Monday, July 26, 2010

Dragon Tattoo Mania Continues...

Just announced at Entertainment Weekly's website: Daniel Craig, also known as the current James Bond, has been cast as journalist Mikael Blomkvist.  Personally, I'm excited: he has the right amount of grit and intelligence, and is good looking without being pretty.  Maybe now it will make sense to audiences that basically every woman in the books falls for Blomkvist.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Swedish Summer

It's a brutally hot, humid summer in New York City, but those reading Stieg Larsson's Millennium trilogy can imagine themselves in the more forgiving climes of Sweden.  My book club is currently reading The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, the first in the series.  We gave ourselves an extra couple weeks between meetings because the length looked daunting, but the books have turned out to be such page-turners that I went on to The Girl Who Played with Fire and am nearly done with The Girl who Kicked the Hornet's Nest.

Since starting the first book, I've been noticing copies of each story in the series everywhere: people reading them on the subway, in airports, across the aisle on planes.  I have a sudden craving for herring, sour cream, and lingonberries.  Even this review of the new chef at Aquavit opens with a reference to the series.

For me, the key to their popularity is heroine Lisbeth Salander, an antisocial computer hacker who teams with journalist Mikael Blomkvist to redress crimes against women.  Lisbeth is an original and exciting creation.  Whenever the narrative leaves Lisbeth, as a reader I can't wait to see what she'll do next.  She's incredibly intelligent and unpredictable.  She has a strong personal moral code and is loyal to those she cares about.  Petite and slim, yet able to physically defend herself.  And best of all, I think, is that despite all the setbacks and tragedies she encounters in her life, she refuses to accept victimhood.

Noomi Rapace, the Swedish actress who portrays her in the original film adaptations, is so absolutely perfect in the role that it's almost impossible to imagine any other actress doing it justice in the upcoming Hollywood versions.  This interview with Ms. Rapace from Time Out New York provides an interesting look into her preparation for the films and what playing Lisbeth did to her physically.