Amanda's Reviews > The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
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Jan 21, 12

Read from January 07 to 21, 2012

Well there's no point in rehashing the plot of this book...likely, everyone knows it, and certainly, other reviewers have done so better than I would. So I'll share only my random thoughts on it.

1.) What is the with all the hub-bub about the graphic violence and sex? I suppose it says more about the kind of reading I do than anything, but, frankly, I was disappointed. After hearing people say they couldn't read the book for all horrific scenes, I had myself braced for....I don't now. Something more worse and certainly a lot more of it. I've read this over the course of a couple weeks, so perhaps I've forgotten some, but off-hand, there's only three violent sex scenes. They're in the middle of the book, and while graphic (I suppose), they're over with fairly quickly. It's not as if the entire book is riddled with violence and rapes.

2.) I was incredibly reluctant to read this book. First of all, I'm not a big fan of best-sellers. If everyone else is reading a book, you can generally assume that I will be running far away from it. My assumption seems to be, "If the world at large thinks it's great, it probably sucks." Second, it's a translation. Now this, I realize, is all in my head, but reading translations bothers me. I know that, no matter how excellent the translation, it will never be as good as it is in the original language. Some words and phrases simply don't translate. Third, the first 50 or so pages of the book are a sure-fire cure for insomnia. I tried the book once before and cast it aside in disgust. I only slogged through this time because it was a book club book.

3.) On that last point, I want to address the mind-numbingly boring beginning. The part that killed me was the boat scene in the beginning. It's nothing but dry, excruciating, plodding talk of a business deal gone awry. People assured me that, yes, the book gets better, but I simply must read this boat scene or the rest of the book wouldn't make any sense. So I trudged through it. Frankly, though, I really don't know that I would have needed to. I think a quick skim would have been more than sufficient. I'm not a business major and I know nothing of the financial world. None of that conversation made any sense to me, anyway. My point is, if you're getting hung up on the beginning, do a bit of skimming. I don't think it's going to be the end of the world, as far as over all comprehension of the story.

4.) Good Lord, but there's a lot of people in this book! Even the main character has to create a family tree to keep them all straight. It doesn't help that they're all foreign, and therefore strange, names. Heads up to anyone experiencing a similar problem: midway through chapter 9, there's a helpful family tree. I tagged the page and referred back to it more than a few times.

Though the beginning was slow, I really am glad I forced myself to slog through the beginning. If you can get past the first 75 pages or so, the book picks up quickly and is pretty riveting. I truly enjoyed this one, and will likely be reading the next in the series.

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01/07/2012 page 12
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