Christiana Hadji's Reviews > The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
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Apr 22, 12

bookshelves: modern-nov, non-greek, advent-suspnce, mystery-whdnit
Read from April 05 to 22, 2012 — I own a copy

I really don't get what all the hype is about.

The writing is wooden and bland. The dialogues were tedious, stilted and awkward. It's painfully obvious even to me (English is not my first language) that the translator is Swedish and unfamiliar with English idioms and slang. I mean, seriously, who uses words such as "anon" nowadays?

As for the plot, it’s boring and unconvincing. There is no real suspense or surprises, just the author's attempts to shock the reader with scenes of sexual violence, incest and torture. They did manage to shock and disgust me, and I'm not easily offended. The problem is I didn’t give a damn about any of the characters, not even the supposed “victims” of the story. The characters are flat and lack any depth. Blomkvist is at best boring and not a very bright fellow. Lisbeth is supposed to be this complicated, strong, independent genius, but the reader can clearly see through all this façade that she’s nothing more than an insecure, self-centered and insensitive bitch. I really can’t see the appeal in that. As for the Vangers, they could all perish in a fire for all I care (including Harriet).

And what’s up with Larson’s obsession with sandwiches and Apple products?

However, the novel has some redeeming features. I did learn a few things about Sweden and its culture, and the mystery of Harriet’s disappearance did hold my interest. Plus, Larsson raises some interesting questions about many social issues such as violence against women, corporate ethics, religious fanatisism, corruption/objectiveness of the press, online privacy etc.

All in all, it was OK but not as great as I expected. Perhaps I would have enjoyed it more if the translator and editor/editors had done a better job.
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