Friday, July 8, 2011

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo: Review

I finished The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo a while ago, but life being life I somehow didn't get around to the review. One of the things about being a bit of a book snob is that sometimes I resist reading really popular books. But, Dad recommended this one and I can't remember Dad ever steering me wrong in 43 years. He often recommends books I wouldn't normally read, but I've enjoyed every one. Of course my delay in reviewing means I've read a couple other books in the meantime and my opinions are not all that fresh or sharp. But, here we go ... 

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First off, I got thoroughly wrapped up in the tension and drama of this story - more the old guy (Mikael) than the girl (Lisbeth). It started slow, and then built and built. In fact, I am not sure that naming the series for Lisbeth is an accurate reflection of the stories, but maybe that balance changes in the further books. 

And, I didn't believe their relationship. In fact, I didn't believe a lot of the relationships in this story. The family was too cold, the lovers too dispassionate. I spent a lot of time pulled out by that - wondering if it was a 'Danish' thing, or a 'male writer' thing, or if something got lost in the translation. 

I do not read a lot of books in translation - and it took a bit of an adjustment to get into the flow of Larsson's style. I'm going to guess that Danish writers are more verbose than the average English writer. More verbose, and more fond of passive and complex sentences. Even so, the tension and action were taut. 

There are some scenes in this book that it was bad timing for me to read. I had to stop and pull myself away from certain plot points that were too close to home. I finally just skipped a couple pages as I didn't know how else to get through it. I can't say I've ever done that before, but the story was better than a single scene and worth the work around. 

I'm excited to finish the trilogy. I have The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest waiting on my shelf, and just need to remember to pick up The Girl Who Played with Fire the next time I'm at Russell Books. And, I'm looking forward to seeing the movies, but not until I'm finished the trilogy. 

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