Friday, November 26, 2010

Stieg Larsson's Millennium trilogy - part four!

Bit of an Electric Goose exclusive here. During my travels in India I stumbled across a manuscript - not literally, of course, I'm perfectly capable of remaining upright in the face of paper obstacles - which I believe to be a fragment of the fourth book in Stieg Larsson's bestselling Millennium trilogy, a follow-up to third and supposedly final book The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest. People, on the day the movie version of the aforementioned novel is released, I give you an extract from the new Lisbeth Salander/Mikael Blomkvist crime epic: The Girl Who Went to the Shops...


THE GIRL WHO WENT TO THE SHOPS

Lisbeth Salander put on a T-shirt which read You don't have to be mad to work here, but it helps and went into her kitchen. At 8.58am, she placed a white ceramic bowl on her Svasbo breakfast table. She poured some cereal into the bowl, followed by some milk. She ate the cereal. At 9.10am, she washed the bowl and spoon, then dried them. She picked up her Apple G4 PowerBook with 60GB hard drive, 1GB of RAM and 15" screen with two USB sockets, and put it in her bag, along with a small canister of Mace. Then she went out.

***

Jerker Strömström was a noisome, vital man. He was one metre sixty-three, with vigorous long blonde hair, an untidy beard and a noisome expression. He had noisome grey trousers, a blue shirt and black shoes. He watched as a childlike young lady with a number of tattoos and piercings walked into his shop. Fucking lesbian whore. The girl picked up a basket.

Shops are business establishments that allow individuals to purchase items for personal use in exchange for money. Items can be bought using cash, debit card or cheque, although in 1993, the Swedish government in their wisdom had introduced draconian legislation forcing anyone using a credit card to pay a 12 percent surcharge on all transactions under 100 Kroner. In 1995, a group of rebel MPs had tried to overturn the ruling, but had failed. In 1998, they had tried again, but had also failed. In 2001 they had tried and failed again. In 2003 they had tried and failed again. In 2006 they had tried and failed again.

Strömström looked at the girl suspiciously.

***

Journalist Mikael Blomkvist sighed with satisfaction. He had just finishing writing and editing the latest issue of Millennium magazine and an accompanying book, having worked for 19 hours straight with no breaks. He flicked on the radio in his office. The song that came on was 'Reach' by S Club 7. He stood up and reached for a copy of The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie. Being one metre and eighty-three tall, he managed to grasp the book from its place on the top of his bookshelf with ease. He sat down and started to read.

***

Salander looked around the shop, deciding what she was going to need. She picked up a basket and began to shop, taking a tube of Colgate toothpaste, two pencils, an apple, a 1.5-litre bottle of Coca-Cola, four packets of ready salted crisps and a pair of shoelaces. She walked further down the aisle and took a 200g tin of baked beans. I really like baked beans. She went to the cashier, who told her the items came to 98 Kroner. She took out her card to pay.

***

As the girl took out her card, Strömström narrowed his eyes, and smugly began to tell the girl about the 12 percent surcharge. Before he had even finished his sentence, he felt a sharp stinging in his eyes as Salander sprayed Mace directly into his face. What the hell? Out of nowhere, he felt his jaw break as she kicked him in the face and he fell to the floor in agony. She took out a hammer and he moaned in pain as she smashed him in the ribs. Another woman-hater had learned not to provoke Lisbeth Salander.

***

Blomkvist looked across from his office window, frozen with shock at the supermarket scuffle he'd just witnessed. What the hell? Then he recognised Lisbeth Salander. Of course. Despite being only one metre fifty tall and weighing less than 90 pounds, she truly was the smartest and most introverted person he'd ever met. She was just so... odd.

***

As Salander left the shop, she happened to glance into a nearby window. A man was watching with a look of surprise on his face. She couldn't believe it. Kalle fucking bastard bloody idiot Blomkvist.

THE END

(Posted with apologies to the late Stieg Larsson and his translator, since I did actually really enjoy the books. After finishing this, I noticed Nora Epron had written her own parody for The New Yorker - it's rather good, and you can read it here.)

5 comments:

Adam said...

It reads like modern Balzac. Having said that, I've not read Larsson so your tone could be completely off (I doubt it)

The Finnishman in London said...

In a bestselling book over here (OK, Koljatti by Jari Tervo was published in 2009) a caricature of our PM keeps a woman imprisoned in his basement, buys porridge (or whatever) from a supermarket and then finds himself taking the young, pretty cashier lady at Lidl from behind while other customers are patiently staying behind in the queue (and not taking out their [no dirty thoughts here!] mobile phones, for example).

Finally the PM realises he needs to pay for his shopping (and button up) and collects his shopping.

Is the point that in this increasingly hazy world where everything gets blurred by shades of all manner, you need something steady such as a wake-up 8.00am, a browse of Delia Smith at 8.10am, then notice you have failed to boil an egg at 8.20am..?

Sorry, this was a bit of a tangent as i haven't read Larsson. I should.

Chris said...

A deliberate mistake: "Reach for the Stars" by Steps?

Will said...

Adam - You should do, now I've ruined it.

Jukka - Has this book been translated into English?

Chris - Yikes, I'll remedy that immediately... Double error, too, it's actually just called 'Reach', which I should know because including 'for the stars' once lost me two points in a pub quiz.

The Finnishman in London said...

Nope, perhaps these Finnish crown jewels are better kept within their original language ;)