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I plodded patiently through The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo because I wanted to give a dead man an even break. But now I'm in the first third of the second part of Stieg Larsson's Millennium Trilogy, and that is enough.
I suspected during The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo that in spite of Larsson's Men Who Hate Women theme, that the novel was little more than a middle-aged man's wet dream. Our hero, Mikael Blomkvist, seems to sleep with every woman he meets. Because Larsson's women are in control of their bodies and their bodies can't resist 40-somethingish Blomkvist.
The author has created women who are independent, yet compelled to jump into bed with our protagonist because sex with him is "uncomplicated."
I stopped reading when a couple of women slept together and the narrator had to explain it to us. Why does the narrator need to explain why two women are in bed? They like each other. There's no reason to say, "Chloe had her first lesbian experience when she was eighteen and never looked back or regretted not being with a man." There is only one reason to say that, well two, one is to show your readers that you, the author, are cool with lesbians, that you understand them, that you are a hip dude; and the other, is to justify why a woman wouldn't fall right into bed with your hero, Blomkvist.
And Larrson's titular character is unbelievable, by any exponential leap in my ability to suspend disbelief. Not only is she a "world-class computer hacker," something which never seems proven by her "skills" since her hacking relies on spying someone entering a password or breaking into one's residence and installing special computer software. But she's also a boxer, motorcycle repairman, vigilante and social chameleon, all wrapped in a 4'10" 90-pound package. Enhanced with fake boobs during the second book.
And though, 20 years younger, she also sleeps with Blomkvist. And falls in love with him. It's just a middle-aged male fantasy wrapped in feminist emperor's clothes.
And this is my ultimate reason for recommending against these books: Even if it's true that young women want to sleep with men in their forties, it is never something that should ever be encouraged. Never, ever, ever.