Thursday, 1 October 2009

Stieg Larsson and Self Restraint

My relationship with Stieg Larsson has been one of ever deepening engagement. I came late to "Dragon Tattoo", and loved it. "Played with Fire" was bought in hardback soon after release and in many ways it was even better. Thus "The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest" qualified for one of the most anticipated books of the year. Long on order when I got the phone call on Tuesday evening telling me that my marvellous local bookshop had it in stock it was a prompt to leave work promptly and eagerly collect it. The book store owner's comment, that this was the book everyone's been waiting for, is about as true a comment as one could imagine.

Walking back to the car I ran through some existential dilemmas in my mind. Do I take the sensible approach, using this as an opportunity to revisit the previous books, making sure the context was set in my mind, and long belatedly write down the thoughts I've had on "Girl Who Played with Fire"? There's also the issue that I'm in the middle of a book I'm really genuinely enjoying (David Barrie's "Wasp-Waisted"), lent to me by a friend keen to hear my opinion, and both they and the author deserve not be gazumped by a Swedish best-seller.

Or do I give in to temptation, relishing this as one of the comparatively few times you really want to get a book on day of release? It's complicated by the self knowledge that knows that this is likely to be the sort of book that will steal sleep, tempt me to pull a sickie on Thursday, and an awareness that the coming long weekend is going to be completely taken up with family and not hallmarked by conspicuous amounts of peace and quiet. It's the sort of time that makes you yearn for a long flight (like last year when Ian Rankin's "Doors Open" kept me company on the run out to Hong Kong) or an anonymous European hotel room.

Pragmatically Stieg Larsson's final flowering is going to have to wait...


  1. I've also holding the 'The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets' Nest' in my hot sticky hands and its a satisfying weightly tome. But the latest Terry Pratchett, 'Unseen Academicals', has also arrived - I'm just dashing off to collect it - and even though its ostensibly about football, I think this may have to take precedence. Of course, I really should be setting aside this frivolity and be reading various dense books on literary theory for the MA...

    Glad you are enjoy 'Wasp-Waisted'.

  2. Isn't it wonderful when the biggest dilemma the world can throw at you is which great book to read? Hope you get to Hornet's nest soon...I feel I'm showing great restraint by waiting until Friday morning to start :)

  3. But for how long?

    Well, I shouldn´t poke fun at anyone; Stieg Larsson´s third is one of the few books I own in a NEW hardback edition.