Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Playing with Fire

Day 29 of the "What are you reading, and why?" project.

Susan--different Susan, not the one who has been commenting here regularly--is now reading The Girl Who Played with Fire, by Stieg Larsson, the second in that trilogy of thrillers, and eagerly awaiting the third, to be released in May, 2010, unless you have a friend in Sweden you can send you an early copy....

Susan was a bit worried about the author's death, lest he leave her hanging.

She is reading the second book now, in hardcover, because she got hooked by the first, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, which she listened to, lounging on the beach on a recent vacation, when she ran out of all her other books. She was lucky enough to find Clay's Quilt, by Silas House, in a small-town bookstore in South Carolina, so she is ready for tonight's book group discussion of it!

I would like now to pause and praise firefighters. Thank you, firefighters! Susan and Kim may be laughing at me now, thinking I am praising the muscular male firefighters who appear on calendars, in romantic comedies and sitcoms, and who answered a 911 call a few years back at a women's spirituality retreat, but I refer to all firefighters everywhere, men and women, and to this fine memoir by a volunteer firefighter, Population: 485: Meeting Your Neighbors One Siren at a Time, by Michael Perry.

Don't play with fire.


Susan said...

Will there be a firefighter poem coming soon? Or are you too busy working on your "Fishnets for Jesus" poem?

Kathleen said...

Thanks for that reminder! I'm on it.

Anonymous said...

I was lucky enough to wander down a narrow street (near the old secret police headquarters) in Prague and find an English-language bookshop that had the second and third volumes of Larsson's planned 10 volume series about Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist. They kept me busy reading for the next few days, and then immediately re-reading them again while regretting that he didn't live to finish writing volumes four through ten. The published trilogy does make a satisfactory whole, though.

(As for the unfinished volume four, and the synopses of volumes five and six - well, I wouldn't refuse to read them, if they wound-up being published together.)

Here, too, though is an example of identity in question. Just as with the mystery writer Dick Francis, it's been suggested that Larsson's partner Eva Gabrielsson may have been the real author or "significant contributor" to the trilogy. If so, I wouldn't mind seeing her complete the entire story arc. But I think we're likely just to have these three volumes. Fortunately, they form a dense and satisfying (if sometimes truly horrifying) read.

And while movies made from books don't always satisfy, the first of the three movies which have been made from the series was well worth seeing. I believe it goes into general release in the US March 19th.


aka Simone said...

The title of the poem should be "Playing with Firefighters." And I loved Population 485 (or 451 or whatever it was.)

Kathleen said...

Possibly it was 451 when you read it, and there have been some babies since then.

Or perhaps you were thinking of Fahrenheit 451, which does have a big bonfire in it, but not the kind I like.

Julie Kistler said...

Ooooh, those Stieg Larsson books are just fascinating. And he himself was even more fascinating. There are all kinds of conspiracy theories swirling around him and his relationship with Ms. Gabrielsson as well as his father (or maybe it was a brother -- somebody who got the rights to his literary works because he and Gabrielsson never married and he didn't leave a will. Supposedly they didn't marry because they didn't want to register and publicly give out their addresses because there were so many death threats against him because of his political views and journalism.) And in a further complication that plays into what you've been talking about recently with pseudonyms, his real name was plain old Stig (which means path in Swedish) but he added an E to make himself different. "Stieg" isn't a word in Swedish, according to Scott.

I'm trying to find the books in Swedish so Scott can read them that way. His cousin's kid is in college in Sweden, so we could use that route, but we already hit up Adam to get a cd of two Swedish folksingers who covered Steely Dan and that was a pain for Adam. We don't want to wear out our Swedish connection just yet. But I have to think these very popular books would be more readily available than the song stylings of Rebecka Törnqvist and Sara Isaksson.

Meanwhile, not having read the books, I'm really curious to find out what the heck the catnip is. They've become such a phenom!

Kathleen said...

I will ask my Swedish cook friend about this. I can send her my book in exchange! She sent me Swedish Christmas ornaments in the past!

Julie Kistler said...

If you can get your cookbook friend to send the Larsson books in Swedish, I will love you forever! (And pay her and you, of course, for the books and the mailing costs.)