Sunday, June 27, 2010

I Like To Torture Myself. You Know It.

So I'm reading The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest, and it's driving me nuts. I'm on page 250 of a 550+ page book, and so far it's all just chessboard setting. Nothing exciting is happening at all. I am seriously considering not finishing it.

It's like reading Mansfield Park for Pete's sake. 400 pages of annoyance for 50 pages of payoff. And Steig Larsson was not a good writer--there's too much tell and no show, and he's horribly over detailed. Plus, he's introduced so many freaking characters with backstory who then disappear that it's too much and you as the reader can't work out what is important and who is going to play a role.

However it has been useful to get a glimpse of another culture. Swedes! They're Just Like Us! Let me list the ways:

They like cheap cute furniture available at Ikea.
They drink lots of coffee. Lots and lots of coffee.
Their newspapers are in trouble and caught in a downward spiral of being crappy.
Swedes are fascinated by the idea of bisexual mass murders and other salacious details. And also uncomfortable with the whole bisexual thing. (Because Larsson mentions it tons, like it's a big, important detail.)
Outsourcing! They have that!
Biker gangs! They have them too!
A housing market that drives up prices in the inner core and leads to urban sprawl. Maybe that's what Blomqvist was going to look in the 4th book.
Misogyny. Well, that's universal.

It's funny how a bad book can bog down your whole life. I want to finish it, but it's so slow, yet I feel that I can't turn my attention to other stuff until I come to a detente with this book.

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