24 Feb 2011

Lisbeth Salander: I salute you

I saw The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo last year on DVD.  It was a quiet evening in with my parents - anyone who has seen this film will know that your parents are the WRONG kind of company for this film.  Despite not enjoying the film a great deal (possibly ruined by the company I was sharing), I was intrigued to read the book.

I found an old copy of the book in book swap shop on the island of Koh Tao, Thailand, a bargain at 150 baht!  By the time my backpacking buddy and I had reached Singapore about four weeks later, I had finished it and swapped it at our hostel (for none other than The Occupation!).

I adored the book and having seen the film first did not ruin it in the slightest.  Just like Let The Right One In (also by a Swedish author) this book is not for the faint hearted.

Lisbeth Salander is courgeous, inspiring, true to herself and downright weird.  She always, always surprises me - just when I think I've got her sussed out she goes and does something completely unexpected and unexplainable.  I also love how she, to be frank, does not take any shit from anyone.

I've just started the second book and have reached her reunion with Mimmi, it's excellent so far.  The person who suggested I read these books was my grandfather of all people, he too has seen the film, boy am I glad he didn't call round to join the 'fun' that fateful evening when my father decided to rent a film ...

Since my grandfather is such a great man, I have decided to quote the words he said to me when describing The Millennium Trilogy.

"The book is so intricate, so gripping and so vast.  It gets better with each book as well, I was astounded at the author's writing and thinking ability.  They are utterly fantastic books."

I concur granddad, I concur.  My grandfather also agreed with me that the film did not do the book justice - a lot of the gruesome content could have been left out and it would have been a better testament to the book.  I felt the film version of Let The Right One In did this and that it worked really well.

The actress Noomi Rapace who plays Salander was superb.  She didn't look how I'd imagined Salander (maybe I'm being a tad pedantic) but she had Salander's personality and behaviour down to an absolute tee.  I honestly think it is one of the best acting performances I've ever seen!

So I'm going suggest that you, yes YOU, go and read these books and see the films too.  Lisbeth Salander is a truly unique character - I want to be able to relate to her, but I don't think she'll let me.