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Recent retiree--35 year's experience teaching reading, English, adult basic education and volunteer leadership skills. Started this blog to exchange ideas and commentary with friends and others having an interest in joining the discussions. Greatest life accomplishments include: 1.organized my 3rd grade class to check out library books for me to get around librarian's weekly limit--Amazon.com, the Mullins Elementary 3rd Grade Class of 1956 is still waiting for "thank you" notes; 2. volunteered in the Peace Corps, island of St. Kitts, West Indies; 3.taught adults to read, earn their GEDs., and speak English as a second language; 4. bought a border collie puppy for $6, got evicted rather than give him up, and began a life-long love affair with all things "Dog"; 5. joined a physical fitness boot camp in my mid-50s--don't mess with someone who's been doing regulation pushups in wet grass at 5:30 a.m.; 6. walked across Northern England with best friend Sally--over 80 miles from the Irish to North Seas; and 7. travelled to many foreign countries for pleasure and work.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Teaser Tuesday - Stieg Larsson's Millennium Trilogy

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by Miz B at Should Be Reading . All readers are welcome to play. The rules are simple: 1. open your current read to a random page (well sort of); 2. share two "teaser" sentences from this page, making sure they're not spoilers for the next reader; 3. link your post in the comments on Miz B's website; and 4. try to check out other players' posts and leave a comment--we all love them!

This week I'm a bit late writing my post because I decided to do a teaser for three books--Swedish writer Stieg Larsson's international bestselling thrillers, the Millennium trilogy. Also, I want to tell you about the first movie based on this trilogy. I saw Girl with the Dragon Tattoo before reading the books and was immediately fascinated by the storyline, characters, and heart stopping pace of the film. In about three weeks I read the three books almost in one setting each, staying up all night to see what happens. Now that's a great read!

I was also glad to have seen the "Dragon Tattoo" movie first to help me visualize the Swedish setting for the novels--cold, snowy, watery countryside. More importantly, I had a picture in my mind of Larsson's two central characters--Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist. Lisbeth Salander is a brilliant computer hacker with a photographic memory who works as an investigator for a security company. Salander is a non-communicative social misfit who strikes out violently at anyone who threatens her. Some reviewers say she may be borderline autistic or suffer from Asperger's syndrome. Her looks--slight boyish figure, fierce physicality, goth appearance with multiple piercings and tattoos--further emphasize her differences from other young Swedish women. Salander has been victimized and brutalized most of her life by people in authority who were charged with protecting her. These violations are the backdrop for all three novels.

Michael Blomkvist is an investigative journalist for the liberal leaning Millennium Magazine and freelancer who takes on corrupt financial and governmental institutions and exposes them to the public. Even if it means being sued for libel, being set up, and sentenced to a jail term for his supposed crime. Blomkvist operates by a strict journalistic code. He gets the story right before he publishes it and he doesn't betray his sources. Most important for his relationship with Salander, he is a fiercely loyal friend who uses his considerable journalistic talents and personal connections to help her. Someone who has her back--a first for Salander.

Here are my teasers for each book. If you decide to read, they should be read in order because the story builds over the three works:

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (pub. Stockholm 2005)

"But he does have some secrets?" Frode said. "Everyone has secrets," Salander replied neutrally. "It's just a matter of finding out what they are." p. 50

Synopsis: Journalist Mikael Blomkvist and computer hacker Lisbeth Salander investigate the unsolved disappearance over twenty years ago of a teenage girl of the powerful Vanger family. In the process, they uncover dark family secrets and connections to Blomkvist's journalistic career. Journalist and hacker begin an uneasy partnership.

The Girl Who Played With Fire (pub. Stockholm 2006)

"She lay on her back fastened by leather straps to a narrow bed. The harness was tight across her rib cage. Her hands were manacled to the sides of the bed. It was the 43rd day of her imprisonment. It was her 13th birthday." p. 3 & 6

Synopsis: Blomkvist's Millennium Magazine launches an expose of the Swedish sex trade that proves collusion by a rogue arm of the secret security police. Two staffers involved in the investigation are brutally murdered and the police pursue Salander as a prime suspect because of the secrets she knows.

The Girl who Kicked The Hornet's Nest (pub. Stockholm 2007)

"Rescue Service helicopter coming in. Two patients. An injured man and a young woman. The woman has gunshot wounds." p. 5

Salandar is critically wounded and a prisoner in a city hospital. She is to go on trial for three murders. Somehow she must prove her innocence plus identify and denounce the authorities who have allowed the vulnerable, like herself, to suffer abuse and violence. Blomkvist is her main ally.

Here is the U.S. trailer for The Girl With a Dragon Tattoo film. Warning: it is very intense and, at times, incredibly violent. At the same time it's almost like an art film. Noomi Rapace transforms herself physically into this 24 year old waif. Michael Nyquist is perfectly cast as the older, steady Blomkvist. I think you'll see why it was good to see this film before reading the trilogy. Films based on the other two novels are scheduled for release later this year and early 2011.

After this total immersion in Stieg Larsson, I became interested in Swedish crime writing and drama. Next week I'll be talking about Henning Mankell's Kurt Wallander mysteries.


Lady Q said...

Great teasers! I really want to read these books! I saw a review of the movie the other day from someone who has read the books and they said it was awesome. BTW, I put some pictures of my dogs up on my blog!

Marg said...

I read the books before I saw the movie, and agree that seeing the movie would probably help with visualisation, but I am one of those people who prefers the books to movies.

I thought the casting for the movie was excellent. The girl who played Lisbeth was so good. There was only one character that was off in my opinion and that was Sonia, but in the movie her role was more minor than it was in the book.

Can't wait to see the next movie.

冠宛君中 said...

財富並非永遠的朋友,但朋友卻是永遠的財富。 ............................................................

紋謙PhilCrispin0 said...

與朋友在一起,分擔的痛苦是減半的痛苦,分享的快樂是加倍的快樂。 ............................................................

Jennifer said...

Enjoyed your teasers! I've ben hearing a lot about these novels lately. I'll have to read the first one at some point.

Jennifer said...

Enjoyed your teasers! I've ben hearing a lot about these novels lately. I'll have to read the first one at some point.

Phyl said...

What wonderful teasers, post, and review! I might not have been interested in these books before reading this, but now I'm really intrigued, and may pick them up.

Thanks so much for the thorough and interesting job! Well done!

And thanks for dropping by my Bookishgal blog.

-- Phyl at Bookishgal (since the comment publisher only lets me sign this comment with my Google account rather than my more frequent identities/locations)

Janice said...

I'm anxious to read all 3 after seeing " . . . Dragon Tatoo." They have them at Sam's. The waiting list at the library is 154!

Cousin M said...

After trying to get "Dragon Tatoo" from the library for about a year,I gave up and bought a copy. Haven't started it yet - it's going on vacation with me next week - but your review makes me even more excited to get into it.

王周宏儒 said...


Lane said...

I plan to read these soon and looking forward to it.

Talking of Wallander, have you seen the TV versions? Kenneth Branngh is the UK version and it's very good. The Swedish production though seems much more authentic and the acting is riveting.