The posthumous if scandalous fame of this recently deceased author certainly contributes to his books' appeal, but even without that added glamour, his two breakout novels (I have yet to read the third of this trilogy but fully intend to) are impressive. They are not for children, though; nor are they for the easily offended; and they are not even for the squeamish.
But at this stage of life I am grateful to no longer fall into any of those categories and so thoroughly enjoyed every single page.
Except for the difficult to pronounce Swedish names and general vocab, difficult even in silent, inward monologue, these two thick volumes provided me lots of gratifying hours of voracious, adrenaline-pumping diversion. And in contrast to our book club's spiritual foray this summer, it was a guilty pleasure. Not complaining, ladies, I just need a balanced diet. We all do, eh?
Lots of people, me included, have commented on how the first novel suffers the reader with a bit of a cold, slow start, but rest assured that Larsson more than makes up for it later and in book two.
I fell head over heels for the off-putting and strangely upstanding heroine, Lisbeth Salander. Part of me is determined to believe she is a real live person, lurking the world with her mad math skills, deficient social skills, and dark attitude. Righting wrongs and amassing riches. I am collaborating with a girlfriend to be Salander for Halloween this year. Like Batman, only a girl. And scary, but completely defensible. Beware.
Slanader's male counterpart Mikael Blomkvist was also a gripping character, and N-O-T just because I happen to know that Daniel Craig is playing him in the American production. Well, that didn't hurt exactly. Y-E-S- I mentally pictured Craig delivering some of the best lines and besting the bad guys, etc, etc, and Y-E-S there are love scenes written that can only be made better with a decent visual...
These books are pure entertainment, trashy and heavy and politically seasoned just enough to make you feel like you've thought hard and smart for that day. Oh, and if you have ever been accused of drinking too much coffee, just check out the Swedes. They will relieve you of that guilt rapidly.