Cannonball Read IV

A bunch of Pajibans reading and reviewing and honoring AlabamaPink.

Archive for the tag “re-reads”

narfna’s #CBR4 Review #37: Ready Player One (audiobook) by Ernest Cline, narr. by Wil Wheaton

Look, I wasn’t kidding when I said I wanted to read this book again immediately after I read it the first time, because that’s exactly what I did. I reserved the audiobook at my library, and when it came in, I rushed my fanny over there to check it out. It was a glorious three weeks of listening to Wil Wheaton’s gravelly nerd voice driving back and forth from work, and the story held up wonderfully on re-read.

Actually, probably the closest comparison I can make for having re-read the book so soon is like that thing you sometimes do (or maybe you don’t, I don’t know, but I definitely do) when you go and see a movie and you love it so much that you immediately go out and watch it three more times. The last time I did that was for Star Trek back in 2009. God, I love that movie.

Coincidentally, Wil Wheaton did the voices for all the Romulans in Star Trek — that dude is just really good at his shit. So not only did I get to listen to this book and its awesomeness all over again, but his performance is wonderful. It’s one of the best audiobooks I’ve ever listened to (some of my other favorites are Ron Perlman’s narration of City of Thieves, Stephen Fry’s narration of the Harry Potter books, which I MUCH prefer to the Jim Dale versions, and Lenny Henry’s performance of Anansi Boys. Henry’s performance actually elevates the book, and I’m convinced it’s the reason it’s one of my favorite books, when everyone I know who’s read it and NOT listened to the audiobook merely enjoyed it. Longest parenthetical ever). Wil Wheaton has actually narrated a bunch of John Scalzi books, and since I’m on a Scalzi reading kick right now, I hope I can track some inexpensive or free versions of those books down sometime soon. Any help in this matter would be greatly appreciated, as my library system is being a huge buzzkill at the moment.

Anyway, let’s all just take a moment and give thanks for Wil Wheaton. Wil: I appreciate you. I like your beard and your gravelly voice and how super super nerdy you are. I also secretly like Wesley Crusher, but don’t tell anyone or I’ll lose all my internet cred.

narfna’s #CBR4 Review #36: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

So I pretty much almost exploded from conflicting emotions the last time I read this book. I was torn between liking/loving certain things and being SO UPSET and BETRAYED about others, and also the rational part of my brain that isn’t affected by feelings (so, the small part) realized that there was a reason for the way things turned out, but the majority of my brain was like FUCK YOU, BOOK. It was extra upsetting being so conflicted, so basically I was upset about being upset. It was just a fuckstorm of emotion*, I’m telling you. Thankfully, this time through, I was way less conflicted, and I’m glad to say I was actually able to enjoy myself.**

*I am copyrighting this phrase and am now going to use it at all times.

**You know what else is a fuckstorm of emotion? The season four finale of Doctor Who, which I spent all of Friday night watching for the millionth time, and you probably don’t care, but I don’t care that you don’t care. Watch Doctor Who, motherfuckers.

One of the reasons, probably the main reason, that I was so upset the first time through is that I was under the very wrong impression that just because this was a YA book, that meant it was going to have a YA ending. Instead, Collins goes to the dark place and she doesn’t back down. This series is a story about war and how war is always always bad and does terrible things to people, whether it’s making them into victims or unwillingly participants, or making them do awful things in the name of justice and victory. This is a story about how people in power will always, always use the people underneath them, for good or evil. Collins’ whole thing is that war makes people forget about the humanity of it all, which is what the Hunger Games was about: keeping the people of the Capitol happy like fat little sheep, providing them entertainment and dehumanizing the rebellious districts to the point where the people of those districts weren’t real. So of course, yeah: that kind of story isn’t going to have a happy ending. It’s going to have an ending that enforces all the above points, and it’s going to kick all of its characters when they’re down, maybe even after, because otherwise the spectacle of this series would end up just being as cheap and awful for us as the Hunger Games are to the characters in this book.

So yeah, all the crap that happens in this book is still awful, and it still hurt to read, but the pain was a dull one, and the betrayal I felt over what I thought Collins had done to her characters turned into this sort of awful sadness about why she had done it in the first place. Yeah, she corrupted Peeta, ruined something pure, but war ruins beautiful things. That real/not real game he and Katniss play near the end (that they inherited from Finnick and Annie)? It’s representative of that very thing, that the two of them have seen so many horrible things that they’re not even sure what’s real anymore. Just awful. And yeah, she killed Finnick for practically no reason. That journey in the sewers, that mission, it had no real purpose, and it’s only REAL consequence was the death of Prim. Yeah, she killed Prim. Prim needed to die for Katniss to realize that Coin was just as bad as Snow in her way, that Katniss’s real enemies are those who take her choices away from her, who take people’s humanity as their own possessions and use it to move them around like chess pieces, as if it were some game at stake and not real life.

And I genuinely enjoyed some stuff: Katniss assassinating Coin instead of Snow, that last scene with Buttercup (heartbreaking as it is), Katniss’s reasons for being with Peeta . . . and of course, “Well, don’t expect us to be too impressed. We just saw Finnick Odair in his underwear.” They better not cut that part out of the movie; I’ll boycott, I swear! (No, I won’t.)

[Crossposted on Goodreads.]

narfna’s #CBR4 Review #35: Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

One of the things I talked about in my review of The Hunger Games was how well it held up on a second reading. Catching Fire holds up, but it doesn’t hold up nearly as well as THG, in large part because of the way Collins structured it as “the middle book.” Like a lot of middle installments, Catching Fire is designed to bridge the gap in between the beginning and the end, and it can’t really stand on its own as a story. You need to have read book one, and you will need to read book three. There isn’t a single plot thread that is introduced and resolved in this book. All of them either began in THG or will conclude in Mockingjay. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it does have the effect of making Catching Fire (in retrospect for me) the least effective book in the series.

However.

That doesn’t mean I still didn’t enjoy the hell out of this book. As I noted in my shorter review upon first finishing, this series has the narrative force of a bullet train. You just cannot put it down, even if you already know what’s going to happen. So many things are clear on re-read, and it’s amazing how much plot and thematic set-up Collins pulls off in this book, setting the stage for her ending. We don’t realize it until we finish Mockingjay, but even as far back as the ending of book one, it’s clear (especially on re-read) to what extent Katniss is a just a cog in the machine, being used for other people’s ends (even the “good guys” do this to her).

In that sense, I liked Catching Fire better this time because I could see all that thematic groundwork being laid in place, and it was extremely satisfying, but I also liked it a little less for other reasons. Because I knew what was coming I was able to emotionally compartmentalize in a way that I couldn’t before, and look at the book as a whole. I really think the fact that this book can’t stand on its own is to its detriment (but just slightly). It’s all about transition and consequences, and things that can’t be resolved until the end of the series, and that’s not really something that matters the first time through, but when I stop to think about it it kind of rankles.

But those are piddly complaints, really, because some of my favorite moments in the series are in this book: Peeta and Katniss on the beach, Katniss kissing Gale on the table (so what, I like kissing eff you), Katniss and Haymitch bonding over their damaged souls, getting to look into the deeper history of the games, Peeta and Katniss cuddling (I SAID SHUT UP), the actual set up of the games, FINNICK ODAIR, etc. I also really like Katniss’s confusion, how people keep demanding things from her and she never stops questioning it.

And the cover is pretty, all red and gold. A+ for design, guys.

[Cross-posted to Goodreads]

narfna’s #CBR4 Review #34: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

I put off and put off the re-read of this series for as long as I could, but I finally gave in. I picked it up, read the first paragraph, and before I knew it I was accidentally fifty pages in, so I was just like, okay, fuck it: this is my Saturday (and Sunday and Monday for books two and three, as it turns out).

It’s funny how when you’re a a part of an online community how different pop culture can feel, and how things can trend with a certain group of people. Everything feels more personal. The online circles I tend to frequent are full of smart, geeky, enthusiastic wonderful people, and in those circles shit like The Hunger Games – intelligent thrill rides that you can finish off (or rather, that you HAVE to finish off) in a single sitting – tends to flourish. Unfortunately, that also means I have little beyond my own thoughts and experiences to add to the discussion. This book might just be the most reviewed book in this here Cannonball. Plus, with the release of the film, it’s Hunger Games fever out there.

I do have some things to say about reading this book for the second time, which was a much different experience than reading it for the first time. It’s the true test of a good book if it’s still enjoyable the second go-round even though you know what’s going to happen, and the Hunger Games series definitely holds up (I will even venture to say that it was better on re-read for me).

I had some issues with the writing the first time through, but because I’ve now spent so much time with these characters and this story, and I love them now, that was much less important to me this time. This time around it was less about what’s going to happen next and more about watching how this thing sets up the next thing, or how this other thing is paid off later, or how this other other thing reads completely different now that I know how that thing over there turns out. The narrative makes even more sense in retrospect, as does Katniss. Especially after the glut of YA dystopian/romances I’ve subjected myself to since reading this book for the first time, I really appreciate the Katniss of it all. Her particular brand of individual personhood is refreshing. She struggles with her feelings, and she doesn’t act like a typical character in a dystopian romance, bland and non-specific. She is three dimensional and has a definite personality, one that is wonderfully grating at times.

Actually, I think the love triangle gets too much play out here in the real world. This book is not about a love triangle; that’s just a secondary thing. Katniss’s love life is secondary, maybe even tertiary, both to the narrative and to her as a character. Obviously, her fake “love life” put on by the cameras is very much in the foreground, but in those moments we’re inside of Katniss’s head, it’s almost never about love. It’s about survival, and playing the game. Any real feelings she develops for Peeta or discovers about Gale are so muted and confused for her that she can’t even begin to sort them out until all of this is over for good. This is a war story, a story about how greed and spectacle are used to anesthitize the masses and keep the status quo, and sure it’s got love in it, maybe even as driving force, but not the kind of love that makes teenagers ask each other if they’re Team Peeta or Team Gale.

What surprised me the most about re-reading this book is how completely absorbing this story still is, despite having read it before, and despite having just seen the movie. It was just as un-put-downable as the first time I read it, and because I’ve internalized it, the story feels like it’s mine now. So yeah, I’m adding a star to my previous four star rating. I think the book has earned it.

[Link to original review here.]

narfna’s #CBR4 Review(s) #17-26: Y: The Last Man by Brian K. Vaughan

Every few years or so, it becomes necessary for me to do a Y: The Last Man re-read. Now is that time.

I first picked Y up in the summer of 2007 when I happened to wander into my local comic book shop in search of Buffy comics (mind you, I was a comic reading virgin at this point, so Buffy was my gateway drug). After I’d picked up Buffy #1, I wandered up to the counter and struck up a conversation with the boy working there, and as happens in nerd-centered areas of society, we had much in common. So after awhile of chatting and nonsense — mostly Joss Whedon related – I was like, HEY, WHAT ELSE IS GOOD. And he put Vol. 1 of Y: The Last Man into my hands.

Vol. 1 — “Unmanned” (★★★★★)

What would happen if all the men died? All but one, anyway. That’s what Y: The Last Man asks, following in the grand and depressing tradition of Mary Shelley. Yorick Brown and his monkey are seemingly the last males on Earth. He has to learn to live in a world where he’s either the most sought after prize, or the most sought after target. Often it’s both.

I am always and continuously newly surprised every time I come to the Goodreads page for this book. There are so many people who find it offensive or over the top or chauvinist or whatever their other issues are. I just want to shake all of you people. This series is FUN, and certainly you have to suspend a lot of your disbelief to believe something like this is possible, but so what? I love lots of stories that are “unbelievable” because I love what they’re trying to do, and at heart, I love what Y is trying to say about the human condition, even if it depresses the shit out of me (but that’s a story for Vol. 10).

[Review continued here . . .]

Vol. 2 — “Cycles” (★★★★)

Yorick, Agent 355, and Dr. Mann have to find a way to cross the US without Yorick’s secret being discovered (you know, that he has a wang). Yorick, the foolish romantic that he is, wants to go to Australia to find his girlfriend Beth, but everyone else wants him to help save humanity and stuff. Dr. Mann is the world’s foremost expert on cloning — and even though she blames herself for the manpocalypse (it happened right as her clone-child was being born) — she has agreed to try and find an answer. But following them closely is the cult The Daughters of the Amazon, which Yorick’s sister Hero, in her grief and rage, has joined. The Amazons are led by a crazy bitch named Victoria who is honestly my least favorite part of this entire series. (What is with villains named Victoria being completely awful?)

[Review continued here . . .]

Vol. 3 — “One Small Step” (★★★★★)

Vol. 3 of Y: The Last Man is split into two parts. The first is the titular One Small Step, which features our protagonists meeting a Russian named Natalya who is desperately trying to reach Kansas for the landing of the International Space Shuttle capsule Soyuz, which contains three astronauts. Two of them are men. They’ve been stuck in space three months longer than they should have been, and they’re about to make an emergency landing at one of the US’s Hot Suites, a safehouse designed to protect its inhabitants from viral or bacterial contaminants. Yorick is extremely pleased that he will no longer be the last man on Earth, as he feels woefully ill-suited to the task. Meanwhile, the Israeli special forces team that is hunting Yorick at the request of his mother, goes a little rogue. The leader, Alter Tse’Elon, decides to keep Yorick for Israel. Alter thinks like a soldier and not like a human being. She is totally annoying. Things escalate from there.

[Review continued here . . .]

Vol. 4 — “Safeword” (★★★★)

Like Vol. 3, Vol. 4 is split into two stories. First is the three issues the volume takes its name from, Safeword. Safeword played much differently for me the first two times I read it, and I wasn’t really sure if it had succeeded in its goal. But we’re always different people when we read things over and over, and I think I finally get what this story was going for, even if it’s not my favorite.

Yorick and Co. have a sick Ampersand on their hands, and so 355 leaves Yorick in the capable hands of her former colleague, 711, while she and Dr. Mann take Ampersand to the hospital. 711 has been in retirement ever since her husband died in the plague. 711 takes it upon herself to cure Yorick of the secret suicidal tendencies he’s been harboring since the day all the men died, and it gets super weird and disturbing (I’m thinking particularly of an image involving a tissue and some flies).

[Review continued here . . .]

Vol. 5 — “Ring of Truth” (★★★★★)

It’s been two years since an unknown plague (or something) killed all the men on Earth except for Yorick Brown, a young, unemployed escape artist. Vol. 5 is the largest in the series, following three different stories full of the Adventures of Yorick.

In Tongues of Flame, Yorick leaves 355 and Allison sleeping at a YMCA (fittingly enough) to seek confession in a nearby church (he’s still feeling guilty about accidentally killing that girl from the Sons of Arizona). What he finds instead is a beautiful blonde girl named Beth, but she’s not that Beth. She’s a former flight attendant who was up in the air when the plague hit. She had to land the plane, and all but three of the women on board died. She survived but she has a scar running all across her face, and now she takes care of this abandoned church, because where else is she going to go? She doesn’t give Yorick the absolution he was seeking, but maybe she gives him something better. It’s a nice little character piece, and yeah, Yorick finally gets to have some sex.

[Review continued here . . .]

Vol. 6 — “Girl on Girl” (★★★★)

This is probably my least favorite book in the series. Nothing much happens, and the stuff that happens is kind of ridiculous, even for a story predicated on ridiculous things. I mean, pirates, heroin, one-eyed Australians . . . I guess it could just be my own personal hang-ups, but it all feels kind of silly and inconsequential. And the title, Girl on Girl rubs me the wrong way, even if it is a double entendre (literally girls fighting girls, the pirates versus the Australian submarine chicks). Because we’ve also got 355 and Dr. Mann hooking up, and Yorick walking in on them. That moment plays with more significance on re-reads, more for what it says about Yorick than anything else, but it’s kind of abrupt the first time through.

[Review continued here . . .]

Vol. 7 — “Paper Dolls” (★★★★)

I’m still not sure why this volume is called Paper Dolls. In the wake of the Australian submarine fiasco, Yorick and Co. are hitching a ride to Japan on that very submarine, and they’ve picked up a companion: Rose, a “former” Australian Royal Navy spy. I say former because of course she’s still active, and her true mission is to infiltrate Yorick’s group, now whether that’s to protect or to hurt him is still up in the air. Meanwhile, Yorick cannot stand that they are stopped in Australia and he isn’t allowed to get out and look for Beth. It’s taken him three years to get here, so 355 relents and gives him 24 hours on the mainland before the sub is set to leave for Japan. Yorick doesn’t find Beth, although he does find confirmation that she’s alive and headed for Paris, but he does find a tabloid reporter who strips him naked and takes a picture of his wobbly bits to use as front page news.

[Review continued here . . .]

Vol. 8 — “Kimono Dragons” (★★★★)

Yorick, 355, Allison, and Rose have finally reached Japan. Allison and Rose stay in Yokogata to check out Allison’s mother’s old lab, figuring it can’t be a coincidence that Ampersand was brought through here, and 355 and Yorick head to Tokyo to follow his signal. Allison and Rose find Allison’s mother, but Toyota found her first. She stabs Rose through the stomach and takes Allison’s mother hostage, saying she wants Ampersand, and now it’s Allison’s job to find him. Meanwhile, Yorick and 355 get mixed up in the Japanese mafia, which is now being run by a coked up former Canadian pop star named Epiphany who has an unnatural attachment to Ampersand.

[Review continued here . . .]

Vol. 9 — “Motherland”(★★★★)

This is the one where we get all the answers. Vol. 10 is reserved for thematic and emotional cleanup, and Vol. 9 tells us the rest. Turns out Y is not the last man, he’s one of two, and the other is Allison’s father, Dr. Matsumori. He claims that it was his act of cloning Allison — not himself — that brought on the plague . . . and he’s determined to finish the job. Both Matsumori and Toyota are taken care of in the end, but not before 355 is gravely injured. Allison’s mother patches her up, but she won’t be able to have any kids. This doesn’t seem to be an issue until Allison points out that she’s in love with Yorick, and has been for quite some time. But 355 keeps it to herself, and she and Yorick head to Paris to look for Beth, not knowing that Other Beth, Beth, Jr. (Yorick’s daughter), and Hero are also headed there. Allison and Rose stay behind, as it’s now Allison’s duty to mankind to repopulate the Earth with Yorick clones until she can perfect the cure to the plague and bring back other men from the dead, clone-style.

[Review continued here . . .]

Vol. 10 — “Whys and Wherefores” (★★★★)

This is just the saddest fucking thing. I can’t even . . . it gets sadder every fucking time I read it.

Yorick the 17th: So this is it, huh?
Yorick the 1st: What’s that?
Yorick the 17th: You know, growing old. All I have to look forward to is pain and misery . . . and heartbreak.
Yorick the 2st: No. No, first comes boyhood. You get to play with soldiers and spacemen, cowboys and ninjas, pirates and robots. But before you know it, all that comes to an end. And then, Remo Williams, is when the adventure begins.

Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio; a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy; he hath borne me on his back a thousand times; and now, how abhorred in my imagination it is! My gorge rises at it. Here hung those lips that I have kissed I know not how oft. Where be your gibes now?

Fucking hell.

[Review continued here . . .]

Individual star ratings are indicated above, but as a whole series, five stars. Excuse me while I go cry into a pillow.

narfna’s #CBR4 Review #14: The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson

This book is when you realize that the Millennium trilogy is really all about Lisbeth Salander. It takes up all the threads woven into place in Dragon Tattoo and starts to make a tapestry of them: Lisbeth’s mysterious back-story, what’s she’s done with the fortune she stole from Hans Erik Wennerström, the continued consequences of her guardian Bjurman raping her (and the revenge that is currently represented by the tattoo on his stomach), and the reappearance of her former guardian, Holger Palmgren — not to mention her relationship with Mikael Blomkvist. The book is structured around solving the murders of two people who were working on an exposé on sex trafficking for Millennium, and due to unforeseen circumstances, it’s Lisbeth the police are hunting for the murder. The police, Blomkvist and Millennium, and Lisbeth’s old employer, Dragan Armansky, are all trying to solve the murders at the same time, and they all have different reasons for doing so. What they really end up investigating is Lisbeth’s life, and they find secrets there that even she didn’t know.

Also fulfilled from Dragon Tattoo is Dragan Armansky’s premonition that Lisbeth would be the perfect victim, which sounds kind of offensive at first, but after having read this book, I see what he means. She is other in almost every way imaginable, and thus she is the perfect bogeyman, the perfect scapegoat. The media in the novel plays on Sweden’s (and our very human) cultural obsession with social deviance; it’s the kind of simplistic scapegoating that always assumes that different equals evil. She is presumed to be the murderer based on the preconceived notions of men who don’t even know her. Without directly stating it, Larsson is indicting the infrastructure of the criminal justice system and the men who run it — they let their prejudices about mental illness, sexuality, gender (the assumption that Lisbeth is a prostitute, just because she likes sex) influence the way they investigate these murders. And of course he sticks some men in there who just hate women, because they feel threatened by them.

The one criticism I have isn’t really a criticism, as it doesn’t hamper my enjoyment of the story. The book is structured so that the reader may be left in doubt as to whether Salander committed the murders, but it’s almost a waste of time. There is never a moment’s doubt about Salander’s innocence. We’ve come to know and trust her over the course of a book and a half, and we know that she would never murder two innocent people, especially people who have devoted a significant portion of their lives to exposing the men who make a living — or gain sexual pleasure — from exploiting and harming women.

Structurally, The Girl Who Played With Fire is also notable for the distinct lack of interaction — save for in its last two pages — of its two leads. Blomkvist and Salander spend the whole book apart, as Salander isn’t sure how to deal with her feelings for him, or with the hurt pride that comes with them. One of the things I like most about their relationship is how stupid Lisbeth feels for loving Blomkvist. She has no capacity for understanding her own feelings, or the feelings of others, and can’t fathom that Blomkvist might really care for her, even if it’s not in the way she wishes. She expects the worst of people, and for just a second there she let herself believe Blomkvist was different, so it was all the more painful for her when she realized she’d let him in where he could hurt her the most. It makes me sad. (Incidentally, I think that Rooney Mara did an impeccable job conveying that tender and guarded emotionality in Fincher’s film, something that I felt was lacking in Noomi Rapace’s version of Lisbeth, and that’s probably why I prefer the Fincher film over the Swedish original.)

Lastly, I just want to take a minute to talk about the unbelievable badassery of Lisbeth digging herself out of her own grave. I just love her so much.

[Link to original review here.]

narfna’s #CBR4 Review #13: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

This is my second time through the Millennium trilogy, so I’m going to try and keep this review short and to the point.

Everybody and their mother knows the story by now, or at least they should. Mikael Blomkvist, disgraced journalist, is hired by one of the richest men in Sweden to find out what happened to his sixteen year old niece, Harriet Vanger, who was murdered over forty years before. Lisbeth Salander is a socially introverted, genius hacker, whose life collides unexpectedly with Blomkvist’s, and the two form an unlikely partnership. I first read the books back in February 2010, and since then I’ve seen both film adaptations (Swedish and American) multiple times. I am so familiar with the story by now that I’ve internalized it. I am completely unable to be objective — as if I ever was able in the first place — Salander and Blomkvist are real people as far as I’m concerned, and I think it’s a damn shame we won’t ever get to hear any more from them past book three.

For those of you who haven’t heard plot details — where have you been? — I’m not going to say any more about the plot because part of the joy the first time is the discovery of all the twists and turns. What I am going to say is that even though Larsson’s writing may not be stellar*, his imagination more than makes up for it. Lisbeth Salander is one of my favorite characters in literature, ever, and the ways in which he makes use of her to say his peace about the rights of the dispossessed — specifically the rights of women in male-dominated cultures, and the marginalization of the mentally ill and those that are perceived to be sexually or socially deviant — ultimately elevates the trilogy beyond mere thriller/mystery status. It’s the reason I can sit here and read it (or watch it) multiple times and still the story will have lost none of its power, despite the fact that I already know all the answers to whatever mysteries it contains.

*For instance, lots of people become annoyed when he starts describing in detail meals characters eat, or actions they take that are seemingly irrelevant. I happen to find this quirk of his endearing, and all of those “irrelevant” details are part of what I love about his books.

Part of what fascinates me about The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo as a first novel in a series is that Larsson kind of sneaks up on you with the point of it. You could very easily read the book and then assume that sequels will follow the pattern set up by the first one, and would focus on Salander and Blomkvist as a team who will solve mysteries like it in the future. Instead, Larsson mainly uses the story of the Vangers as an extended “meet-cute” for Salander and Blomkist, and to set up Salander as the protagonist. Her story is the real center of the trilogy. This book is as much about setting up the next two books as it’s about itself. Larsson wasn’t interested in creating a series of grocery-store mysteries. He was interested in delving into the nitty gritty of Salander’s life, and all the meaty stuff comes directly from it. She is the mystery and the challenge, not some murderer du jour.

The last thing I want to say is that it puzzles me when people express their disdain for this series by saying it’s misogynist. I have to wonder just exactly what kind of reading comprehension those people were taught in school, because these books are the very opposite of misogynist. Just because a story features misogyny as a theme, and characters who act in misogynistic or sexist ways, does not mean that story is espousing those misogynistic viewpoints. I can definitely understand people who simply object to the level of violence and dark sexuality that the book contains, but as far as I’m concerned, all that violence does have a very salient point at the end of it.

And now I’ve gone and lied to you about this being a short review. Whatever, I’m going to go make an omelet.

[Link to original review here.]

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