by !Baha, 18 November 2010
I'm totally hero worshipping STIEG LARSSON!
Here's a writer who has managed to write "pot boilers", can't-put-them-down-till-I'm-done crime-mystery novels, each over 600 pages long, with incredibly well-fleshed out characters, gripping plots, AND they have palpable educational value!
Larsson's Millenium Trilogy: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl who Played with Fire, and The Girl who stirred the Hornet's Nest are books that are as appropriate for youth as are programs like CSI, ER, or any of the more "realistic" dramas that are shown on television.
And whilst I might NOT recommend anyone younger than 18 to read these gripping crime-suspense novels, these books are nonetheless barometers of our world and in some ways they accurately describe a world in which social mores have been significantly recast. What Larsson has done in his novels is to clarify--for the over 20 million buyers in 41 countries--the real definition of a MORAL person.
His main character--Lisbeth Salander--is an oddball, eccentric, skinny GIRL but who in the first book actually SAVES her MALE PARTNER, just like some knight-in-shining-armor invariably swoops in at the critical moment, to rescue the maiden-in-distress from some horrific monster.
And so, very quickly, it's clear that the whole series is about reversing prejudices and stereotypes so that we don't look at the world always through the distorted glasses of outdated or inaccurate and unfair prejudices... his books are about making it inconvenient for us/society to always take the easy way out--to NOT take the time to THINK FOR OURSELVES about what is Right and Wrong, rather relying on the opinion of others, as if by doing so it shields us from responsibility when things go badly wrong.
These books introduce a VERY diverse range of characters going about their lives, and, how the people of strong moral fiber trust in their own assessment of Lisbeth's character based on their first-hand interactions with her, even to the point of disbelieving the 'official' judgment of 'experts'.
To learn that Stieg Larsson fought against racism and right-wing extremism in his career as a journalist, does not surprise me. "In 1995, when 8 persons were killed by Neo-Nazis in Sweden, he was the main force behind the founding of the Expo-Foundation (see link below), a group intended on exposing Neo-Nazi activity in Sweden."
The first film of this series is in theaters--it's a dark tale--and whilst good on its own merit as a film, it is nothing compared to the books. If you're not yet eighteen, put these book on a list of books to read when you get older. For me, these books deserve the highest honor that a writer can be given, even if posthumously. The books are readable and they populate your mind with--amongst the bad guys-- a good number of decent people who go out of their way to fight for Truth and Justice. And, the second protagonist of the books is a stubborn, but ultimately, a good-guy journalist with professionalism and ethical integrity intact.
Here is proof yet again that Quality, Truth, Passion and Enthusiasm matters!
Without Larsson's passion for debunking ignorant stereotypes he would not have written three such successful novels that in the final analysis are about learning to NEVER judge a book by its cover, nor to pass easy judgment upon things based on nothing more than hearsay. As young people, there is time to instill good habits that will serve you well in your lives: learn to make your own INFORMED decisions about WHAT TO THINK, and to not allow yourselves to be swayed by the crowd just because it is more convenient, less risky, or protects you at the expense of others...
The reward--if one is needed--is that you will feel a stronger sense of self and purpose in your life. You will be rewarded with a clearer sense of WHO YOU ARE, and WHAT YOU STAND FOR... and that, after all, is one of the markers of adulthood.
As for Stieg Larsson, he deserves a place in the WRITING HALL OF FAME, next to writers like Charles Dickens and Victor Hugo.
SOURCES and RESOURCES:
Stieg Larsson - A diverse background
"Recension: Millennium trilogy - Absolutely astounding. Nobel consideration should be given"
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