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Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Reader's Diary #1148- Steig Larsson: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Since starting my blog, I don't recall leaving this much time between having finished a book and blogging about it. I finished Stieg Larsson's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo back in June. Then I went on vacation and I've also been busy with a course. Essentially time got away from me.

In any case, I think I remember enough to write some basic thoughts, and if not many, I guess that's something, too.

First off, I never got into the whole corrupt "big business" story. Every blurb seemed to shout what a page turner the book was. Sure the serial killer plot was exciting, but getting there I thought was a slog. If you're the other person on Earth still left to read it, it goes a little something like this: a Swedish political magazine publisher named Mikael Blomkvist is taken up on libel charges against a rich industrialist named Wennerstrom. Blomkvist's career and reputation seemed to be shot. However, another important, albeit retired, CEO named Vanger requests help from Blomkvist in solving the mystery of his missing niece who disappeared in 1966. In return, Blomkvist is offered dirt on Wennerstrom that would finally return some Blomkvist's credibility. With nothing to lose, he agrees to help solve the missing niece case. However, he is soon paired with an unlikely but capable partner, Lisbeth Salander, a tiny, but fierce and enigmatic tattooed young woman who values her independence and is suspicious, sometimes with good reason, of others. The missing girl case turns into a serial killer case and soon Blomkvist and Salander's own lives are in danger when as get too close to the answer. Of course they get to the answer, but then the book returns once more to that boring business fraud story. It felt like the final hour of the Lord of the Rings trilogy when they go back to the shire: unnecessary!

Something I didn't get about the serial killer case: Why did the killer go after Blomkvist when he started investigating, but didn't go after Vanger himself who'd apparently been obsessed with the ever since it happened?

I also, and I know she's a well-liked character so I apologize in advance, didn't really like Lisbeth. I felt like I supposed to find her all enigmatic and respect her take-no-prisoners approach, but I felt she was overdone, contrived.

Still, I suppose the action scenes were thrilling enough that I can see the appeal, and I wouldn't mind seeing the movie. And I almost forgot to add how much I enjoyed the Swedish setting. But still, I'm in no rush to read the others in the trilogy.

3 comments:

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I am that other person. I have been meaning to read this trilogy, as I did enjoy the films. But of course 90 minutes of reading subtitles is far less of a commitment than reading three big novels, so ...

Nicola Mansfield said...

Sorry, I'm that other person too! Haven't even seen the movies. I can't watch them because I mean to read the books someday LOL. When books get all hyped up it seems to turn me off reading them for some reason.

John Mutford said...

Barbara: Were the next 2 books in the series made into movies?

Nicola: I'd probably not have read these except for the hype. It's like I want in on those conversations. Unfortunately, by the time I make it around to popular books, their popularity has long waned.