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The girl who got caught in books

I'm in the middle of a book, and it's killing me. All I want to do is pick it up and keep reading, because I want to know what happens next. But I have to work. I was up until one o'clock in the morning reading, and it pissed me off that I had to go to sleep to get a reasonable amount of rest. The last time this happened to me, it was fortunately on a Sunday, and I spent all day reading the book. Of course, that was this book's prequel.

I don't know if any of you are familiar with the Steig Larsson Salandar/Blomkvist series. The first was The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, which I thought was downright excellent. I spent a whole day not talking to Graham at the ranch so I could finish it (fortunately, he was caught in his book, so he didn't really notice). The one I'm reading right now is The Girl who Played with Fire, and I can't believe that it's actually better than the first one. I want to hurry up and finish it, but I want it to last, too, because the next book doesn't come out in the US until next July*. And that will be the last.

These books have been on the best sellers lists for a few years now. Last year, Larsson was the second biggest seller in the world behind Khalded Hosseini. Originally written in Swedish, the books took off like wildfire in Europe and hopped over here to similar love. What kills me about them is that Larsson is dead. He wrote the first two, found a publisher, finished the third, and then died of an unexpected heart attack a few months before the first novel came out. He was in his 50s. These books were a side project to his real work as an editor for a progressive magazine in Sweden. You can get a sense of his politics from the novels, but they're not as overwhelming in the second novel as the first.

Wikipedia says that the series was originally intended to be a ten part story. I think the next few--four, five and six--had been plotted, but not written. There was a general outline for the whole series, but I don't think that there will be any attempts to continue the series beyond the three books that Larsson finished.

When I was a kid, I remember seeing the movie version of The Name of the Rose. That scene in the very end of the movie, where the library is burning, and the Franciscans are so distraught, choked me up. I remember turning to my mother while we were watching the movie and her eyes were filled with tears, too. There's a similar scene in a book I just read a few weeks ago, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society** where a bomb hits a library during the blitz in London during WWII. Losing books, losing those stories and that knowledge, seems to me a great tragedy. That there was more of the Salandar/Blomkvist series that the world will never see kills me. And in the meantime, it kills me that I can't just pick up the novel sitting right behind me and devour it.

*I think it's already out or coming out soon in the UK. Certainly there are people on Goodreads that are reviewing it already. I may have to obtain an overseas copy.***

**Another book I highly recommend.

***Success!! I checked all the online bookstores and they were all resolute that the next one won't be out until next May. Then I called my local, kick-ass, they're so very awesome, independent mystery specialty bookstore Murder By the Book and they said that they're importing a few boxes from the UK. They put my name on the list and it should get here in about two weeks. The woman on the phone said that everyone there is waiting breathlessly, too.

This is why you should support your local bookstore.



( 1 comment — Say something )
Oct. 1st, 2009 06:30 pm (UTC)
That's two recommendations for this series in two days. You've convinced me. However, I have to wait until I've waded through the stack of recently purchased but not yet read, waiting for me in my room.
( 1 comment — Say something )