The Problem with Watching the Movie First

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson has yet to really hook me.  I am ten chapters in and I keep waiting for something to happen.  I like the straightforward, simple writing (keeping in mind that this is a translation).  I haven’t read any Nordic writers – with the exception of Henrik Ibsen, whose plays also demonstrate a simple, direct writing style that exposes social ironies.  I wouldn’t call Larson’s use of voice ironic; he is straightfoward – a journalist just like Mikael Blomkvist.  The story reads in a journalistic fashion.  A bunch of really interesting facts about the Vangers, about Salander, about Swedish bureaucracy that I read and read and read to get to the end so I can start reading book two of the series The Girl Who Played with Fire which is the story I am actually interested in.

I am diligently reading because I enjoyed the movie so much that I am itching to know what happens next in Lisbeth Salander’s life.  But, since I am a true book nerd, I am compelled to read the books, in order, instead of waiting for the next movie.

I convince myself that it’s really neat to come across moments in the novel that didn’t make it to the screen and ponder directorial choices.  I tell myself that it’s great to know more about the characters and see them become three-dimensional in the novel.  It doesn’t work.  I’ve got the movie moving through my head as I read – I can’t make up my own Sweden because my imagination is saturated with Fincher’s vision of the novel.  Oh well, fortunately, I don’t mind Fincher’s vision – certain shots showed off winter’s beauty and actually made it look appealing.  This is from someone who unabashedly hibernates through the cold Canadian winter – winter activities? Only if sitting by the fireplace with a glass of wine counts!

So, my main problem isn’t the book at all.  It’s that I watched the movie first.  It is an age-old argument: do you read the book first, or watch the movie.  I’ve done both, and in either order, the book always ends up being better.  However, in the past when I watched the movie first (say, Harry Potter), reading the book was enriched by the film.

In this case, I can’t seem to get through all the set up in the earlier chapters to get to the good stuff later on.  I’m hesitant to say, that maybe, for the first time ever, I enjoyed the movie more than the book.  I can’t be completely certain of this until I finish it – but, right now, it seems to be the case.

I hope I change my mind by the end of the novel.

Book Club: Discussing The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Thank you so much for supporting my venture into the blogging world in 2011 and I look forward to more reading, more writing and more blogging in 2012.  I wish all of you and your families a prosperous, happy and book-filled 2012!

On to our book club: The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe.

I finished Howe’s novel about three weeks ago and I enjoyed it, for the most part.  I am looking forward to discussing it this January – which is upon us!

If you are not finished the novel, there is still time for you to read it.  I will post a discussion of Connie Goodwin’s story (all events that occur in the present time) on January 11, 2012 and a discussion on Deliverance Dane’s story (all events that occur in the past) on January 18, 2012.

Hope you are enjoying Howe’s narrative!