Books : The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

9 09 2013




The National Library had this “mystery brown bag” scheme where you go to the book counter and pick out a small brown bag from a tray of bags and read the mystery book in it. I cheated. The first few books were some sappy romance novels so I kept putting them back until I chanced on this one.

Originally titled “Men who hate Women” I found Stieg Larsson’s thriller a little slow at the beginning. I had heard mixed reviews from different people. One friend hated it and stopped reading while another one was raving about it. It was dark, though once you get over the early part of it, you get a little desensitised and focus on the thriller/suspense aspect of it. I was also goaded on by Phillip Pullman’s endorsement on the cover so although I put the physical book down for almost a week, I looked up the library’s online service and borrowed the digital version (the Trilogy) to read on my iPad.

On one hand, it has a multi-layered complex plot, however, I did find myself questioning the plausibility of it sometimes especially with regards to the unlimited technological capacity of the protagonist. Nonetheless, this was a great read and I would highly recommend it to anyone who can stomach the dark themes. The universe also surprised me when I bumped into a Ms Salander later in the week 😉

Next up, I recently finished reading Subhas Anandan’s Autobiography.

Books : Once Upon a Time in the North

27 07 2013
I have not been to the library in a while, much less read fiction. It was a surprise that I found this little book left lying around the marketing or finance books as I was lazing around. I am not entirely familiar with Pullman’s writing though I have watched the Golden Compass.

In general, it is hard for a movie to do justice to the ideas in a book. However, if my fuzzy memory serves me well, the flavour of the Golden Compass movie, seems consistent with the flavour of this little prequel. It is about Lee, a ballooning aeronaut, who finds himself on an Arctic Island and get’s acquainted, in a matter of hours, with it’s politics and out of nowhere, becomes a player.
I appreciate the themes of skepticism, questioning the status quo and the added layer of “magical realism” when it comes to people and their daemon’s. I like the fact that Pullman keeps the “magical” element subtle and minimal. Overall, the book is easy reading, as I read it exclusively over a few bus trips. It makes me rather curious to start reading the rest of the His Dark Materials series.
I am considering reading The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo next.