Sunday, January 1, 2012

The Girl Who Loved a Warmer Story

Image courtesy of Ann's Needlework
As Hollywood's film version of Girl With the Dragon Tattoo tops the local marquees over the holidays, I have to wonder why the Americans felt the need to remake a three-year-old movie that the Swedes had already done a perfectly fine job with. It's a mystery, but then so is the popularity of the Millennium Trilogy at all, in my opinion.

I wrote this post a few months ago, when the final novel of the Stieg Larsson's trilogy, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest, was failing to capture my imagination and provide a reliable escape from reality.

Having read the first two (with diminishing interest), I felt obligated to finish the project, but I don't think I'm going to be able to do it.

I read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo a couple of years back, during my great obsession with all things Swedish. Although it was disappointing, it was not a complete bust because it helped me to crystallize my understanding of my own Swedish obsession, which I must conclude contain no interest whatsoever in the slick, grim (and rather cold) modern Sweden.

Instead, my obsession is very finely pointed into the past. I could live and breathe retro-Sweden, the Sweden of my grandparents: homey little housewares, lullabies, embroidery, earthbound cuisine, the lyrical spoken language, and the history from Vikings to the Swedish diaspora to America.
I only read the second book (Girl Who Played with Fire) out of camaraderie with my co-worker. After reading it, we watched the movie and ate Swedish food. 

Now, we plan to do the same thing for this third one, but even my craving for meatballs and lingonberries cannot make me read this excruciatingly boring book.
I'm just going to skip right to the movie.