shifts the shame of the experience to the victim. I think it is fair to describe violence for the purpose of pointing out that it is insane and evil, even if it is physically uncomfortable to listen to. And I do think that Larsson consistently describes the violence from the victim's perspective.


message 28: by Manny (new)

Manny For some reason, most Americans don't seem to get this book, but you clearly did. Nice work. And, sorry, I know this is my signature move, but it really does read much better in the original. He was an investigative journalist, and it comes across as well-crafted investigative journalist prose.


message 29: by Sparrow (new)

Sparrow Yeah, I thought about that, and I do think the translation is pretty appalling, but all those sandwiches and detailed descriptions of offices and "when he opened the door, he did so by turning the handle. Then he stepped through the threshold. He saw there were paintings on the wall. They were paintings of landscapes." It would be fine if it were relevant to the story, but I think it is self-indulgent in terms of editing because very little of the detail is relevant.


message 30: by Tatiana (new)

Tatiana Sparrow wrote: "Yeah, I thought about that, and I do think the translation is pretty appalling, but all those sandwiches and detailed descriptions of offices and "when he opened the door, he did so by turning the ..."

The editing gets worse with each book, IMO. And it is the weakest aspect of this trilogy for sure. One can only wonder what shape these books would have taken if the author didn't die before the tweaking of them was finished.


message 31: by Sparrow (new)

Sparrow It is funny because I was trying to think of what I would edit in the book, and I landed on the result that I wouldn't take out any of the scenes, but I would move Salander's report to Frode to the beginning, and I would take out a lot of the sentences in each scene. But, every scene felt important to me by the end, which I feel is an unusual editing issue.


message 32: by Tatiana (new)

Tatiana Sparrow wrote: "It is funny because I was trying to think of what I would edit in the book, and I landed on the result that I wouldn't take out any of the scenes, but I would move Salander's report to Frode to the..."

I remember in 3rd book very clearly that Larsson would describe the same events over and over again via his characters telling the same stories to other characters, and that totally needed to be edited out. For some reason, I don't remember being annoyed by sandwiches.


message 33: by Sparrow (last edited Jun 21, 2012 12:04PM) (new)

Sparrow haha! It is your Russian roots! They were such European sandwiches that they shocked my delicate American sandwich sensibilities.


message 34: by Miriam (new)

Miriam Larsson would describe the same events over and over again via his characters telling the same stories to other characters

That would be interesting if it were a Roshomon type deal with the characters having different versions of the same events.

They were such European sandwiches that they shocked my delicate American sandwich sensibilities.

One meal I had in Sweden had a sandwich as an appetizer to a steak. Awesome! But filling.


message 35: by Sparrow (new)

Sparrow That sounds very filling! These sandwiches were very pate based. I am not a fan of pate, and I kept picturing these people's poor digestive systems trying to handle bread, cheese, pate, pickles, and coffee all day. Guts of steel!

I imagine the repeat descriptions were not a Rashomon homage. There was some of that going on here, too, and the re-tellings tended not to be nuanced.


message 36: by Manny (new)

Manny These sandwiches were very pate based.

Ah, I'm guessing you've never had leverpastej med gurka på rostad limpa. It's much better than you think. And if you have a chance, buy a tube of Kalles Kaviar (often on sale at IKEA stores) and try it on Swedish crispbread with butter and sliced hard-boiled eggs. Swedes really know about sandwiches.


message 37: by Sparrow (new)

Sparrow Well, I lived in Ukraine for a year, so yes, that type of sandwich played a very important part in my diet for some time. Not for me.


message 38: by Manny (new)

Manny I guess tastes differ :)


message 39: by Sparrow (new)

Sparrow Yeah, even with sandwiches.


message 40: by Bibliomantic (new)

Bibliomantic I was doing just fine with the book until I saw you people mention the sandwiches. Now I see them everywhere! (I'll try to get over it, though, as I'm enjoying everything else about the book)


message 41: by Sparrow (new)

Sparrow hahhahaha. Sorry! We are contributing to saving the pickle industry, though! You're welcome, pickles. I hope they give me a commission.


message 42: by Miriam (new)

Miriam The sandwiches I liked in Sweden were basically just a heap of fresh shrimp on a piece of toast.

Speaking of IKEA, their Tangkorn ("caviar" made from seaweed) is really good, and vegetarian.


message 43: by Sparrow (new)

Sparrow Oh, I should try it! I do love seaweed. IKEA totally stresses me out, though, so usually when I get to the food court part, I'm like, "HOLY HECK, just push through! Don't look at the food!" Shopping is overwhelming.


message 44: by Miriam (new)

Miriam At least the one here, there is a separate grocery section and you can just duck into that from outside without going through the rest of the store at all.


message 45: by Sparrow (new)

Sparrow We only have one in Portland, so it's already a lot of work to get there. I realized just now, though, that I have been loving hard-boiled eggs lately, and now this pickle thing. Maybe my tastes are becoming Swedish! I should watch a bunch of Bergman and go snowshoeing! And get some tattoos!


message 46: by Bibliomantic (new)

Bibliomantic In Larsson's defense, I don't think he approves of the sandwich diet. Just earlier today I came across this passage,

He said that he had already eaten, which was partly true. He did not bother with cooking and ate only sandwiches. p.238

It seems like sandwiches aren't considered to be proper food. Perhaps it's a way for Larsson to emphasize how focused Blomkvist is on his projects by how little he cares about other things, such as eating good things. He stops by McDonald's at some point and tends to dismiss dinner invitations.


message 47: by Sparrow (new)

Sparrow Yeah, and Salander, too. I got the same impression - that it was intended to convey a thoughtless meal. But, man, every time! Every time they eat a sandwich he has to tell me about it! Overkill.


message 48: by Bibliomantic (new)

Bibliomantic Yes, that and the coffee.


message 49: by Sparrow (new)

Sparrow And specific dimensions of rooms that do not matter. Also, why is everyone's house 500 sq ft.? And why does Larsson seem so surprised at the square footage since everyone's house seems to be that big?


message 50: by Maya (last edited Jun 21, 2012 02:42PM) (new)

Maya very interesting review, that focuses on some aspects of this book I have largely ignored. I barely remember any of the quotes o_O
Did you know that the original title of this is "Men who hate women"? It fits the story so much better than the English title imho. Or at least it makes the main issue of the book a lot clearer. The biography of the author is also pretty interesting in this aspect.


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