Thursday, July 9, 2009

Larsson, Stieg (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo)

Having just come off the final GIRLPOWER episode of Buffy, The Vampire Slayer, I see clear parallels to this book-- which is all about perceptions of women and their strengths.

Poor Harriet Vanger, murdered many years ago, through a series of strange entanglements comes to the attention of a busted, soon-to-be-imprisoned corporate journalist. It's not your typical murder mystery, being wrapped up in corporate espionage and idyllic very-small-town Swedish life. (You don't expect me to read typical murder mysteries anymore anyway, do you?)

But back to the views of females-- besides Harriet, one of the main characters is Lisbeth, a young investigator. I have never seen, in print, a more sympathetic description of a person with borderline Asperger's Syndrome. In her case, she has a low capacity for social interaction, is super-smart and technically proficient, and has had enough troubles being female in her lifetime to land her in an abysmally unfair situation. It is not in any sense a classic case of a woman with "man problems," but the question of whether you could define Lisbeth as a victim is front and center. Is she? Yes. And definitely no. Really, a complex, realistic character.

If you care not a whit for espionage or Sweden or strange inter-personal relationships, read this only for the depiction of Lisbeth and you will not be sorry.

No comments: