Cara's Reviews > The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
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's review
Jan 27, 2012

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bookshelves: chester-lane-reading-group, read-2012
Read from January 07 to 19, 2012

I'm rubbish with best seller, over-hyped books. They have too much to live up to usually.

I think The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo fell into this category for me. It was good, I liked it, but gosh it took some getting into. It was only because a trusted friend assured me that it would have me hooked that I persevered through the first 100 pages. That and I kept picturing the protagonist Mikael Blomkvist as he has been cast in the recent film aka Daniel Craig.

Daniel, sorry Blomkvist is a journalist, who at the start of the novel has just lost a court case against an industry mogul Wennerstrom. He takes the judgement quietly and prepares for his short stint in jail. Whilst letting all the dust settle, he is contacted by Henrik Vanger, head of a rival industrial corporation to Wennerstrom. In return for helping Vanger solve a family murder nearly 40 years earlier, Blomkvist is promised Wennerstrom's damaging secrets on a plate.

The story is really slow to get going, you have to wade through a huge amount of background narrative on all the history of the industrialists. However, once Blomkvist starts to tackle the murder mystery, it picks up a pace. He enlists the assistance of Lisbeth Salander, and their working and personal relationships are fascinating. The technology she employs is a fine match to his attention to detail, and slowly but surely they make headway into a case which has been shelved for decades. There are no pretty bows to be tied around the final outcome of the murder enquiry, but at least the aged Henrik Vanger has some resolution.

The novel then continues on, covering the Wennerstrom revenge, but I'd quite happily have enjoyed the novel without this saga at the beginning and finale of the story. A lot of it just felt over complicated.

I'm going to duck back down below the parapet now, as I have a feeling I'll be in the minority with regards to not being completely blown away by this. I think I might just like to have a peek at the film though, just to see how closely the script resembles the book, obviously. Not to ogle DC.

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Reading Progress

01/12/2012 page 62
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Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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message 1: by Trish (new)

Trish I felt the same as you when I first tackled this book. Husband was raving about it so I pushed on and was pleased I did. However I'm struggling to get past the first few chapters of the second book in the trilogy. I left it a few months ago to read something else and, I'm afraid, have not returned. Mind you, off to Sweden for my hols this summer so might need to blow the dust off it and try again.

Cara I think you should save it for Sweden (or just before you go). A friend described the second book as wading through treacle, but has gone on to start the third.

I'm rather jealous of your visit to Sweden, I'll follow your blog reports with interest ;0)

message 3: by Jo (new) - added it

Jo I haven't read the books yet but I've seen all the original Swedish films which are amazing if, at times, difficult to watch. There really was no need for Hollywood to remake them so soon

Cara Jo wrote: "I haven't read the books yet but I've seen all the original Swedish films which are amazing if, at times, difficult to watch. There really was no need for Hollywood to remake them so soon"

Jo, I believe the Daniel Craig one has changed the ending too. 'A character' is living in London rather than Australia - budget constraints?

I quite fancy the Swedish one to see how it has been interpreted.

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