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Archive for February, 2011

I have been reading like a bastard lately and thought it was high time that I gave you some thoughtful reviews of the books that I have been reading. Well, thoughtful in the way that Charles Bronson was thoughtful about how he would murder some dude just for looking at him funny. Not a fan of reviews in general. Usually, they’re too long winded and are a blatant attempt by the critic to illustrate his/her superiority to the author of the book. Ultimately, these attempts only seem to exemplify the critic’s own inadequacies. So, without further ado, let’s explore my own flaccid literary skills.

 

Shit Son!! It's Charles Bronson!!!!

It isn’t that The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo is a bad book. But like it’s protagonist, Mikael Bloomkvist, it’s just trying to do too much.

TGWTDT (Fuck! Even the anagram is long) is a dead Swede’s account of a girl with, yeah, you guessed it, a dragon tattoo who happens to be a hacker, who happens to be a loner, who happens to be bi-sexual, who happens to meet up with a middle-aged journalist, the afore-mentioned Mikey, and helps crack a horrifying murder mystery that would leave Scooby-doo and the gang crying in their Scooby Snacks.

 

Drive on home boys!

Although I can see how Stieg Larsson, the dead Swede, found inspiration to write the novel in response to a gang rape that he had witnessed when he was 15, naming the main character, Lisabeth, after the victim, I just can’t figure out why he decided to have Mikael have sex with her. In fact, the only thing busier than the plot is Mikael’s little Mikey.

 

Not That Little Mikey! Too Soon???

An engorged dripping distraction from the narrative is that the middle-aged main character, Mikael Bloomkvist, gets to bang every female character in this novel. As a writer, I’ll tell you that we always put ourselves into our work, and Stieg the Swede is no exception. His self-personification gets tail from all across the spectrum. There’s his coworker, who is married, but he has been nailing for decades anyway. There is, of course, the girl with the dragon tattoo, Lisabeth, because, well, she can’t resist his psoriasis. And there is the nearly elderly Cecillia Vanger, because he needed to round his tail count out with a sugar momma.

While TGWTDT resembles the human circulatory system in its intricacies, it almost gets lost in them. The Vanger family history, with all of its psychosis, would’ve been sufficient to drive several novels. But, inexplicably, Stieg the Swede decides to include several side narratives that involve a Swedish Industrialist, several sexual predators, and Nazis, to make for a cornucopia of people who deserve to die horribly, and (spoiler warning) usually do.

Even these pricks!!!

If you ask most people, their most noted interest in this novel is in the character of Lisabeth. After a brutal rape scene, she comes back and punishes the rapist in kind. While the retribution serves to get the audience to jump up and down and say, “Yeah, fuck up that bastard!” it seems unrealistic and undermines one of the true horrors of rape in that many of the rapists never get caught. Sure, Lisabeth can serve as an inspiration to abused women, but it almost diminishes the struggles that many women do have when they are repeatedly abused and are not capable of fighting back in the way that Lisabeth did. And, also, did she really need to tattoo a paragraph on his stomach. She could have omitted “I am a sadistic pig, a pervert, and a…” and simply tattooed Rapist, providing the same effect in only half the time while saving money on ink.

Lisy’s character traits are more often indicated by her doing things that she wouldn’t normally do. “She would never normally do this, but this was different somehow” was a justifier for so many broken character traits that it was difficult to understand why she wouldn’t have broken them before. After knowing Stieg…I mean, Mikael for a week, she bangs him, and her whole ‘love ‘em and leave’ lifestyle is thrown into turmoil when she discovers she has feelings for Mikael that she has never had before and…..bleeeaaahhhhhhhh!!!!!

 

Love Vomit!

Maybe I was expecting too much; with everyone from here to the socialist iceberg that is Sweden (Just kidding guys. You know I love socialism.) telling me this is the greatest book EVER, I might have been more susceptible to the hackneyed plot devices that probably don’t bother most people. I went into it expecting to read a complex mystery, and it was complex. And I guess it was a mystery. So, TGWTDT had that goin’ for it, which is nice.

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Music from my upcoming Audiobook: Becoming.

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Taking a break from posting chapters of my book, as well as something to keep me busy while the din of the Super Bowl blares annoyingly in the back round, I have seen things (so many things) that you should check out.

4 Movies:

I was dying of the plague last week and didn’t get a lot of writing done. So instead of doing anything constructive, I wrapped myself in a blanket, got blind drunk, and watched about twenty hours of various movies.

1- Let the right one in – This movie shows what being in love with a vampire would really be like. Nobody shimmers or glistens or whatever, but a little girl does rip the arms off of a boy and drag his friend kicking and screaming to his ultimate demise. And that is why this is DEFINITELY the most amazing vampire love/friendship movie I have ever seen. Oscar, a young boy, becomes friends and falls in love with a vampire girl by the name of Eli. The young actress who plays Eli is frightening and captivating, making you feel sympathetic to her even as she kills mercilessly.

2 – Moon – Sam Rockwell rocks your mother’s house, if you know what I mean. He is so awesome, that they didn’t even bother putting any other actors in the same room as him, except another Sam Rockwell. Kevin Spacey’s voice is included in the cast, presumably because the sheer awesomeness of having the two in the same room would create a black hole that would destroy the entire planet.

3 – The Proposition – Although I’ve seen this movie about a million times, it just gets better every time I watch it. The only thing I’m going to provide to prove my point is the Monologue from John Hurt…

4 – The Prestige – Some know Christopher Nolan from The Dark Knight or Inception, which were both movies so good that I would have sex with them. But I would have sex with almost every  Christopher Nolan movie. Probably at the top of that list was The Prestige. It’s about magicians, which in itself is awesome. But the twists in this movie are both plenty and necessary. The later of which I have only seen in Christopher Nolan’s work.

I also saw Edge of Darkness, which wasn’t really worth it. The Town, which was good, but I suspect many people already know that. The Other Guys, which made me laugh my ass off, but again, I’m guessing that plenty of people have seen it.

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He lay in the light. The child smiled at nothing in particular. He watched as a caring man came out of the light. Slowly, the caring man changed from a shadow into a being with form. There was awe and concern in the caring man’s face, and there was light there. The child smiled, reaching for the man, and the man did the same. The caring man reached down to the dirt where the child lay and pulled him up. The child caught a gaze into the man’s eyes, and he saw he was held in care, a careful man with a careful hand. He adjusted his arms so the child would be more comfortable. He cradled the child in his arms, making it hard for the child to see him. It didn’t matter. The child knew what was there anyway. Besides, he knew there would always be time to find out more. He closed his eyes and began to drift. There would be time. There always was. The caring man took the child’s hand. His broad hand, calloused and covered with soil, held the child’s, small and soft. He caressed the small palm, running his fingers gently against it. The caring man smiled at the touch of such a smooth thing. The child’s eyes closed slightly into little slits, still peeking through but not able to see much more than blurs and pools of light. The man smiled harder as he chuckled. The child’s eyes opened quickly with a jerk, but gently faded again once the reaction was done. Slowly turning to slits again, they closed. Keep drifting child. The child’s pudgy face relaxed as he drifted. The child found sleep once more.

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