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Slow To Start, Brilliant To End

  • Jun 28, 2010
Rating:
+3

I started this book after seeing advertisements and high recommendations for it. The beginning was slow to start - especially because I wasn't familiar with Sweden's culture and system. I pushed through because of the recommendations and the careful setting - plenty of detail to paint a complete picture, but not so much that it drags. Though it did take some time to establish the situation and settings, it was rewarding in the end when I felt like I had a good picture of the setup of a country I've never been to. The book definitely began to pick up though, and by the end, I read the whole last third of the book all at once because I couldn't put it down.

This is an amazing story with a big cast of characters and a mystery that spans several generations. Characters and threads that seemed to be unrelated at first ended up tying together in a satisfying and completely surprising conclusion. I loved that I couldn't guess what had happened as the mystery unfolds and each new clue seems to only deepen the complex case.

As for the characters, I didn't exactly like them by the end of the book, but I their opposition and motivations are certainly clear enough that I felt sympathetic. Mikael Blomkvist is an idealistic journalist and a lover of many women, accused of slander. Lisbeth Salander is a young girl with Asperger syndrome and a brilliant mathematical mind. While personally, I have seen enough idealistic journalists and biting girls with modern goth appearances, they were both interesting enough that I wanted to keep reading about them both.

I watched the movie after I read the book, and while hte movie was also enjoyable, the book had so much more of an intricate mystery, plot, and character development, I would have to say that the book is definitely preferable.

I highly recommend this to anyone who likes a good mystery or thriller!

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July 20, 2010
I agree that this started slowly and that the end was engrossing. I understand that the others in the series are similar. Is the structure particularly Swedish, and are we just not accustomed to it?
July 22, 2010
I'm only about partway through the second book right now, so I couldn't say about the others in this series (though I thought the beginning of the second book was more engrossing than the first - it may just be a case of already knowing the characters, though). As for the structure, if you mean the slow beginning and engrossing end, I think it's simply a case of a great climax with a lot of setup and a bit of meandering int he beginning of the book. As far as I know, it's not a case of Swedish writing as I've read other Swedish-translated authors (i.e. Henning Mankell, John Ajvide Lindqvist, of course Astrid Lindgren, etc) and none of them write in the same style or the slow beginning, great ending structure. It may be that those other authors I've read are not in the same genre of books that the Millenium Trilogy is, though.
 
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Member Since: Jun 26, 2010
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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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