Saturday, February 5, 2011

Two Book Reviews: The Girl Who... & Three Cups of Tea

Here's what I've been up to while I've been snowed in for the past 4 days......

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest
I ended up having lots of reading time due to the weather and managed to read The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest in less than a week, and watched two of the movies in the trilogy. When reading the The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest, you find yourself wading through about  a 100 Swedish names. So, you think you can skip over a few of them, but later on down the road, you have no idea which character they are referring to. It become especially confusing when you have 2 bad guys named Niedermann and Nieminen. At one point I thought that I should take out a scrap of paper and take notes on who is who. I find that was Stieg Larsson really needed was a strong editor! Larsson goes into unnecessary detail after unnecessary detail. He spent about 3 pages talking about a janitor's background when he could have cut to the chase in about 2 sentences. The movie handled this nicely by not having this character at all! 
Why was The Section going to such trouble to cover up all their crimes? The people who were involved in the crimes were about to die, and Gullberg killed himself anyways, so why go to any trouble? Clinton and Gullberg could have taken all the blame and said that they were in charge of putting Salander away. Let the old geezers die and let them take all the heat. 
Then we get to the part of the trial, blah blah, just because they were able to discredit Teleborian, that doesn't mean Salander didn't commit a crime (aggrevated assault). 
So, in sum read it if you are snowed in for 4 days and have nothing better to do. Otherwise watch the movie, it is much better as far as editing goes. I still have qualms with the movie because where is the hunky Blomkvist? And why isn't Lisbeth shorter and more petite? I'm just guessing they have limited Swedish actors to chose from.

Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace...One School at a Time
This novel was actually quite good. I wouldn't rush out and buy it, but as an educator I found it heartwarming. The novel is about Greg Mortenson who attempted to hike K2 unsuccessfully, and the Balti people rescued him from the mountain. Mortenson made tremendous sacrifices to help educate these mountain people. If we think we have it bad being snowed in for 4 days, I can only imagine what these rural villages go through. They do not even have roads to make it out of the mountains to get supplies. Mortenson helped build a bridge to make this easier. He worked night shifts as a nurse, and slept in his car to save money to return to Pakistan and help. He was helping the Pakistan people before 9/11, and continued to help the Pakistani and Afghani people after 9/11. He feels that educating is the key to the war on terror. If the village and rural people have a chance to see their choices then they would not feel that they have to join the Telban. Mortenson is a great hero for caring about people who Americans do not care about, and educating women who would have never had the chance to attend school. He works non-stop for others with little pay ($25,000!).

1 comment:

  1. I have to say that I find Blomkist sort of handsome after seeing the movies. Also, the editing in the movies was excellent!