Trilogies are awesome. Lots of everyone’s favorite things come in threes: threesomes (no, that never happens), Star Wars (before the franchise was ruined), Hanes underwear. I hate the word millenium because I can never spell it right and I think it’d be a stupid name for a newspaper, but I love these damn books.
Anyways, Larsson is a reporter who is very smart and does all sorts of cool progressive things. One day he starts writing his first book Men Who Hate Women (which could’ve totally been a stereotyping people post, like I’d probably label it Men Who Like Rush Limbaugh Hate Women but I don’t know and don’t want to know if Limbaugh has ever written any books, I’m not even going to try and google his name to figure that out, either). Then he gets a book deal for three books. So it’s (American titles) The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest (Swedish title was The Air Castle Which Exploded which sounds like a really creative way of describing an epic fart done while sitting on a throne – get it? Get it?).
The following is an recreation of an actual conversation my friends and I had trying to describe the plot of the novels to friends who hadn’t read the books/seen the movie. We tried not to give away too many spoilers, but a couple slipped. There are several voices contributing to this, but for the sake of clarity, I’ll mush them into one:
So this girl is like, so cool. She’s a hacker. She can hack anything. And she’s little! And she kicks ass! I think she has short hair, or maybe an emo haircut. Yes, she’s like a goth! But she’s cute. Cute in a hard way. And she looks like a girl! What do you think of the fact that they chose “girl” in the title instead of “woman”? It’s probably because she’s constantly described as a girl. That’s why she’s so deadly! She gets raped and she rapes. She kills all these people or hurts them! Her dad is awful. She lights him on fire and hits him in the head with an ax! But then some other guy kills him. In the hospital!
And Blomkvist, he’s having sex! With everyone! Everyone loves to have sex with him! So he’s some awesome guy who is having sex with everyone and he gets together with Salander and they have sex and then they kick ass and solve crimes. Blomkvist isn’t very good at anything except drinking coffee, smoking and breaking hearts so Salander does everything. And she’s so little! Her shirts say things like, “I’ll bite you if you smile at me”. And Blomkvist had sex with every female in the story. Except for Salander’s mom. Probably because she died before he could. He’s like the fictional version of Larsson, so Larsson had a lot of sex! Or he thought he did. Or he didn’t at all and he’s insecure about it so he projects it into his character. But I think he probably had a lot of sex because he’s really cool.
Then Larsson died! No one knows why, he was young! But David Kamp said something funny about that.
But the girl is so cool! She’s like old, but everyone thinks she’s a little girl.
And that is what happens when you drink and try to talk books.
By the way, go read The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest.
A thought on this subject: Many of the Larsson faithful subscribe to a belief that the author’s premature death was not of natural causes. He had been threatened in real life by skinheads and neo-Nazis; ergo, the theories go, he was made dead by the very sorts of heavies who crop up in his novels. But such talk has been emphatically dismissed by Larsson’s intimates. So let me advance my own theory: Coffee killed him. If we accept that Blomkvist is, in many respects, a romanticized version of Larsson, and that Blomkvist’s habits reflected the author’s own, Larsson overcaffeinated himself to death. Of course, the cigarettes and junk food to which both men are/were partial couldn’t have helped, either.