Putting out the fire

In a memorable scene in which Lisbeth gets into a stolen rental car and heads towards what will be a near-death experience, she listens to David Bowie singing about “putting out the fire with gasoline,” from the song Cat People (Putting Out Fire), which is sung by Bowie in the 1982 film Cat People. (In 2009, the song was also used for the soundtrack of the film Inglourious Basterds). This allusion to the song gave the English language Larsson novel its title, The Girl Who Played with Fire. The fire is both real and metaphorical, referring to Lisbeth’s attempt at age 12 to burn her father to death by pouring gasoline on him and setting him on fire. Lisbeth is also “playing with fire” in the sense that she is taking on her violent father and his criminal gang.

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