Monday, March 14, 2011

Random Thoughts on the Milennium Trilogy

I finally finished the last book in Stieg Larsson's Milennium trilogy this weekend. It makes me quite sad that he was unable to write more—although I do think that the ending of The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest serves as a nice ending to the whole series.  ou're not quite sure what will happen to Lisbeth and Mikael, but at least they're in a good place.

I know I attempted a comparison between book and movie for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, but I decided not to do the same for the other books and movies. As I stated in that blog post, I will always prefer the book to the movie. And, as I learned in the case of these books and movies, I should definitely not watch the movie based on the book so soon after reading the book—it just makes it so hard to enjoy the movie for what it is. But in the movies' defense, these books are so full of different characters and subplots, that it would be impossible to make the movies just like the books. There will be some inevitable shaving down of parts and characters. And I think if I re-watch these movies at another time, I will enjoy them much more! I definitely think people who have not read the books would think the movies were incredibly awesome.

So, I have read that Stieg Larsson planned to do more books in this series, but his untimely death put a stop to that. I have also read that his partner may continue writing the books based on what he had written so far and his outlines. I'm not sure how I feel about that, but it might be nice to get answers to some unanswered questions I have. Namely:

  • Whatever happened to Lisbeth's sister—was she going to enter the picture at any point?
  • Does Lisbeth ever regain her interest for math and Fermat's theorem? Does she ever remember how she solved it?
  • Did she indeed have Asperger's syndrome?
  • Why was she so interested in DNA? Was she looking for some connection between her and her father (and possibly half-brother and why it was he was born with that condition where he doesn't feel pain)?

I also would love to hear about the end of the Blomkvist/Figueroa romance. I just didn't buy it. She seemed too needy to me—always trying to coerce him to spending more time with her. Just the sort of behavior that usually drives men away. But then again, he's used to very strong women, like Berger and Salander who don't require him to be around all the time, so maybe Figueroa was a breath of fresh air. And perhaps I didn't like Blomkvist falling for Figueroa because I was sort of expecting him and Salander to end up together. I am a sucker for a happy ending and I thought it was quite sad that the first time Lisbeth let her guard down enough to fall in love, he was too busy f'ing Erika Berger to even notice.

Speaking of Blomkvist, I wonder how Stieg Larsson saw him in his head—I could definitely tell that he was middle aged and not exactly a super model or in the awesomest of shape, but several women in the series did find him attractive, so he must have not been too bad. I liked that an average looking guy was hooking up with average looking women (perhaps Lisbeth is an exception to this, of course)—sometimes I get sick of reading books where everyone in them is gorgeous and desirable.

Once I got used to all of the Swedish names and places and worked through the boring financial portions, I was definitely hooked on these books. Larsson creates very unique and complex characters—even the bad guys have depth to them. I got so caught up in the lives of these characters and read for hours at a time to find out just what happened. In the second book when Palmgren revealed who Lisbeth's father was, I actually audibly gasped. And I cheered (in my head) for both Lisbeth and Annika at the trial as they kept beating the shit out of the prosecution (figuratively)—especially the part where Lisbeth takes Ekström to task for not asking actual questions.

I can definitely see why these books are best sellers and I will definitely be re-reading them in the future. I have a feeling that they're the kind of books where you discover something new every time you read them. And, of course, knowing how the story plays itself out will help you notice all the foreshadowing and clues that you probably didn't notice the first time. I'm kind of excited for enough time to pass so I can read them again!

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