The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (12)

I picked up (for resale) a couple of copies of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson. Took the opportunity to read one as the blurb suggested an interesting story (both in the book and surrounding its publishing). The author (an expert on anti-democratic right wing and nazi groups) completed the manuscripts for several novels, submitted them, but then died before they were published. This is the first, and has received a lot of attention. It’s mystery/thriller oriented and had a very interesting story. After I finished it, got the most recent Christianity Today and one of the contributors had listed this book as a summer reading project.

At the risk of spoilers (I’ll try hard to avoid) – a few comments. It certainly reflects a very secular worldview, with a modern Swedish sensibility about sexuality (the main character has several relationships, knowingly non-exclusive, with marriage being no barrier and love being mostly irrelevant). And there is a fairly obvious left oriented bias – largely anti-financial markets, a visceral reaction against religion, a focus on abuse and violence against women (bolstered by statistics that I have some concerns about based on some research I’ve seen about similar statistics in the past).

Still, the book takes seriously the reality of evil of a serious and horrible kind. Interestingly, the person least willing to offer excuses or explanations is the person who has experienced evil most directly and deeply. But I’m not so sure there is a redemptive theme in the book; the ending is fairly dark and it seems that happiness and wholeness is unlikely. So though great evil has been fought and defeated, I’m not sure there is a vision of shalom at the end (note the attempt to tie recent posts together!).

And a quick caveat for those who care – this is a modern novel with a bit of explicit material. I didn’t find it overwhelming, but the sensitive should, of course take note.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: