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Lunch » Tags » Books » Reviews » The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo » User review

There IS a Mystery!

  • Jul 1, 2010
Rating:
-1
It's looooong! Over 600 pages in the English edition. It starts slooooowly! At least 140 pages before it starts to show where it's going. It's soooooober! If there was a single instance of humor in it, the joke was too refined for my perception. It's slooooooooppily plotted; there are holes in its plausibility through which you could drive a Volvo XC with all the doors wide open. The writing is boooooring; there isn't a paragraph of good description or a scene of kinetic excitement in the whole thing. And for English readers, it's sooo arcane, full of specks of Swedish geography, Swedish history, Swedish sociology that can't possibly ring any bells in an Anglophone's mind. Soooo ... the mystery is, why has this book and its sequels become sooooo amazingly popular? What could the first reader of the first copy of "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" have seen in the early pages that kept her/him reading? In the end, that's the only mystery left unsolved; even when the most dangerous villain has been rubbed out and the core crime solved, the book plods on with truly Swedish thoroughness for another 100 pages until every stone has been turned over.

Eventually, of course, it does seethe with sensation. It's a tale about three generations of sadistic serial sex murderers, all of whom are also despicable rightwing fanatics. It touches every fashion of the literary decade: apocalyptic Christianity, Apocryphal mystique, Asberger's Syndrome, an international network of computer hackers, Ponzi schemes, torture, pedophilia, unethical journalism, the ineluctable corruption of stock-market finance, white slave trade and the disappearances of young women immigrants, and (gasp!) ritual sacrifice of animals. Yes, I realize that this paragraph is full of spoilers. I think any potential reader is entitled to be forewarned about what she/he is expected to find thrilling. Readers, you don't have to subject yourselves to this kind of ugliness. If there are in reality humans as vile as the characters in this book, you don't need to encounter them in a writer's imagination.

Now I suppose everyone is asking: "Why did you read it?" Fair question. I read a lot and I like to know what other people are reading. I was curious about the notoriety of this book. "Well then, why did you finish it?" That's harder to answer. Curiosity, mostly. And a certain sense that I would have to discuss it and probably review it. And I was angry at it. It's a hateful book -- a hatefully exploitative book that fleshes out fictional people for the reader to hate. There are enough real people whom I struggle not to hate; I want my fiction to offer compassion and insight, not extra instigations for hatred.

The fact that I finished "Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" doesn't mean that YOU ought to read it, whoever you are. It's nasty. I don't recommend it.

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More The Girl with the Dragon Tatto... reviews
review by . April 04, 2012
Translated from the Swedish by Reg Keeland      I was late coming to the massively popular and critically-acclaimed novel (now a Major Hollywood Movie), and while I was thoroughly entertained, I found it left me not quite satisfied.  The hook, if you've not read or seen it in any of its formats (there is also a Swedish movie version), is the Girl of the titles (Larsson finished three before he died, and an unfinished fourth is in limbo pending a bitter estate battle)--an …
review by . January 01, 2010
Book Review: Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
 I had mixed feelings about what type of a rating I should give this book purely based off my disappointment with the end of the novel, which I won't spoil in my review.       Overall, I enjoyed the mystery. I couldn't solve the ultimate puzzle, which always fascinates me since I consider myself an amateur sleuth when it comes to mystery novels. In retrospect, I fear I was too engrossed in the book to pay enough attention to the clues that would help me solve …
review by . March 16, 2010
When I finished reading this book, it was hard to imagine it being the same book that I began a month before. In fact, reading the last third of the book was like reading a completely different book from the first third.  The first third of this book was so slow and boring that I had significant problems even wanting to pick it up off my nightstand to read it. It was great for sleeping but not so good for reading!       Everywhere I went, people were raving about how fantastic …
review by . August 01, 2010
Mikael Blomkvist, investigative journalist and owner of Millennium magazine, is on top of his world. He's just published a hard hitting series of sensational financial articles exposing the staggering corruption of Swedish banker, Hans Wennerstrom, and his star is in the ascendant until Wennerstrom drags him into the courtroom and wins a devastating criminal suit for libel. Blomkvist's world looks bleak as he faces three months in prison and a fine that threatens to take down everything …
review by . December 28, 2011
I finished reading The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo around three-thirty this morning and I still can't believe how brilliant it was! My husband bought me a copy and I started it as soon as it arrived. Lisbeth Salander is one of the most likable characters that I have come across. I had heard a lot about how great this book was and so I was expecting it to be pretty awesome. What I found though was that words cannot describe this book. No matter how great I tell you it is, you won't understand unless …
review by . October 07, 2010
"The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" is the first book in Stieg Larsson's "Millennium" trilogy. It is a well crafted crime thriller, but both in its scope and execution it is much more than that. It features two main characters, a middle-aged journalist Mikael Blomkvist who publishes a magazine Millennium in Stockholm, and a young tattooed girl with a troubled past named Lisbeth Salander who works as a freelance security consultant. These two unlikely individuals find themselves …
review by . February 25, 2011
   I saw the movie, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, before reading Steig Larsson’s book, and I really enjoyed it. The movie is very true to the novel, but the main surprise I found in reading was how handsome and intriguing the main character was meant to be. Lisbeth’s attraction to him is much more believable in the book. And Lisbeth herself is perfectly cast! I think I liked the book even better than the movie.   The story starts slowly with lots of details of …
review by . September 26, 2010
OK, so I'm a little late to the phenomenon that is Stieg Larsson and The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. This book, and in fact the whole Girl trilogy, seemed to come out of nowhere and reach a fevered pitch in a very short period of time. I find it even more amazing that it did so as a novel that had to be translated into English after the author's death. Regardless, I finally got a copy and started reading... and was immediately hooked. Larsson mixes a criminal mystery plot with a number …
review by . June 25, 2010
I was initially drawn to Stieg Larsson's The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo after reading about the movie, which, to be honest, is a crying shame.  When I started looking for it (this was before it started turning up in big box stores, following the release of The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest - which is, by the way, a great way to pick it up on the cheap), no one I knew had ever heard of it.      Two things really stood out in Larsson's story: the characters …
review by . July 19, 2010
For me, The Girl With a Dragon Tattoo started as an audiobook. It's slow at first, and I had a hard time getting into the story--but after about an hour of listening, I realized that I didn't have enough patience and picked up a hard copy of the book. I couldn't stop reading for seven straight hours. Stieg Larsson's style is enrapturing, every scene leads you onto the next, and you're always wondering what's going to happen, how this information ties into that.   …
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Göran ()
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Member Since: Aug 14, 2010
Last Login: Aug 31, 2010 06:58 PM UTC
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Amazon Best of the Month, September 2008: Once you startThe Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, there's no turning back. This debut thriller--the first in a trilogy from the late Stieg Larsson--is a serious page-turner rivaling the best of Charlie Huston and Michael Connelly. Mikael Blomkvist, a once-respected financial journalist, watches his professional life rapidly crumble around him. Prospects appear bleak until an unexpected (and unsettling) offer to resurrect his name is extended by an old-school titan of Swedish industry. The catch--and there's always a catch--is that Blomkvist must first spend a year researching a mysterious disappearance that has remained unsolved for nearly four decades. With few other options, he accepts and enlists the help of investigator Lisbeth Salander, a misunderstood genius with a cache of authority issues. Little is as it seems in Larsson's novel, but there is at least one constant: you reallydon'twant to mess with the girl with the dragon tattoo. --Dave Callanan

--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Details

ISBN-10: 0307269752
ISBN-13: 9780307269751
Author: Stieg Larsson
Genre: Mystery & Thrillers
Publisher: Vintage
Date Published: September 16, 2008
Format: Hardcover
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