Thursday, April 30, 2009

A book and a TV show that make me talk out loud

First up, Chuck's season finale made me laugh out loud and say "WHAT???" To quote my sister, it was awesome. Here's hoping NBC renews it for next season.

Swedish author Stieg Larsson's The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo was truly an interesting, engrossing read--one that will stick with me. I even dreamed about it (a high compliment, indeed!).

From the start, it's apparent that this is going to be a different sort of book. The protagonist, Mikael Blomkvist, is sentenced to jail within the first chapter, guilty of libeling a very powerful financial guru. (And no, he doesn't get off. He serves his time.) When a wealthy man offers to help Mikael take down the guru in return for solving a murder that's haunted him for almost 40 years, Mikael accepts.

As a separate plot line that becomes entangled with Mikael's is Lisbeth Salander--a truly fascinating character who dresses like a punk rocker but is a brilliant investigator. Mikael and Lisbeth don't interact until at least midway through the book but their first scene is wonderful. Larsson does a fabulous job of creating characters--everyone is distinct.

The book is dark, however, and had a fascinating interweaving of violence against women and people's reactions to it. It wasn't exactly subtle, but the theme was so well-done that Larsson deserves props.

The very last page, though, made me say "WHAT?!?!?" and not exactly in a good way. It was understandable but not what I wanted for the ending--until I found out Dragon Tattoo is the first book in a trilogy. Phew! And from what I've read of book two, it's even better than this one.

Rating: 9.5/10

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