5 Followers
13 Following
lorenzoberardi

The Library of Babel

A Spin-off of http://bookwormshead.blogspot.co.uk

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - Stieg Larsson Summer is coming and I'm finally winning over my Larsson prejudice.

Being a big fan of the Swedish literature that was once seen as a subterranean phenomenon (at least in Italy) I was somehow disappointed when Stieg Larsson got that hype.
I know, I know this is very snobbish of mine, but I bet it happens to many other people around. Perhaps it's more common with music. It's kind of disturbing when your best kept secrets pop up in daily conversations. Of course it may be stupid talking about an "underground literature" just like it's silly labeling some music as "indie", but still it was rewarding playing the bookpusher game.

That sensation became even worse when apparently every single crime fiction book coming from Sweden was reaching the top of the selling charts. The name of the author was unimportant.

Now, after exactly 148 pages of this opener of the Millennium trilogy, I have to admit how Stieg Larsson deserved at least a part of his success. This book is captivating, somehow funny and it gently tickles your brains without asking you to overthink.
It reminds me some crime fiction novels I used to read when I was a young adult, the episodes of "Alfred Hitchcock presents" as well as a match of "Cluedo". The idea of printing a map of the Hedeby island as a crime zone... well is very naive.

Even not recalling by personal memories most of the Stockholm that Larsson writes about (originally one of the main reasons behind my decision of picking this book up) I like the (winky) characters and even consider the plot kind of plausible.

Curiously enough this novel doesn't look that "Swedish" or "Scandinavian" to me. Not yet. And this capacity of staying out of those labels is a part of its worthiness.
Let's read what will come next: updating required.

Update:
Ok, now I'm done with this book. Well, what I could add more? From page 150 or something to page 500 or something there is plenty of that explicit sexual violence that I was expecting by the reviews I had read and Larsson knows how to put it in the storyframe using a rather convincing technique.

Still there are some other aspects that could have written in a better way.

For instance, I've found quite odd the idea of not separating in a more skillful and effective way the two parallel stories of Mikael Blomqvist and Lisbeth Salander. One can be pretty sure there will be an intersection between these two plots sooner or later, but just leaving a blank line every now and then for that long passing from Mikael to Lisbeth and back without any logical rhythm left me sceptical.

Just for being overpedantic, I also have to notice how some parts of the book look like copy&paste from catalogues like in the whole page it takes Larsson to talk about the extrapowerful Mac of Lisbeth Salander. For what use he gave us all those informations about the Ram, GB memory available, visual Nvidia and so on? Ok, she's a bloody pitiless hacker, but come on, are we in an Apple store?

Anyways, I guess how I will read the 2nd book as soon as possible, so poor Stieg managed to create a successful story.

PS: May I say that the English title of the novel is awful?