What with elections, a change in job and various other things, this last month has yet again been a bit of a washout for this blog, but I plan to change that fairly soon. I have also written a load of posts that never appeared on this site for one reason or another and so I will put them up on the date they were supposed to have appeared as soon as I can.
However, one thing that I had to post about straightaway was a book that I have just finished reading – The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson. This book has had huge critical acclaim and was recommended to me by my parents and one of my friends, and it certainly lived up to the hype. It also fitted quite nicely with an increasing trend of mine to read Swedish fiction – something which wasn’t possible until the current fashion for translating Scandinavian literature in to English.
This book started as a simple mystery and family saga but grew in to a fast moving political thriller. It also started by telling the story of two completely different characters who seemingly had little in common, but when they eventually came together the story really took off and the story moved from interesting to gripping. The advantage of having a long train journey to and from work now is that I can read a lot more than I used to and I finished this book within days, but I still hated having to put it down at the end of my journey. The only odd note of the book was how it would occasionally include some very specific technical detail, for example there is a lot of information on the make and spec of Lisbeth Salander’s computer. Some of the details though on what people were eating and which shops they used perhaps added a stronger sense of place for someone like me who knows a certain amount about Sweden.
I am now looking forward to the next two books in the trilogy, the next of which “The Girl who Played with Fire” has been translated to English and is available in hardback. My parents have already read all three in Swedish and actually consider the first book the weakest, and so the other two must be very good. It is such a shame that Stieg Larsson died shortly after handing the books over to his publisher and so we will only ever have these three books.