Sunday, January 03, 2010

Cannonball Read, Book 6: The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson

The Girl Who Played with Fire is the second book in a trilogy. It continues on with the adventures of Lisbeth Salander, the socially-retarded genius computer hacker, and Mikael Blomkvist, investigative journalist.

First off, if you happen to buy the copy I had of the book, (Quercus paperback) avoid reading the back cover -- it gives away stuff that doesn't occur until at least a third of the way through the book. Seriously, what kind of moron puts spoilers on the cover of the book?

So. Overall, I liked this. Lisbeth and Mikael are still interesting and the character development seems appropriate to who they were in the last book. The story has some surprising twists and I read the entire thing in two days.

However, it has one big problem that irritated me. Get ready, I'm putting on my serious feminist thinker hat. Both this and the first book in the series deal heavily with abuse of women or as the author states "Men Who Hate Women" (side note -- this was the original title of the first book and IMHO much better than the title it had in English). I appreciate Larsson's desire to shine a light on violence against women. I believe that he wrote these books in good faith and wasn't some sort of secret pervert. But the problem is that the way he writes about sexual assault is kind of fetishizing. You can just say a woman was raped -- there's no need to go into four or five pages of detail about exactly how and in what position and with what instruments. There's probably thousands of books out there that are much worse in terms of this stuff -- I've certainly read a few -- it's just for me there's a bit of disconnect between a book that is supposedly working against something that simultaneously seems to somehow celebrate the same thing.

Other than that, it's good. It's got the typical "man-who-cannot-be-killed" trope popular in this type of book, but at least it's well-explained here. The secondary characters are fairly fleshed out, and there even a few red herrings thrown in that are pretty effective.

This isn't great literature, but in comparison to Dan Brown or Ken Follett, it's well-written and worth the $6 for the paperback.

36 comments:

  1. 我的痛苦會停止,但求我的心能征服它。........................................

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