Welcome to the Bloggerhood of the Traveling Book Blog Tour, which will be happening all this week Monday through Friday and maybe even Saturday. We (Unfinished Person AND Unfinished Rambler) and four other bloggers are going to be discussing the second part of Stieg Larsson’s Millenium trilogy, The Girl Who Played With Fire. How this started was we sent the book to Quirky of Quirkyloon, then she sent it to Boom Boom Larew of How To Become A Cat Lady…Without The Cats, then Boom Boom sent it to Nonamedufus and then Nonamedufus sent it to 00dozo of When I Reach. All of this was chronicled by Nonamedufus in his epic “The Bloggerhood of The Traveling Book” post/song parody sung to the tune of Gilligan’s Island. And then, and then I thought it might be a neat idea for all of us to discuss the book on a blog tour, which is where we are now. The order will go from Monday through Friday in the order the book was sent. In other words, Quirky will be next and so on and so forth.
Originally, both of us, Unfinished Person and Unfinished Rambler, suggested we use a series of questions from Random House to help get us started in our discussion, but then it was decided that we each would go our own way. However, since we are doing this on the fly and without much preparation, we are still going to do it with the questions to kickstart the discussion.
I will first have Unfinished Rambler answer the questions and then Unfinished Person to provide counterpoint.
1. Discuss the prologue. What did you think was going on? At what point did you fully understand it?
UR: I had no idea what the hell the prologue was about and I still don’t.
UP: From the start, I thought it was one person, but then later I realized that’s not who it was at all. Now that I think about it, I finally get who it was who was doing the torturing.
2.Discuss gender politics as they affect the plot: the treatment of Salander, Erika Berger, Miriam Wu, and Sonja Modig and the trafficking of Eastern European women. What do you think Larsson was trying to say about the role of women in society?
UR: I don’t think Stieg Larsson really was a man based on his views expressed in the book. I think he was a typical…if there can be such a thing…Swedish protofeminist…one of the worst kind.
UP: I do think that Larsson has a pretty high view of women, in that they should be strong and independent like the protagonist, Lisbeth Salander, and the other primary female characters, Erika Berger and Miriam Wu, in the novel. Personally, I like my women strong — and, no, not like my coffee, black.
3. When newspaper articles begin to appear featuring interviews with long-ago acquaintances of Salander, did it change your perception of her character? Discuss the nature of truth in these instances: Is it possible both sides were remembering accurately?
UR: No, I still thought she was a bitch. Yes, it is possible both sides were remembering that she was a bitch quite accurately.
UP: No, it didn’t really make me change my perception of her because, to a degree, she was all of those things described: bisexual, psychotic, criminal. However, the reasons why she was that way were never explored in the articles.
4. In what ways is Salander like her father and half brother? In what ways is she different?
UR: She’s sadomasochistic just like they are.
UP: Salander is like her father and half brother in that she is very single-minded, in relentlessly pursuing one thing, for years. However, she has something they don’t seem to possess: a heart.
5. If Stieg Larsson were still alive, what one question would you most like to ask him?
UR: What kind of drugs were you on when you wrote this pile of horse manure?
UP: Herr Larsson, what kind of drugs were you on when you wrote this brilliantly-conceived page-turner? Where do I get them? Are they only available in Sweden? Damn. I wish I had some of them.
Er, yeah, in case you missed it, both UP and UR enjoyed this book and highly recommend it if you enjoy a brilliantly-conceived page-turner. If you don’t, well, then your loss, loser.
Tune in tomorrow for Part II of The Bloggerhood of the Traveling Book Blog Tour as it continues at Quirkyloon.