09 March 2011
For one reason or the other, I never got down to doing so for nearly a year. I always knew that the book was there on my list of books to read, but there was nothing calling out to me to read it. Then one day last week my son asked me what kind of bird a 'hornet' was - he had seen someone reading the book, and presumed that since the hornet had a nest that could be kicked, it had to be a bird. That did it. I ordered the book the same day (at a 75% discount - don't ask me how), and started reading it the moment it was delivered.
The irritants started manifesting themselves. Sure we know that Mikael Blomkvist is partial to Apple products, but does he have to be using his i-something every time he appears? If Larsson had to go into excruciating detail while describing the attire of all the female characters, why did he leave out the shoes and the bags?
The book was just under-edited.
When I read the first two books, I had been a lifelong reader, and I related to the engaging characters and the well-plotted storyline. But in the intervening months, I have become a more critical reader. Seeing the effort that people put into their books, I have become far more demanding of what I consider excellence. I have learnt what to look for when critiquing a book. And I have become less forgiving of excess words hanging around in a published manuscript.
Whether or not it would help me when I finally get down to writing I do not know, but it is nice to see the evolution of my editing skills.
And here's a cool poster, which says it all about something else-