The book was a smooth and easy read and was through with it fairly quickly. Gruen is very descriptive and uses great imagery, one almost feels as if t...moreThe book was a smooth and easy read and was through with it fairly quickly. Gruen is very descriptive and uses great imagery, one almost feels as if they are right there in the circus acts.
In fact, imagery is so good that certain explicit moments, which seem to barely drive the plot, should not be read by minors.
Characterization is good and none of the characters fall flat. Even the animals have their own unique personalities.
The only downside was that the storyline did not have much going for it. The majority of the book was circus act after circus act, though the ninety year old Jacob was a nice addition/subplot. (less)
A long title and a lot going on in the book. Yet, a volumous amount of words does not equate to volumous amount of content.
I was sorely tempted to gi...moreA long title and a lot going on in the book. Yet, a volumous amount of words does not equate to volumous amount of content.
I was sorely tempted to give this book two stars. But, and now I will list the paltry amount of well-deserved praise for the book, Larsson does create a slight sense of anticipation, and his characterization was none too shabby either.
But even those deserve praise with a grain of salt. The "page-turning" did not happen for me until well past the middle of the book. Larsson spends too much time building the situation, the journalist trying to solve the case spends much of the time sitting around, contemplating the murder, and having good bedtimes with girls before he actually does anything.
Even the characters seems to extreme and flat. Lisbeth is a bad girl, and no one knows her pain except her. But, of course, who is the only one who can cheer her up, Mikael, imagine that. Then Larsson ruins the moment between the two by giving them an intimate moment that neither moves the plot forward nor has any other reason behind it-except of course adding to the sexual appeal this book has (for what's a thriller without violence and sex?)
Lisbeth of course is also the girl that has convenient tools for an investigator-photographic memory and hacking skills the likes of which the world has never seen.
Lastly, the plot. I felt that nothing truly happens until well into the last quarter of the book. After all the laying around, contemplation and internet hacking on Lisbeth's part, several gunshots are fired, we find an intersting twist (a terrible pun on my part with how the one character is mentally) and finally the solution of the crime. One good thing though, I do appreciate how Larsson led us astray slighty so that the crime did not seem to easy to solve, made me think a little-which I appreciate from any book.
If I seem a bit sardonic, forgive me-I just expectd better with all the hype. I will say this, as mentioned before, the book is not necessary a light read and intellectually there was a fair amount. If any book- whether by twists and turns of the plot, layering of character, or the subtle explanation and philosophies of humanity-can allow a certain degree of intellectual freedom, it deserves no less than three stars.(less)