Saturday, September 29, 2012

Pop fiction I like

A regular reader may recall that I am no fan of popular fiction. In the post just linked I might have been remiss in failing to note that it isn't just that I categorically dislike popular fiction or believe that it can not be enjoyed (though I do abhor most of it) but that it frustrates me that people mistake such work for real (i.e. great) literature. So I thought I might take a moment to spotlight some pop fiction that I did enjoy.

Namely: Stieg Larsson's Millennium Trilogy. While I am aware that this isn't on the level of Dostoevsky or Dickens I did find all three of these books thoroughly enjoyable, for several reasons. First of all, in all three books I could identify with the politics of the author and his fixation on right wing extremism. The second and third books in the series deal with what would be my political fantasy: having a government that violates civil liberties in the name of national security be held to account.

Secondly, as a lifelong fan of the medium of comic books, I appreciated the way that the main character of the series comes across as a super-heroine, with abilities that far surpass that of a normal human being. (This is more apparent in the second and third books.)

And perhaps it has something to do with the genre, because the next most pop fiction success that I can think of that I've enjoyed has been the work of James Ellroy, also a writer of detective fiction (think film noir.)

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