Getting over my knee jerk snobbery toward megapopular airport books is a lot harder when they suck incredible ass.
After resisting the ‘Millennium Trilogy’ for years (because it kept being recommended to me by stupid people–there’s that snobbery, see?), I finally gave in and bought The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. Literally at the fucking airport, because I forgot my real novel at my hotel in Cape Town.
You can tell you’re reading a bad novel when the only reason you’re continuing with it is because you ‘want to see what happens’. It’s not that any of the characters are compelling, or that it reveals something about a place or a time or an aspect of humanity you didn’t understand before. You just need to know how the girl mysteriously disappeared, and who masterminded the plot, and what’s the deal with that creepy cousin or whatever.
I realized halfway through that, whatever the denouement (or three-nouement, really, since I’m sure the ending of the first book is just going to manhandle me into reading the next two), the made-up solution to this made-up mystery isn’t designed to do anything beyond making me briefly forget my immediate surroundings. After 200 pages I called it quits.