Friday, April 20, 2012

So. I finished reading the Larsson trilogy (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest) today. I feel as though I should write a book report for you guys. I won't, don't worry. But if you are so inclined, they are a fascinating commentary on violence against women and perpetrators and feminism, with a little espionage and serial murder to keep the plot moving. So interesting. Keeping in mind that my media diet consists primarily of Disney cartoons (Peter Pan and The Sword and the Stone are the new favorites around here) and Downton Abbey (I'm so ready for Season 3!), the books were somewhat outside of my normal frame of reference. But I really enjoyed thinking about something different for a little while. If you've read them, maybe you have something more coherent to say about them in the comments? I would love to hear your thoughts.

In unrelated news, Emmy got her cast off today.  She just watched the little saw with interest, as though someone approaching her arm with a functioning weapon was a common occurrence.  I was surprised at how well she handled it, though in general today was a day full of tantrums for little Emmy. We've reached the end of the preschool year, when school becomes more of a chore (field trips and egg hunts and inservice days, oh my) than a help. So today, when I finally had everyone actually in their classroom, and my presence wasn't required, I had quite a list to check off before noon. And of course neither Emmy nor I slept well the night before (did I mention I finished reading a book? When else could that possibly happen, except the middle of the night?) Then Emmy was up for an hour at 4 and, well, our errands went exactly as well as you think they did. I'm not even embarrassed to carry a screaming child out of a store anymore. It's just so ... tiring. Surely this is a sign that parenthood has worn me down, right?


Heather Truett said...

I loved them b/c I loved Lisbeth. I loved her arrogance and her ability to "put it to the man," so to speak. I dressed up as her two halloweens ago, and that was so much fun.

Lisa said...

Oh, yeah, I'm way past the "embarrassed by my screaming kid" stage. I drag her 48-lb body kicking and screaming out of stores on a regular basis. This, perhaps, has something to do with her impulsive need to touch everything in site and beg for at least half of it to be bought for her highness, and then throw a huge tantrum when I refuse to put up with either behavior. When I get "the stare" from other customers, I give them "the glare"...the one that says, "Oh yeah, just go ahead and question my parenting. I dare you."

Anonymous said...

I haven't read the second two books yet, but I finished "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" a couple days ago.

Prior to reading the book, I'd watched both of the movie adaptations. The Swedish adaptation had a sort of fundamental conflict within it--the great quantities of graphic sexual content and female nudity were offered up as titillation for viewers, while one of the the basic messages of the story is that women should be respected. In fact, the Swedish film was so raunchy that I quit watching it, and only finished it later, when I got curious about the ending. The American version toned the graphic sexual stuff down a notch, and the plot didn't meander as much as the Swedish version. In general, I'd say it was a really well-made film about disturbing subject matter.

Compared to the films, I found the book warmer and maybe more compassionate. The characters are basically all promiscuous, which is unfortunate, but we get to see what motivates them and how they think, and Salander makes much more sense on the page than she does on the big screen, where she's more or less depicted as a rude, indecipherable little goth chick.

Is it effective at raising awareness of sexual assault and such? Perhaps. I'm not sure. There were places where the statistics on violence were really distracting from the story itself, or where a portion read like an informative essay on why Salander was a ward of the state. If something doesn't move the plot along or provide some insight into a character, I don't think it should be included.

What do you think?