For Boobs, Mikael?

Warning: this post contains a picture which includes boobs. Be prepared for that. If your manager is looking over your shoulder, don’t click; or at least have an excuse ready. If you’re offended by the sight of boobs… well… I’m sorry. But I probably don’t know how to talk to you in that case, anyway. Lastly: if you’re American, you’re not supposed to see this, for some reason.

Please, use your desecration. Oh yes, and think of the children. But not while looking at the boobs. That would be strange.



It’s the new teaser poster for David Fincher’s adaptation of Stieg Larsson’s fantastic The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo:

Note: I’ve nabbed this picture from WikiPedia. It’s small so that it counts as fair use (apparently). If you click it, you’ll be taken to the films official website, where you can see a bigger version, though you might have to pinky swear that you’re old enough to see it. The site also has the teaser trailer, but I’ll get to that.

Update: It seems they’ve taken it off the official site. You can find it at the Total Film website here.

I like this poster quite a bit, though I am slightly confused as to whether the tag line is supposed to be:

Evil shall with evil be expelled.

Which kind of feels as though it needs a comma to me (though I’m not 100% certain where), or:

Evil shall be expelled with evil.

Which perhaps scans slightly better, but is definitely not how you would normally reads words written in that arrangement. In some ways I think I prefer the slightly more archaic feel of the first one.

Update 2: The version of the trailer on the official site has been updated. It’s definitely the first one.

I outright love the book this is based on (and was confused as all hell when Dougal didn’t). I did really enjoyed the original Swedish adaptation, but I have high hopes for any David Fincher film and this is no exception. I’m not thinking of it as a remake, more a reinterpretation.

I think Daniel Craig is really good casting for Mikael Blomkvist, and I’m pretty impressed with the way Rooney Mara is looking as Lisbeth Salander. In the books, at least, the point is made that Lisbeth would be incredibly attractive if she wasn’t far, far too thin. Mission accomplished. I can’t wait to hear them speaking, though it is going to be strange without the Swedish accent. Craig is uniformly fantastic, and Mara definitely held her own, and even stood out, in The Social Network.

What was also released recently was the teaser trailer, which looks a little bit like this:

This is definitely a trailer for people who’ve read the book, I think. I saw it in the cinema with X-Men First Class, and the guy sat next to me had a fairly strong negative reaction of the “what the hell was that?” variety. To me, though, it looks great. Fincher’s artistry is legendary and I think this film is going to have a lot of impact. It’s going to be dark, and very difficult to watch in places. This is a story about incredibly complex and compelling characters. This does not mean that they are nice people, and their story is a difficult one. If I had to pick a word to describe what I think this film will be like, it would be: uncompromising.

I look forward to taking my double espresso with a teaspoon of milk this Christmas, even if I do feel as though I need to take a bath afterwards.


What’s the Downside?

I’m reading a Peter F Hamilton book right now. His work isn’t perfect, but I like it. He achieves a fairly staggering level of scale, whilst corralling a considerable number of characters who are worth your time* and develop naturally, if exceptionally. His books are, however, frikkin’ gigantic. This one is 725 pages long, and is shorter than a lot of his other work. It’s not ideal for reading on journeys, and you wouldn’t want to pack more than one of them for a long trip. It’s also not like PFH is the only long winded author I read. See also Robyn Hobb, Neal Stephenson and Brandon Sanderson. I don’t only read huge Sci-Fi/Fantasy epics, but I do often read them.

Additionally, I have stacks and stacks of books, even taking into account that I divested myself of a lot before leaving Edinburgh. When I move into my new flat**, I’m not sure I’m going to have space for them. If I could stop that collection growing too much, that would be ideal, but I have no plans to stop reading or buying new reading material.

On the surface, to me at least, the ideal solution to this would be a kindle (or, I suppose, some other eBook reader). All of a sudden, Pandora’s Star is now the same Size as Cat’s Cradle. Crytonomicon is the same size as Memoirs of a Geisha. Plus, it doesn’t matter how far I’m traveling or how little space I have, i can basically pack as many books as I’d like. Likewise, the book collections would not (physically) expand in size.

But what about the books I have already? Do I just keep them, rammed onto the shelf space I have? Do I instead charity shop*** them? Do I replace / duplicate some or all of them with the eBook version? There’s no ideal solution here.

The publisher is never going to give you the eBook just because because you own the paper copy, and likewise I suspect the majority of people of aren’t going to want to pay full price for an eBook they already own. Plus, books are not quite so easy to format shift as CDs.

So, here’s what I propose: you take your book to a shop and pay them a nominal fee (say £1). They then give you the eBook version of your book, in the format of your choice. The book itself gets recycled. The shop and the publisher then split both the cash and the revenue from the recycling. You’ve format shifted your book, with only a small outlay. The publisher has benefited from this transaction. No new copies of the book have been magicked into existence (also good for the publisher). Lastly, raw material for recycled paper has been obtained. What’s the downside?

* Well, he  does now, anyway. Much as I loved the Night’s Dawn trilogy, Joshua was way more interesting than either the sum or the product of the rest of the characters.

** Which is in Clapham, for those of you who are playing at home. The Richmond flat was gorgeous, but size / price ratio was just too small.

*** I see no reason not to use that as a verb.

Just Can’t Recommend Highly Enough

Today I finished “The Girl Who Played With Fire”, translated by Reg Keeland from the swedish book of the same name by Stieg Larsson. It’s the sequel to ‘The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” (which is called “Men Who Hate Women” in the original swedish), and I really can’t recommend the pair of them highly enough (as you might have guessed from the title of this blog post).

I picked the first book up as the combination of the titular character being described as “an expert computer hacker” and the synopsis on the back cover put me in mind of Neil Stephenson’s “Cryptonomicon”, not only one of my favourite books but also an outright work of genius, in my opinion. I would describe “Cryptonomicon” as recommended reading if you’re the sort of person who breaths oxygen and walks upright, if you work with computers I’d say it verges on being required reading. Since Stephenson lost the plot more recently (in my opinion, that is; I didn’t make it more than half way through “Quicksilver” before giving up in pained frustration) there has been a rather large cyber-fiction based hole in my world. “…Dragon Tattoo” seems as though it might be poised to fill it.

In fact it did not. It’s a different beast all together. A slow burning and wonderful one, written (and translated) with great skill and care. Both books are very powerful reads, laced with a hatred of misogyny and criticism of a system which doesn’t do nearly enough to prevent it. It’s also a ripping great yarn of a mystery, full of strong male and female characters. Nominally, the books are the first two parts of a trilogy. In fact Larsson planned ten books and left an unfinished fourth manuscript together with outlines for books five and six when he died. I’m waiting with bated breath for the release of the third book. I just hope it ties things up reasonably well and so won’t leave me too curious about the contents of book I’ll never be able to read.

Something else I can’t recommend highly enough, while I’m on the subject, is this:

I love it when an an apparently shallow and vacant pop star turns out to be really quite absurdly talented…

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