The third volume in Stieg Larsson’s immensely successful Millennium trilogy, “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest,” finally goes on sale here this month. Except for “,” Americans haven’t been so eager for a book since the early 1840s, when they thronged the docks in New York, hailing incoming ships for news of Little Nell in ’s “Old Curiosity Shop.” That was before Amazon. This time, particularly impatient readers simply paid a premium and ordered the new book from England, where it came out months ago (though with the apostrophe in a different place, making the “Hornet” plural).
- “The Afterlife of Stieg Larsson,” The New York Times, 2010 May 17
… except I didn’t pay a premium and saved myself weeks of what would have been agonising curiosity and $13, not including tax, instead, and it was much worth it.
(Of the three volumes, my favourite is The Girl Who Played With Fire, then The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, then The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. Dragon Tattoo was amazing, of course, but I find myself nodding along with the writer of another New York Times Article:
The novels’ central appeal, however, remains Salander herself: a heroine who takes on a legal system and evil, cartoony villains with equal ferocity and resourcefulness; a damaged sprite of a girl who becomes a goth-attired avenging angel who can hack into any computer in the world and seemingly defeat any foe in hand-to-hand combat.
- “A Punk Pixie’s Ominous Past,” The New York Times, 2010 May 20
It’s true: Lisbeth Salander is badass, which isn’t to downplay Blomkvist because this is one of those scenarios where one is loathe to prefer one element — or book — over another.)
Also in Book Talk Land, I finished Let the Right One In recently — what’s with the sudden love affair with the Swedes? — which was consumed in a whirlwind 24 hours during the work week. Despite my love for vampires and vampire lore, contemporary treatment of vampires isn’t one I seek out much at all, but Let the Right One In was well worth the time and movie tie-in cover. (The film, as much as I’ve seen thus far, is also excellent, both as adaptation and as film.)
Currently treading my way through a pile of Sylvia Plath relevant material — I’m almost through with The Silent Woman (which amplifies my ambivalence and generally not positive thoughts towards biographies), moving quickly through The Cambridge Companion to Sylvia Plath (nothing new or enlightening thus far, but I appreciate the sections where Plath’s work is set in historical and social context), and ploughing my way through Letters Home (it’s a fast read, superficially fascinating but disappointing because of the expurgation and ellipses galore).
Currently sitting in the office, thinking of picking up Ted Hughes’ letters sometime soon. Biographies and memoirs I might neither read much of nor care to, but journals and letters? Deliver them to my doorstep as soon as possible, please!