Okay, I've read this now and I really don't have anything to add. It's a nicely done story, I read 400 pages of it yesterday and I'm in hospital and feel like shit, so I guess that is a compliment. The good guys win and you sense fairly early on that they are going to, so it's tense without being worrying. I quite liked that.
Excuse me. I'm going back to do that drugged dozing that Salander spends the first half of the book doing and in which regard I seem to be following in her footsteps.
So, we start off with Salander in hospital, several gunshot wounds including one to the head, and there’s this sense of poor little tough fragile bird for whom we are supposed to be feeling sorry and I’m thinking to myself I bet it just isn’t that bad, but I can’t prove that, can I?
Or can I? All I need is some data and I can collect that myself. I’m in Switzerland, which is practically the same as Sweden, indeed I do have a brother who thinks the one is inside the other, so all I have to do is figure out how to get shot. Which is easier said than done in Geneva, it turns out. What I did manage, however, was to turn up at Emergency almost dead and so I started close enough to par with our heroine.
Salander’s advantages over me were clear from the start. I don’t speak a word of French and other than my extreme pain making it clear something was wrong, what was it? Bullet wounds on the other hand are so obvious. Salander got painkillers right from the start, I had to wait 24 hours without food, water or drugs. It was most likely I had a pulmonary embolism and needed a CT scan before they could proceed. Timing critical maybe. But as it happens a terrible accident in France saw people brought from it to this hospital and so I had to wait 12 hours for my scan. In agony and wondering if I was going to die because of something that happened in another country. Sigh. Well, not sigh, actually. I could scarcely breathe at all, let alone anything close to a sigh. Ditto crying. It might have looked like I was Salander-brave, but crying would have caused unbearable pain. Some have bravery forced upon them.
I bet Salander was prepared. Shave under arms, check. Leg wax, check. Boob job, check. So, she was ready to be examined by bunches of doctors. Not me. Not that I cared. I was in such pain, crying out loud agony, that the fact six doctors were looking at my breasts wasn’t of the least interest to me. Six young good looking doctors. Ummm. Somehow that registered. I’m given the CT scan at 2am and the next day the diagnosis. The head doctor with a team standing around tells me I have an impressive chest – I try to look modest, inappropriately as it turns out when he continues: you don’t just have one, you have many, many pulmonary embolisms. He described how they were all over my lungs. Evidently my lungs are interesting at the moment.
And did Salander do this? I played a speed chess tournament the day before, I knew I was sick and I felt too tired to play, but still. We’ve been speculating lately about the impact of illness on players of non-physical games. It is my contention that it doesn’t necessarily hurt and can actually help focus you on the job at hand since you have such limited energy. Still, I’d been thinking speed chess would have to be an exception. It requires physical and mental sharpness, after all. It was quite pleased to me, then, to discover that I played well and had a performance rating of 2011, which for somebody who hasn’t played anything like that for over 20 years seemed like a good result. Even better for half-dead.
And this is another thing. Salander didn’t have to read The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest. It weighs a ton. I could scarcely work out a way of holding it and when I dropped it on the floor that was it. No way could I pick it up again. It’s still sitting on the floor, about p. 100, when I can pick it up again I will report on the rest.
This was supposed to be funny, but I think maybe I’m a bit sick and I haven’t really managed funny. Sorry.
Update, next morning 6am. It was suggested to me that Salander had somebody in hospital trying to kill her and I didn't. Hmmm. Then why did I wake up this morning with my oxygen mask, which was on my face when I went to sleep, sitting on the table, detached from the tube supplying oyxgen? Maybe one of those chess players I beat? The mean nurse? And why do they keep taking my blood, of which in my opinion I must have practically none left? I'm just asking.