Monday, 12 August 2013
Cottage Reading 4
I finished reading The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson, the second book in the trilogy after The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I have seldom, if ever, been as enthralled by a book or a character so completely. I finished the many, many hundreds of pages in a very few days.
The heroine Lisbeth Salander is, to my mind, one of the most compelling characters ever created in fiction. She is a female anti-hero which is rare. Probably a bit like Katniss in the Hunger Games - although I have only seen the movie and not yet encountered the books -another trilogy as I understand. It is intriguing and not entirely clear to me why Lisbeth is so compelling. She is involved in much serious violence which is common to male antiheros al la Bruce Willis - both as victim and perpetrator. However, as one of the male characters states she is imminently moral - only she operates out of her own clear sense of morality. She is extremely capable and talented in many way but very vulnerable at the same time with many obvious character flaws. Not something which is portrayed in many male antiheros.
A rather surprizing comparison came to mind - probably because I am resident on PEI currently and have been soaking in all thing Island for about two months now. Lisbeth struck me as having similarities to Ann - she of Green Gables fame. This was surprizing to me as there is, as far as I know, no violence in the Ann stories. However, for what I know of Ann - which isn't a great deal - she is someone who has a deep sense of justice and shows great determination to see justice done as does Lisbeth. Similarly she also has her own unique view of the world she is living in which is not shared by those around her. Not being all that knowledgeable about Ann as I mentioned, I checked out my thought on this with my local Ann expert - Lorna. She was basically in agreement with me. I was introduced to Ann on one of our early car trips to PEI with the book on tape and was similarly engaged with that story.
All in all I would warn against picking up these books unless you are able to spend significant time engaged with Lisbeth and all the others characters in Stieg's fertile imagination.