I’ve never been one for New Year’s resolutions, but I’m going to try for a summer one and aim to post here more often.

My recent reading has been largely fiction. I finished  The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo a week or so ago and started The Girl Who Played With Fire.

What follows definitely includes some spoilers. Consider yourself warned.

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo was an excellent book. It is always impressive when an author is able to sustain a story over that kind of length without losing focus. The story isn’t incredibly deep or profound, perhaps, but it is captivating, with vivid characters and a variety of interesting subplots. The story is very layered. There is Blomkvist, the journalist found guilty of libel and the plots that emanate from him (the results of the libel suit, on the one hand, and the job he gets offered on the other). And then there is Lisbeth Salander, the young hacker who has her own complex interactions with government interference in her life, along with the growing relationship that develops between her and Blomkvist. Surrounding Blomkvist and Salander are a constellation of other characters who float in and out of the core stories. As I said, complex, but impressively managed.

Sadly, A and I followed it up by going to see the film version of the The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, which was disappointing. I don’t understand the positive critical response to it (I have to assume the critics haven’t read the book), because the movie altered some very fundamental elements of the book (ie the difference calling the police and not calling them when one discovers that someone is a serial killer is huge) and removed whole aspects of the book (ie Blomkvist’s relationship with Erika, which led to Erika being fairly irrelevent in the film).

I can’t figure out whether I would have enjoyed the film without having read the book. I certainly felt stuck comparing the two, whether I wanted to or not. The book was too fresh in my mind not to.

The one positive aspect of the film, though, was the casting. The characters, all of them, although particularly Blomkvist and Salander, were perfect representations of what I had in mind after reading the book.

I’m still only at the beginning of the The Girl Who Played With Fire, but enjoying it so far. I have no desire to see the film (which is playing in town this month), though.

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