Tuesday, March 1, 2011


I am so tired of all this Stieg Larsson crap.

Jesus. The girl who did everything. I did like the first movie, "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo," but the first book, of the same name, was a horrible experience, slogging through miles of slow, boring, tedious exposition, telling us the boring back-story, and reporting the story rather than rendering it.

Not enough scenes, not enough imagery, not enough details so you can bring the story to life like a movie in your head. That's what any good fiction should do.

Now here I am trying to read book 2, "The Girl Who Played With Fire." It is scary at first, and disgusting, with Lisbeth being tortured, I guess by her father. Sick. The next 143 pages were a roller coaster for me. I liked it, then I loved the two or three actually rendered scenes, but the massive exposition finally wore me down.

The exposition is at least clear and relevant, which it isn't in the first book of the trilogy.

I don't see how people can read this crap. I can't do it anymore. I just can't. No fun, no reward, not even any real interest. Please, God, don't make me read any more.

I finally gave up in one of many scenes where the fake dialogue is really exposition for the reader. Nobody talks like this: "I've been so fucking angry that you vanished without a trace that I almost decided never to trust you again."

Sounds like a robot, R2D2, perhaps. In real conversation, people don't spell things out like this. They talk obliquely, revealing themselves and not the back-story. They already know the back-story. This book is full of expository dialogue, and I hate it.

In fact, good dialogue in fiction sounds like real people talking, but it isn't. It makes you think, and it makes you figure out the story while it reveals something about the characters.  

Anyway, I've given up. I was going to study the Dragon Tattoo books, to see what made them so popular. Then I was just going to read them, to see what they are like.

Not anymore. Never say never, but right now I just don't care. These books don't do what I want fiction to do.

My advice: Read a good book instead, Faulkner or Fitzgerald or Cormac McCarthy.

-- Roger

As I Lay Dying: The Corrected Text (Modern Library)
The Great Gatsby

Blood Meridian: Or the Evening Redness in the West
© Copyright 2011, Roger R. Angle

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