Nov 04, 10
Read from October 31 to November 03, 2010
Today I discussed with a friend the difference between adoring a book, and not being able to put it down. It wasn't until I read Girl With the Dragon Tattoo that I realized that these are two different things.
I could not put this book down. I got far too little sleep during the two days that I spent reading it. The plot will sink it's claws into you and will not let you go until you have finished the last page, if even then (you can tell it's meant to be a trilogy by the way it ends and I am impatiently awaiting the next installment from the library).
Ok, so having confessed that I was just as hooked as the other 20% of this planet who have read this book, I can now tell you that I didn't love it. I liked it. The plot was smart, and the suspense very effective.
The writing was only ok. Luckily it was not intrusive. Also, after defending Larsson's portrayal of violence against women elsewhere on this web site, I eventually came around to some friends' perspectives. Ok, rape and sadism happen in the book, and the perpetrators are treated like the scum of the earth that they are. I believe that Larsson believed he was exploring these themes in the interest of feminism. Why then does the protagonist (male) need to sleep with every woman that comes within ten feet of him? Why do at least two of these women simper and want long-term relationships when our randy hero just nonchalantly disclaims that he's not the settling type?
Far be it from me to judge those who consider themselves allergic to matrimony. But when you write a spy-thriller you have to realize that your characters become archetypes. With his character Mikael Blomkvist, Stieg Larsson is perpetuating the noir-ish chauvinism that the genre can do perfectly well without.