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The Millennium Series: In Praise Of The Written Word

Real writers, the ones who are writing because they can’t imagine doing anything else, are plentiful in this world. And thank God for that.

These are the people who draw us into worlds we can’t imagine, or take us deeper into the ones we can, simply with the clever and skillful construction of sentences, and the inspired flow of true storytelling.

In this dumbed-down world, there are many who write to entertain. Some who write to inform. And even fewer who write to do both and pull it off magnificently.

 The Millennium Series

I started reading this series about 5 or 6 years ago. when it was already famous, with the first book in what was then a trilogy, by Swedish author Stieg Larsson, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.

I was immediately drawn into the world that he created through his characters and through the story, which reaches deep into history and creates characters who are powerful and driven. It is almost impossible for anyone with two brain cells to rub together to resist the lure of these books.

And the very fact of their monumental success among the 20% or so of the population who do have the aforementioned brain cells, says something very important, not just about modern fiction writing, but about the world.

We live in a world with a higher idiot count than ever. Popular culture in so-called advanced societies has more to do with crap that doesn’t matter than it does with anything truly meaningful.

I have personally worked hard all my life to avoid becoming part of that popular culture, choosing instead to criticize its superficiality and all the types of manipulation that go into keeping people from thinking too much.

But the books of the Millennium trilogy and the four (so far) that have been created by David Lagercrantz, following the death of Steig Larsson in 2004, are a true refuge from this shallowness, vanity, and simple-mindedness of the popular culture.

These books basically tell the story of two people. Lisbeth Salander, a computer hacker and Mikael Blomkvest, a big time journalist. Two people from completely different worlds whose lives intertwine and create one of the great literary stories of modern time.

These are books that compel you to read every word, make sure you understand who all the characters are, and keep careful track of the events, because the more you concentrate on what you are reading the more fascinating these books become.

The best quote I saw about this series was from someone named Mario Vargas Llosa “I’ve just spent a few weeks with all my experienced reader’s critical defences swept away by the cyclonic force of a story.”

There are a lot of books that I have read and consider special. But this series, because of the story it tells and the characters in it, make it very special.

But more than that, it shows that in this day and age of selfies and all the other visual crap that is being foisted on us through all forms of media, the written word is still as powerful and relevant as it ever has been.

Jim Murray
Jim Murrayhttps://www.bebee.com/@jim-murray
I have been a writer since the age of 14. I started writing short stories and poetry. From there I graduated to writing lyrics for various bands and composers and feature-length screenplays, two of which have been produced. Early on in my writing career, I discovered advertising. While the other media have drifted in and out, communications writing and art direction have been the constant through a 20-year career senior positions in Canadian and multi-national agencies and a second career, which began in 1989, (Onwords & Upwords Inc), as a strategic and creative resource to direct clients, design companies, marketing consultants and boutique agencies. Early in 2020, I closed Onwords & Upwords and opened MurMarketing which is a freelance strategic development/copywriting/art direction service for businesses working to make a positive difference in the world. I currently write long format blogs in 4 different streams, encompassing, entertainment, marketing, and communications, life in general, and the renewable energy and recycling industries. These are currently published on beBee.com. I have, over the years, created more than 1500 blog posts. I live with my wife Heather in the beautiful Niagara Region of southern Ontario, after migrating from Toronto, where I spent most of my adult life. I am currently recovering from spinal surgery and learning to walk again.

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