Monday, December 8, 2014
The Millennium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson (read 11/10 to 11/28)
These books are about Lisabeth Salander, a girl with a photographic memory and major trust issues that have lead to poor social skills. At first you don't realize Salander is the main character, you think it is the journalist she has been hired to do research for, Mikael Blomkvist. And yes the first book does revolve around him a lot, but he isn't it, Salander is the first book is just a set up, and introduction so to speak to the meat of the story, to Salander and her amazing detective skills, and her amazingly complicated and in many ways tragic life.
During my book club for The Girls with the Dragon Tattoo, one of the members stated that she was annoyed about Lisabeth falling in love with Blomkvist, since he was such and obvious player and so much older. I never saw this as a love story at all, it feels the exact opposite of a love story, it is a mystery thriller with some sex thrown in. Lisabeth falling for Blomkvist isn't really a love story, it is about a socially awkward and walled off individual finally letting some of her walls down and trusting someone besides herself, I think it is sad that she feels so betrayed by Blomkvist, because who she really is betrayed by is herself. She knew going in what he was like and she is mad at herself for falling for him anyways. And because she has never had to deal with those types of feelings she is projecting her hurt and anger at him, rather than herself, I know I have projected bad decisions not the person I made the decision with rather than myself for making that decision too. I think the love angle was thrown in at the end to give a lead in to the next book. And Blomkvist is not bad looking, but he has the personality that puts women at ease and allows them to let their guards down, again why Lisabeth is so mad at him.
This story was about the crimes, the murders, the corruption. I really do think Larsson was trying to make a statement about the corporations in Sweden and the corruption in government. If you read between the lines he really does not like the big companies and he seems to have little faith that the Swedish Government is doing anything to regulate or correct. These books have much more social commentary than I expected, and the next book goes into a similar but new issue. I don't know much about Sweden and how the country is run or its laws, but I can see the same issues being present in the US. This book came out in 2008, right in the middle of the "recession," so I can see how a lot of people could relate because of what was happening at the time. There was so much loss of trust in traders, the stock market and banks, and I think this was published at a great time to ride that wave. At the same time I think it was more than the timing that made this book so good, we are 6 years past and it still grabbed me. Maybe it is because I work with business that are now always not the up and up, and I can see this in action. But I was way more enthralled with the mystery and the uncovering of the corruption, the love story that wasn't was a side bar for me.
In the next two books we really get into Salander's life and why she is the way she is. It makes so much in the first book clearer, and explains why she acts the way she does. By the end of the third book Salander is not healed or whole, but she has started down the path, I would have really loved to see where Larsson had her end up.