Thursday, May 13, 2010

Not My Cup Of Whatever They Drink In Sweden

Nothin' seems to change/Bad times stay the same/And I can't run/Sometimes I feel/Sometimes I feel/Like I've been tied/To the whipping post/Tied to the whipping post/Tied to the whipping post/Good Lord, I feel like I'm dyin'...

-Allman Brothers-

I'm not getting on well with The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. I'm really bored. I don't like the writing style. It is taking way too long to get off the ground. I'm 215 pages in, so I think I've been patient but I'm not being rewarded for my patience.

If this were any other book, I'd abandon it. I'd break up with it via text message. I'm curious to know what became of Harriet Vanger, but every bookworm has her limits. As it is, I feel duty-bound to finish since I'm the one who suggested it for BOOKLEAVES. How was I to know? I was so sure that reading a Swedish novel would be so cool and so hot.

The movie is getting great reviews. I'm sure I'd enjoy it tremendously because the filmmakers have already cut the sludge and bloat and waded hip-deep to retrieve the good story that I know must be in here SOMEWHERE! Hello? (hearing echoes) Hello!

From reading the blurb on the back cover, I know that Blomkvist and Salander are eventually going to meet up and work on solving the mysterious case of Harriet Vanger. I like Salander better, but so far, she's only in the book for brief pages at a time. Every time one of her sections ends I let out an obscenity because I know I'm going to have another long and interminable stretch with Blomkvist, who has had a rather interesting life, but it's detailed so blandly. No, blandly is not the right word. Blandly would feel like red-hot excitement right about now. Is it Larsson's writing or the translation? I wish I knew.

If I hope to finish this book before 1 pm on Sunday, I've got to pull out the big bookworm guns. It's time to get interactive. Although I really hate doing this, I've gotten out my pen and started writing in the margins, having a conversation with the novel. I'm making predictions, educated guesses, rants, rude comments and anything else I can think of to muscle on through and not resort to skimming. Plus, it keeps me awake. This novel has been like a healthy dose of sleeping potion. My poisoned apple. The spindle on the spinning wheel in my attic...well, you get the idea.

Here's hoping that my struggle and effort pays off. Here's hoping that things pick up and get really cliffhanger-ish and I end up loving this book so much that I quit Korea and move to Sweden.

I'm bummed that when I'm finished with The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, no one else will ever be able to comfortably read my copy. Unless the next reader feels like I do.


(Female) Opinionated Reader said...

I really hope you keep going with it. The book is a bit of a slow burner. Keep going if only for the awesomeness of Lisbeth Salander. Apparently Swedish fiction has a trend for getting into the nitty gritty and every small detail of a story :)

Isabella said...

I'm betting your copy would make a fascinating read!

Hang in there! I quite liked the book — really enjoyed the Blomkvist background details but had trouble with some of the gore later on — but to each her own. Salander really is awesome though, and especially in the next book.

A Library Girl said...

"Is it Larsson's writing or the translation? I wish I knew."

Anytime I dislike something about the writing in a book that's translated into English, I wonder the same thing. I end up wondering if I'm being mildly unfair in my assessment of the book.

I keep hearing good things about this book, and yet I haven't had the urge to read it. Not sure why. I guess, in all those glowing reviews, I've never seen anything that reached out and grabbed me.

Anonymous said...

I really liked this book, it starts slow but the ending is terrific.

Care said...

You have my permission to skip over the legal child welfare stuff. WAY TOO MUCH detail. The story action DOES pick up in the second half of the book.

The translator commented on my review and shared that a few things can be blamed on the Scottish editor. For what that's worth...

Jessica said...

I have this book and I have heard its slow to get going but I'm expecting it to so maybe I'll get on better with it.

But then my dad read it on holiday a few weeks back and he completely disagreed and said it wasn't slow at all(!)