While I try to figure out where I am trying to go with my blog, here is a lovely book review.
Normally I try not to read a book after it has gone all main stream, I like being a partial hipster and ‘discover’ a book before it has a Wikipedia page. But some books are amazing and should be read no matter what. The Millennium Series is such books.
Written by the late Stieg Larsson, his trilogy starts with the well-known ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’ and introduces us to Lisbeth Salander, Mikael Blomkvist and many other unforgettable characters. The first book takes the world head on, and it rips away the friendly Sweden presented by IKEA and shows us a darker underworld. It is not the true face of the world they live in, but it is a face.
As far as the movie goes, I only saw the American version and it was very dark. Not as dark as the book but in terms of accuracy, it was as dead on. At first I felt like Lisbeth was too weird to relate to. As I read more, I realized I wished I could be more like her. She is like a female Batman who is willing to take that last step over the edge to save more lives. You know which one. But she also remains true to herself and her convictions. Also I would never want to be on her bad side.
The next book continues some time later in ‘The Girl Who Played with Fire’ where Lisbeth is accused of three murders. To my annoyance and delight, the book follows everyone BUT Lisbeth so you have no idea what her reaction or even her guilt to the murders. It was a great move on Larsson’s part and I wish he were alive to write more books about her.
Finally, in ‘The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest’ Lisbeth is on trial. This book above all others is more of a conspiracy novel and it reads as such. Is it still good? I say so but now I want out go out and solve crimes. There ought to be a warning label. But the base plot revolves around how women are treated by men in Sweden. To be honest, it is a bleak view of how many women are treated all over the world. Does Lisbeth come out on top? You will need to read yourself. All I know is that her sense of justice in the world comes from her upbringing and in her shoes I don’t know if I could be half as good.
Another key plot is the matter of her sanity. Without going into detail, I do feel she is not normal. She feels little or no fear through the series as a normal person does. She sees a problem, finds a solution, and protects herself like a one woman army. Is it dangerous? Yes. But she is not some weak little thing despite her outward appearance.
In terms of the book itself, I could go on and on about how great it was. I will instead point out a few cons. My biggest issue was the unreality of it. Rather than pick a woman lead who the reader can relate to, I found someone I wished I could. The ideal heroine. Does she have relatable qualities? Yes but they are the extreme in everything. She is super small, very antisocial, genius smart, computer whiz full of calm rage against those who are wrong. Its un real. But amazing.
Also, he head jumps. This is more of an editing issue, and it is unfortunate that he died before any of the books were published. This is most evident in book three when you get a head view of multiple people in a scene. It’s annoying but does not really detract from the story and the majority or readers would not notice. But if you write, that is certainly something to be on the watch for.
My last con is that the book is slow at first. There were many chapters where I wanted to skim over the dates and facts that were part of the history. There were more than a few sections that could have been deleted. At around 800 pages for each book, the word count is a little too high and could have done with some cutting. I think part of why this was not done is because these books are the last ones he (the author) ever wrote. Every word is precious and it is something to remember. At one point he felt it was important. And we all know that any time we need to cut something out there is a little whimper from our manuscripts.
Please read these books. They are amazing in their own way.
This is the last post for Tell Me A Story. I might do something else in the future but for now I have a bunch of other projects that need some TLC.
Amber sat in the small closet. She had managed to find an old bottle of wine at the funeral parlor and had crawled into the first space she could find. Some part of her knew the cars had all gone and somewhere the service was going on, but that part was small. The rest of her was drunk as can be and wallowing in self-pity.
In her haze she heard a voice calling her name. She wondered if it would find her or if she should find it and giggled.
“There you are,” the voice said. She saw William as he opened the door to the small room. She giggled again.
“Poo, you found my hiding place.”
William smiled at her. “I had help. Now come on, your sister needs you.”
Amber slowly got to her feet and stumbled slightly. “She is dead. She never needed my help.”
William shook his head and grabbed her hand. He led her outside and in the hallway she glanced in the mirror, trying to make sure she looked decent enough. With a shock she realized there was no reflection of William.
Kadin glanced helplessly at the priest. Much to his chagrin the priest was sitting to the side, scratching his nose and staring at the cross of Jesus. Super.
He turned back to the crowd, searching for the image of his wife but there was no one. He made one last attempt to swallow the lump in his throat and coughed.
“Many of you…. Many of you know that Sarah was kind and generous. She could see the good in everything. Even me. Even this town.
“I was with her, when she died. Her last words were ‘I love you’. There is something about a person at those last moments, something that reveals who they truly are. And she was good to the core. I want to be worthy of that goodness.
“I miss… I miss her so much, but I know she will watch over this town and send love as long as she exists in heaven.”
He could feel the lump getting bigger and he went to sit down. The priest nodded and continued the sermon. Kadin closed his eyes and imagined he could see Sarah.
“She misses you too,” Someone said. He looked and saw William, smiling warmly.
“What the hell do you know about Sarah? Don’t patronize me.”
William put both his hands up and whispered soothingly, “Easy now. After the ceremony we need to talk.”
Kadin stared at the casket and tried to ignore the voices around him. There was nothing to say to this man. He did not know who William was but there was no reason to speak.
“Kadin, you cannot go on like this. You will need to move on soon or lose Sarah forever. You need to give up the ghost before it is too late.”
“What the hell are you talking about?” Kadin asked, his voice rising a little higher and now even the priest was looking at him coldly.
William looked at him kindly. “This is not real. You don’t exist anymore. You need to let go of this life and go home. She is waiting for you.”
Kadin felt his breath catch and he stood up. Everywhere he looked there were sympathetic eyes, and they seemed almost hollow. Sarah’s family had pale skin but this had to be real, right? He was not dead!
“Kadin it is ok. Tell my sister I say hi.” Amber came up behind him. Her face was streaked with tears but she held her chin up and back straight.
He looked at her, pleading with her to tell him everything was real, that she was real. He walked up to the woman who looked so much like his lost love and kissed her. He willed it to be real, willed those feelings to rush back to him. Pain meant he was alive. The touch of her lips, the bite of his teeth, it was real and solid.
As he pulled away from Amber he caught a glimpse of them in the window. Only she showed. He looked around at the crowd of people in the church, but in the mirrored image only the woman showed.
His screams filled the room and Amber fell to the floor sobbing.
It has been a little too long between posts, and I must confess the most I have been doing is getting too big for my pants. So a couple updates on my life.
1. I got my wisdom teeth out last Thursday. Only two and no pain but as far as productivity goes I did no writing at all. I did not even blog stalk as much as normal. While I never got loopy I had no desire to do more than play online games and watch SVU marathons. Also Percecet is the worst ever, only take it before bed with the nausea stuff.
2. Tomorrow I am posting the last part of my Tell Me A Story since there has been no response. Don’t worry, there will be more to come, but this one will possibly be entered into a contest. It is the right length, just needs to be modified and molded. Maybe then I can be a real author and step up my game! Anyway, feel free to comment on part 4 all day today.
3. If you work out well for about 2 weeks, it only takes about 3 to 4 days to undo it all. So the getting in shape plan will be back on track later today. I find that once you get over the pain of running, you can push yourself far more than you expected you would. And that applies to everything. Pain is a good thing. When it goes away, push yourself until you hurt just a little more.
4. Only three days left before my main squeeze heads to Guam for work. Not sure if I had said anything before but Glenn is going to be on this teeny tiny island for a month doing Air Force stuff. I am excited and nervous all at once, so here is hoping I can really learn to channel that into my writing. Too many manuscripts need to be finished already!
5. My writer friend Shawn (also from a million years ago) is having a baby! If anyone has come across her blog please give Shawn Kirsten Maravel a congrats and check out her four (yes, four) self published books. She is a very talented author and who does not like some traffic now and then?
That is all for today, happy writing everyone!
Looks like I am a little late to the party where everyone is sharing a review of Snow White. I am also finding a lot of people liked it. Which makes me wonder, have I turned into a sheep as well? Cause I sorta kinda loved it…
Before I start, let me apologize to my best friend Mira. I had promised her we would make fun of the movie in the safety of my home, complete with throwing popcorn at the screen and hoping the cat did not eat it all.
****WARNING: Spoilers Ahead****
Much to my surprise, I liked the movie. It was nothing like I expected and honestly I did not mind spending 2 hours in a dark theater. Also I was feeling all the beards (not literally, but damn they are sexy) and Charlize Theron is amazing.
So where to start?
Chronicals of Narnia
Joan of Arc
Amber looked out the window for William, but no one was walking around. She shook her head, wondering how he got to his car and out of the parking lot so quickly. It was almost time to go from the viewing to the ceremony location and she looked around for Aunt Meredith.
This particular relative was prone to get drunk and dance on a table no matter how serious the event. The last family gathering had almost turned into a disaster when the table collapsed. Thankfully the wedding cake had been saved and dear Sarah had just laughed it off. Amber probably would have had a fit.
Spying the woman near a coat closet, flask in hand, Amber walked over.
“Aunt Meredith, how are you?”
“Hic – Fine dear, how are you holding ‘hic’ up?” Meredith said, clearly not drinking water. “So sad ‘hic’”
“We should get you going. Who is driving you to the church?”
“Oh are you finally getting married? ‘Hic’ I am so happy for you! Will ‘hic’ there be music? I love to dance ‘Hic’. Excuse me!” Meredith hurried away, looking both happy and sick.
Amber felt ready to cry. It was bad enough her sister was gone but this was just insult to injury. She eyed the flask Meredith had dropped. Looking around her she took a wiff. Vodka. Could today get any worse? Oh, what the hell, she thought as she took a small sip.
Kadin felt his blood boiling. He paced the small room and tried to calm down. He was not even sure why he was reacting this way. That man with Amber was a complete stranger but for some reason Kadin had the urge to just tear him apart. Every gut instinct screamed danger and there was no logical reason why. Even before he saw the man Kadin’s skin had begun to crawl and he felt a chill down his spine. Despite the anger he could still feel that unnatural cold feeling all around. What was happening to him?
This whole day was odd. Half the time he kept forgetting Sarah was gone and the woman in the room was his ex. It was even harder with the collage of pictures up. They even had the most recent photos of Sarah, taken during vacation. With Amber standing right by them the similarities were ridiculous.
It was amazing she was even being civil after what he had done. One of these days he would make the time to apologize. For now he needed to just hold it together. As he walked back into the main area he saw most of the people were headed out the door. The bearers were getting ready with the hearse and he felt his stomach flip. This was the last time he would be able to look at his wife, the last time he could say he loved her. His throat tightened. Hold it together, he told himself. After the speech you can go home. It’s almost over.
The procession arrived at a little church in the middle of town. This was where he had grown up and they had settled down. God knows why, he had hated living here but something about the small town had called to Sarah. So they ended up settling in Kadin’s old family home after they had died.
It was when they were going over the legal documents after Sarah’s death that he discovered her last wishes were to keep the house on the lake. It did not matter that he wanted to sell it, Kadin would follow her wishes to keep it up. It was not his only property at least. He had actually included the lighter side of the story in his speech about her, how she saw the good in everything, the potential. She had even seen into his soul, seen the damaged angry man inside and soothed him.
When everyone was at the church he listened along. His cue to speak came and he stood next to the priest. He fought against the lump in his throat and looked for Amber, for the one woman who could help him. She was nowhere to be seen. Shit.
Ok everyone, hope you enjoyed this latest post. So tell me, where is Amber and what is she doing? And anyone who wants to decide what Kadin looks like feel free to post a link to your favorite man candy.
See you in a week!