Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The young lady with the flying lizard body art

Last, year, not far into the year, I decided I had really had it with nazis.  I don't (just) mean in the usual way a person could get fed up with nazis, I mean I was fed up with people talking about nazis.  It started with an unswerving impulse to change the channel the minute one person referred to a person of opposite political affiliation as "hitler-like".  It progressed so that I could no longer even take a chance of watching Secrets of the Dead (which I L*O*V*E, also Liev Schreiber's voice is the voice in my head I always attributed to Eben Strauss who I also love) because every season SotD does cover at least one nazi story & now I just cannot shake it, which is breaking my heart because I would pay to listen to Liev Schrieber read my grocery list aloud.

But somehow all these things had gotten wired & cross-wired in my brain & I just could not take nazis anymore.  Soooo, I declared a nazi free for the rest of the year.  As a result I did not read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

//SIDEBAR:  many people who hear this have tried to tell me the Millenium books are not about nazis, that is just one little part & to read them during a nazi free year would not be a violation.  More on this later.

Mostly passing this book over was easy, I had the discs on hold at the library forEVER & I finally bubbled to the top of the lending list just as we were packing for Hawai'i last December.  & I knew I wouldn't be able to read(listen) in the few days after December 31st but before the discs were due back (I am not so obnoxious that I would ask to renew a book other people were waiting for, even though I do have the connections; that's right I am library book hooked-up).  So, back it went into the pool to drag down someone else's solstice observance.

Flash forward four months & a handful of days & it seems I am once again at the top of the list.  But now, also on my bedside table are Harry Dresden, Waking up in Eden, & Naguib Mahfouz.  So back to the library they went & this time I did not put them on hold again even.

Flash forward to late last month when someone asked me how I thought the books ended.  Well, there's a question.  I have a very particular belief about how many books end (Smilla's Sense of Snow being one of them) that almost no one I talk to finds reasonable (my mother-in-law got quite adamant & a bit upset when I said how I thought what happened at the end of Smilla & I swear that time I really was not trying to yank her chain.  I don't think I said more than two sentences & they weren't even run-on sentences, that I recall).  This time, though I did not have to put anything on hold.  Multiple formats of the book were readily available.

I plugged away thru the first 1/3 or so of the first book & my only thought was this girl better be quite something, because I think I have forgotten why I ever wanted to read this book.  The contrast between details that are glossed over & details that are not, as in detailed lists of computer hardware...  Don't get me wrong, I L*O*V*E a good list.  Nevil Shute's passages about airplane part inventory can make me teary eyed, no really.  & I was not kidding about Liev Schrieber & my groceries.  But these lists told me more about the author than any of the characters (seriously, there are more or less detailed descriptions of everyone's computer hardware but what color is any car, any car at all?)

So I am glad to have an audio version, even if it means the names all sound a bit samey.  & as for it not being about nazis:  do you think the Great Gatsby had anything to do with WASPs?  Dante's Inferno Catholics?  Yea, me too.

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