SPOILER WARNING! This post assumes that you’ve already read The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and contains spoilers! SPOILER WARNING!
As a girl, she was legal prey, especially if she was dressed in a worn black leather jacket and had pierced eyebrows, tattoos and zero social status.
The Industrialist: Henrik Vanger, head of the dynastic Vanger Corporation, is tormented by the loss of a child decades earlier and convinced that a member of his family has committed murder.
The Journalist: Mikael Blomkvist delves deep into the Vangers’ past to uncover the truth behind th unsolved mystery. But someone else wants the past to remain a secret and will go to any lengths to keep it that way.
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo: Lisbeth Salander, the enigmatic, deliquent and dangerous security specialist, assists in the investigation. A genius computer hacker, she tolerates no restrictions placed upon her by individuals, society or the law.
What can I say about this book? I didn’t hate it; but, then again, I didn’t love it!
So many people recommended this book to me, including direct family and close friends. I really didn’t enjoy it; so much so that I don’t even want to continue reading the series…
I was warned, by about 10 people, that the book was slow to start, maybe the first 100 pages or so, but I found the majority of the book to be just as slow. It only started to get exciting about 2 thirds in….
The characters were mostly all believable and well written; I can identify and relate to Mikael “Kalle” Blomkvist easily enough. He is not unlike any other bachelor. I do like his character and I agree with some of the things he believes in – I have nothing to critique about him.
Lisbeth, too, was well written, except I don’t think she is as mental as Larsson wants us to believe; she functioned perfectly fine, in my opinion – sure, she was antisocial and didn’t waste any unnecessary words (other people give me headaches, too – there are days when I choose to just nod or look and not say anything); she knew that there were consequences to her decisions and she also knew when to give in or stand down. Her morals, or lack thereof, add to her character and bring to light the question, “What would I do in that situation?” The reason for her being “mentally unstable” wasn’t really clear to me – maybe I just missed it.
Normally seven minutes of another person’s company was enough to give her a headache so she set things up to live as a recluse. She was perfectly content as long as people left her in peace. Unfortunately society was not very smart or understanding.
The rest of the cast were fleshed out well, too. The Vanger clan each had unique personalities and character traits; the other support characters also have the right amount of background so as to be remembered but not overwhelming. Larsson certainly could write good characters.
The book is set in Sweden (obviously) and, with the exception of Hedestad (which is fictional), street names and the like all have Swedish titles, which are hard to pronounce if you’re not Swedish – even in your head – but it really isn’t a problem figuring out streets and rivers, etc. I did find myself spending time on trying to pronounce them, though, which led me to reread sentences in order to not stumble over unfamiliar words.
What I didn’t enjoy about this book was that I felt like I was back in my History class in High School (which I hated with a passion!); background info / back story is always crucial in stories but, seriously, does it actually have to be so dull? I didn’t understand a third of all that financial whatnot!
I did appreciate the LGBTQA+ themes in this book; there were 3 distinct scenarios in my mind, namely, Christer Malm was openly gay; Lisbeth wasn’t averse to being with another female every now and then; Martin Vanger being molested as a child.
It’s a good story, don’t get me wrong, but I literally had to force myself to finish the book; I’m truly pedantic in this regard – I really don’t like DNFing (did not finish) a book. Maybe the second book is better, maybe it’s not, but I’m not willing to waste the time trying to find out.
- This book was first published in 2005 after Larsson died (1954 – 2004),
- The original Swedish title, Man som hatar knivvor, translates as “Men Who Hate Women” in English,
- Even though Larsson specifically refused to allow the Swedish publishers to change the title while he was alive, the British publishers did anyway, as well as the size of the dragon tattoo, which originally covered her entire back.
- Get these facts and more on Wikipedia! Click here.
For the record; I haven’t seen the movie either. Yet.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this book – did you love it? Hate it? Let me know in the comments down below; your feedback is important to me.
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