Though you wouldn't be able to tell this by looking at my normal selection of reading material. One could easily get me confused with a 12 year old girl or a 16 year old boy. Let's put it this way, I used to work at Barnes & Noble and took the opportunity to bury myself in fantasy and YA (young adult) novels. Not the latest memoir/self help tome from the celebrity/asshole du jour, not the most recent offering for women examining relationships with food/sister/friends/self/sex and definitely not the 'classics' (in fact I have never even picked up a copy of Pride and Prejudice). Nope, give me my fantasy and YA. Why? Because to me they are better written and (this is most important) unpretentious. They aren't trying to impress the reader with erudite, flowing lines, for soaring metaphors or for existential truths. They simply tell a story. Reading is my escape and I'll be damned if I want to be lectured at so I simply choose not to read it. My 'library' table is piled high with The Darwath Trilogy, the Percy Jackson series, the latest in 'he Wheel of Time, and the newest from Rick Riordan 'The Kane Chronicles'. And of course, the Twilight series.
*Okay, I don't know what just happened but I tried to Control-I and instead Control-somethinged which published the post even though it really wasn't supposed to. So sorry about that....*
So it is with great fanfare that I announce my recently completed reading marathon of...the Millennium trilogy by Stieg Larssons. The story and conflicts were gripping though the Swedish history lessons took me a few tries to follow (I was way too distracted trying to figure out how to pronounce some of the names but finally got past that) and as I also like a thrilling mystery, this fit in my repertoire nicely. HOWEVER, and I'm loath to speak ill of the dead, Herr Larssons seemed to have a MASSIVE problem with women. As in, they were repeatedly assaulted and abused throughout the series which was quite disturbing at times. To his credit, they didn't all rely on a man rescuing them; they rescued each other and found strength and independence through their respective experiences but still. DAMN. Also distracting was the very very short, simple sentence structure. I'm no fan of the page-long run on sentence with wanton use of semicolons, colons and parentheses but a few compound sentences and the restrained sprinkle of adverbs and even(gasp!) the judicious use of metaphors would have been a welcome way to keep the flow from breaking. But, I'm willing to overlook that as it was translated from Swedish and the subtleties do tend to get lost in translation. To summarize: while I loved the overall story, I was aghast at the treatment of women and lukewarm on the writing style. Check it out for yourself and form your own opinion before Hollywood gets completely ahold of this and bastardizes it beyond all recognition.
Though with the assaults and abuses are such an integral part, I don't know how they can pull this off without an NC-17 rating and still do justice to the story. So there you have it, my first book/series review and no spoilers given away. No plot given away either; I'm coy like that.
(Also, I'm pumping right now any my boobs itch. Lovely. I'm sure that you wanted to know. I'm a giver. No need to thank me.)