Praise for Declan Burke: “Burke shows again that he’s not just a comic genius, but also a fine dramatic writer and storyteller.” – Booklist. “Proust meets Chandler over a pint of Guinness.” – Spectator. “Among the most memorable books of the year, of any genre.” – Sunday Times. “A hardboiled delight.” – Guardian. “Imagine Donald Westlake and Richard Stark collaborating on a screwball noir.” – Kirkus Reviews. “A cross between Raymond Chandler and Flann O’Brien.” – John Banville.

Friday, September 10, 2010

The Digested Read: THE GIRL WHO PLAYED WITH FIRE by Stieg Larsson

I can’t remember the last time I got into a taxi in which the cabbie was reading a novel (if ever, but then I don’t take a lot of taxis), but I did so today and - quelle surprise - he was reading a Stieg Larsson book. Liking it a lot, too, although - oddly enough - he’d skipped DRAGON TATTOO and gone straight to THE GIRL WHO PLAYED WITH FIRE.
  Anyhoo, apologies for the Stieg Larsson overload this week but we haven’t had a Digested Read in quite a bit, and I quite liked the movie version of THE GIRL WHO PLAYED WITH FIRE, which should be screening at a Cineplex near you. To wit:


They were the best of men, they were the worst of men. Actually, thought Lisbeth Salander, scratching the left wing of her tattoo with the dragon-scratcher app on her iPhone 6g, all men were sadistic pig-dog rapist scum.
  All apart from Blomqvist, she thought some more.
  Why is that? she thought a little more, wonderingly.
  Well, one thing was certain, she thought to herself, and herself only, as she lit a fresh cigarette with the cigarette-lighter app on her new iVolvo 7g, she would find out by hacking the mainframe of the hidden supercomputer built by sadistic pig-dog Russian sex traffickers. And then they would all die. Die! Diiiieeeee!!!

Blomqvist left the office of Millennium magazine after bringing down the latest government with yet another searing exposé of how the Minister for Umlauts had snaffled an extra Swedish meatball during last Saturday’s trip to IKEA. He was bored, now. What he really needed was to meet a few sadistic pig-dog rapists to prove what a good man he was, by comparison.
  But stay! Was that a message coming through on his Dangleberry 9000e? It was! Don’t believe the media (except Millennium), he read without speaking aloud, I didn’t kill those pig-dog rapists. I am innocent. Your endlessly resourceful alter-ego, Lisbeth.
  Blomqvist smiled a wryly smiling smile. Mothers, he thought, lock up all your sadistic pig-dog sons.

Salander came to in a shallow grave near Brännellsgrytängenvoldemortenskällengen, just down the road from Töp. Her pig-dog Russian sex-trafficker father and pig-dog Bond villain half-brother had neglected to kill her all the way, she thought. The fools! Now she would run away and live to fight another - No! Wait! Why not attack them both, just as she was, shot and bleeding and nigh-on dead?

Blomqvist tenderly lifted Lisbeth into the Sikorsky S-76C+ iHelicopter. I have a dream, he thought thoughtfully, a song to sing, to help me cope, with anything. Except pig-dog rapists, of course. That’s Lisbeth’s gig.

The End, he thought with a wry smile.

THE DIGESTED READ, IN A LINE: HE was a mild-mannered journalist, SHE never outgrew her sullen Goth phase: when they met, it was MÖIDER!

  This article first appeared in the Evening Herald.


Mike Cane said...

You are a pig-dog rapist of Swedish fiction. We know you who are because you were stupid enough to put your name on your blog -- and your books!! There is no hiding for you now. Even if you go to Gutenhagendaszenberg to hide!!

Hilarious post.

Glenna said...

Thanks for the laugh.

Peter Rozovsky said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Peter Rozovsky said...

He wasn't driving at the time, I hope.
Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"

adrian said...


Genius. You pig dog you.

Although I didnt quite get the belly laugh that I got from the actual book when the feminist icon/masked avenger gets the, uh, breast implants.

Dorte H said...


The word verification is concle. I think it means chuckle.

Peter Rozovsky said...

Adrian, the breast implants were a ruse to get the pig-dogs just where she wanted them. So what if a few of them slobbered a bit along the way?
Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"

bookwitch said...

Bäd båy får mäking fun åf us.

And Adrian, have you never wanted better breasts?

seana said...

Now that I've finally commented on your story, I can say here that I love this!

You've got great comic gifts. Hope you don't get too discouraged to try them in a novel again.