My review of “The girl with the dragon tattoo”
June 18, 2010 Leave a comment
The late Stieg Larsson‘s book “The girl with the dragon tattoo” takes spot number 11 in my “26 in 52 challenge“. Being week number 24 I’m still a book behind. I’ll have to either read a short one or buckle down and finish two books in two weeks at some point. I’m still looking forward to the challenge!
After reading this, one thing was decided; I now have two others penned in for future reading. In fact, the 2nd one, “The girl who played with fire” is sitting beside me with the bookmark freshly placed inside.
When I bought this book, I didn’t pay much attention to the storyline, I’ll admit. I was mostly buying it based on hype, and the fact that I used a birthday gift card and had nothing to lose. My presumption of the book was that it would focus completely on the loner with a dark past, Lisbeth Salander, but it was equally (or more so) about her and tarnished journalist, Mikael Blumqvist.
Both of their stories come together as the two of them try to solve a murder mystery, which during the early stages gave the story a “Clue” feeling, but investigating a murder from 60 years prior. Of course, the book wouldn’t have garnered such enthusiasm if it had been a simple murder mystery, but I won’t ruin it for you, if you haven’t read it.
A major thread throughout the book that I found interesting is the relationship experiences of Blomqvist and Salander. First, Blomqvist, divorced with a teenage child, is in his 40s, has a “friends with benefits” relationship with his longtime pal and business partner; he also has been known to seek out women on a regular basis. Salander on the other hand had a much more disturbing experience.
Much of her past has yet to be revealed, but Salander has had multiple partners, both male and female, and is goes about life disconnected from her emotions, especially when it comes to love. In the book she also goes through a terrible rape by her legal guardian who blackmails her into doing his bidding (against her will is an understatement here). This only builds her mistrust for men and further causes her to bury her emotions.
As the two stories collide, both Blomqvist and Salander being spending much more time together and though they would seem the most unlikely pairing, there’s a bond between the two that can’t be stopped. I enjoyed the extremes of the two characters and how they came to meet somewhat in the middle as the book went on.
I enjoyed the book quite a lot, but I wouldn’t say it’s deep enough in character development just yet to say this one will be on my top 5 or 10. I’ll hold back judgment until I’ve read them and can be a better judge. I’ll give this one a 4/5.
For the next book, I’m not sure how they’ll bring the two back together again, but I am sure if the writing in this one is any indicator, it’s sure to be an entertaining read.
Movie-wise I have yet to watch the Swedish version, but now that I’m finished the book I’m curious to see how they portrayed the characters. Watching the trailer I found it looks well done, and while interested I’m kind of not interested in the Americans taking it over and making it their own.
Have you read the book or watched the movie? What did you think?