Popular fiction and I are not bedfellows, strange or otherwise. We’ve never slept together, even platonically, not ever, not once, no matter how much Scotch was involved. And if you’ve got photos, let me mention Photoshop. That was not me. Or maybe it was, but I was so very young at the time and I swear I remember nothing, just that my socks were on the living room floor in the morning.
So yes, I finally read the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and I blame it on NPR. Some interview said Larsson based his Girl on Pippi Longstocking. So yes, I also blame Pippi Longstocking. And Bob, who recommended this book. And my parents, who gave me my first library card.
I won’t go into how much I dislike this book; literary criticism is not my strong suit. When I like something I turn cartwheels. When I dislike something, I point an index finger to the uvula. Either way, that leaves no more than one hand on the keyboard.
But let me say just this: Don’t ever tell me a character looked quizzical. The next thing you know, he or she will be arching the left eyebrow. And then what's left but something sardonic, twisty-like, making mischief around the corner of the lips.
I don't mind so much all the cliches, and that Larsson felt he could pass along short-hand character descriptions, such as this woman looked like Ingrid Bergman and another like Lauren Bacall.
I do mind that he only broke out the Thesaurus to describe some atrocities in the realm of sexual abuse. Particularly, when, if I’m right about this, he was supposed to be positing something about women and the power of women. Even though his female character was the size of a Wheatland terrier. And this terrier was erotically attractive to the detective we, as the reader, were supposed to trust.
Oh hell, this is another reason I hate to write literary criticism. My lips are going all twisty-like and I think I sprained my left eyebrow.