Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Dragons! Tattoos!

"When it comes down to it, this story is not primarily about spies and secret government agencies; it's about violence against women, and the men who enable it"

After a week and a half spent on the beaches here in Southeastern Michigan, I've finished Stieg Larsson's The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest and have thus finished the Dragon Tattoo trilogy. I thoroughly enjoyed the series although I may have to agree with Lehr in thinking the (American) movie outdid the first novel. Here's hoping the next few movies are put into production and live up to the first.

While I agree with the quote up top, I do wonder why, if this is what Stieg was really trying to get at, why he spent a solid 400 pages on spies and government agencies. And his style of writing can be a bother - rather dry and heavily including the smallest of details. I suppose the style is supposed to mirror Salander's (the girl with the dragon tattoo) mind, but it gets tiresome. 

Either way, he highlights the still under-acknowledged issue of violence against women. I'm not sure if this is a counter-balance to the issue or not but Stieg's picture of sexuality is pretty fascinating. The dominance that men taken over women is pretty blatant but Salander's response borders on similar levels of dominance.

As sexuality is often used as a form of power, it's also regarded rather flippantly between many of the main characters. It is a rare instance when sex is partnered with commitment or attachment. Perhaps it is more of my reaction against a looser European view of sexuality, I don't know.

At any rate, and perhaps in contradiction to my style critique, the series is a page-turner and perfect for a summer read. I only wish Stieg were still alive and able to comment on his novels.

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