Dan Schwent's Reviews > The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
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Apr 20, 15

bookshelves: crime-and-mystery, homework-from-the-ladies, 2012, downgrade-parade
Read from February 16 to 21, 2012

Disgraced journalist Mikael Blomkvist is hired to solve the decades-old murder of Harriet Vanger, member of one of the wealthiest families in Sweden. Aided by a tattooed, antisocial hacker named Lisabeth Salander, Blomkvist unearths horrible skeletons lurking in the Vanger family closet...

For a few years now, I've been avoiding The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Since so many people told me I just had to read it, many of them non-readers, I assumed it was a lot of over-hyped, dumbed-down crap. Well, I may have been wrong. All hype aside, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is a damn good book and I feel it goes beyond just being a mystery.

Larsson creates some memorable characters. We've got Mikael Blomkvist, the tarnished journalist, Lisabeth Salander, bad ass hacker, for the leads, both multidimensional characters. Neither are by any means perfect but I liked them just the same. The Vanger family and the staff of the Millennium aren't as well drawn as the leads but Ericka Berger and some of the Vangers are good characters in their own right.

I'll be honest. It took a little while for me to get moving but I was enthralled pretty early on. You wouldn't have thought I'd be that interesting in what could have been a tedious subject to read about, namely researching family archives for hints. Somehow Larsson managed to grab me, though.

There isn't a lot of violence but what there is is pretty brutal. The hacking was pretty well done and not completely unbelievable. I guess what really sold the book for me was that I really believed in the characters. Both of them are pretty flawed but completely believable.

I'd be lying if I said I didn't have a some complaints. Aside from the pace, I felt like Larsson threw in some needless details. I didn't need to know the brands of a lot of products or what the characters were eating. I also thought that Mikael Blomkvist being a sort of James Bond in regard to the ladies was a tad unbelievable. Honestly, those are my only two complaints I can think of at the moment.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo deserves a lot of the hype it gets. Now go out and read it if you haven't already!

Edit: I'm marking this down because I'm reading In the Woods and enjoying it more than I enjoyed this. I was kind of a whore with my 5s in past years.
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Reading Progress

02/17/2012 page 11
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Comments (showing 1-45 of 45) (45 new)

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Brandon What's your opinion on it so far?


message 2: by Dan (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dan Schwent Brandon wrote: "What's your opinion on it so far?"

It's moving a little slow but I'm digging it. I've heard it picks up quite a bit in the second half.


Judith Oh, I'm glad your reading this puppy...I loved it...I love the movie (Swedish version). It takes a while for the story to get in gear, but once it does...oh mama!


Brandon Judith wrote: "Oh, I'm glad your reading this puppy...I loved it...I love the movie (Swedish version). It takes a while for the story to get in gear, but once it does...oh mama!"

I agree with Judith, once it gets going.. it doesn't let up.

Hopefully you like it enough to continue with the series. The 2nd one is my favorite.


message 5: by Meg ♥ (new) - added it

Meg ♥ Okay, I may need to give this another try. Over the summer I started it, and found it very slow and boring. Everyone keeps telling me it picks up, though.


David This whole series is EPIC!


message 7: by Dan (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dan Schwent Meg ♥ wrote: "Okay, I may need to give this another try. Over the summer I started it, and found it very slow and boring. Everyone keeps telling me it picks up, though."

The pace explodes about halfway through. Up until then, I was enjoying it but wasn't wowwed.


message 8: by Kemper (last edited Feb 21, 2012 12:21PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Kemper I also thought that Mikael Blomkvist being a sort of James Bond in regard to the ladies was a tad unbelievable.

Is that why the guy they got to play him in the US movie looked exactly like James Bond?


message 9: by Dan (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dan Schwent Does Daniel Craig play him in the US version?


Kemper Dan wrote: "Does Daniel Craig play him in the US version?"

Yuuup!


Melki I didn't like it as much as you did, but it takes a big man to admit that he's been wrong!


message 12: by Dan (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dan Schwent Am I going to approve of any of the casting?


Kemper Rooney Mara is a pretty damn good Lisbeth. She's got an Oscar nomination for it. Craig made a decent Blomkvist. He played down his Bond bad assery.

If you watch the Swedish versions, that guy looked like a middle aged journalist. Noomi Rapace was a good Lisbeth too.


Lyndz Sounds like you enjoyed it more than I did. Good review!


message 15: by Dan (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dan Schwent Lyndz_♥ wrote: "Sounds like you enjoyed it more than I did. Good review!"

Thanks!


Petra X I found it unreadable but the Swedish film was wonderful and so incredibly long that I could have read the book in that time (almost).


Diane Excellent review, Dan! Glad you enjoyed it.


Jo Anne B Are you going to read the rest of the series? Good review!


message 19: by Rick (new)

Rick Fisher Thanks for the review. Like you, I have put this one off. People I know have either loved it or hated it. There has been no in betweens with this one. I still may have to break down and try it. Especially after your review. Thanks, again.


message 20: by Dan (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dan Schwent Jo Anne wrote: "Are you going to read the rest of the series? Good review!"

@Petra - I can see why people would quit during the first half.

@Diane - Thanks!

@Jo Anne - I'm planning on reading the next two once I knock the to-read pile down a little lower. You know how it is.


message 21: by Dan (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dan Schwent @Rick - I think if you know going in that the first half is going to be boring, it'll be easier to take.


Nandakishore Varma Fine review: but I did not like the book all that much. I liked Lisbeth, but Mikael, I felt, was somewhat of a wish-fulfilment fantasy for the author! ;)


message 23: by Dan (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dan Schwent Nandakishore wrote: "Fine review: but I did not like the book all that much. I liked Lisbeth, but Mikael, I felt, was somewhat of a wish-fulfilment fantasy for the author! ;)"

Yeah, I think Mikael was probably an idealized version of Stieg Larrson.


James Thane You are a bit late to the party here Dan, but better late than never! I agree that the book could have used a good editor and I assume that if Larsson had lived long enough to see it finished, it would have been.


message 25: by Dan (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dan Schwent James wrote: "You are a bit late to the party here Dan, but better late than never! I agree that the book could have used a good editor and I assume that if Larsson had lived long enough to see it finished, it w..."

I think the beginning and the end could have used used some trimming.


Pamela Ennis I have to say that before I read the series is was skeptical about it but once I got into I couldn't let it go until I had the series done. I am waiting to see the movie now to see if lives up to the story.


message 27: by Dan (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dan Schwent Pamela wrote: "I have to say that before I read the series is was skeptical about it but once I got into I couldn't let it go until I had the series done. I am waiting to see the movie now to see if lives up to ..."

Me too but I'll probably wait until I read the next two books before I see the movie.


message 28: by Riku (new) - rated it 4 stars

Riku Sayuj When are you planning to move on to the rest of the series... I feel a bit cool about the prospect after having just finished the first one.


message 29: by Dan (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dan Schwent Riku wrote: "When are you planning to move on to the rest of the series... I feel a bit cool about the prospect after having just finished the first one."

Probably not until April or May. I have a lot of books I already own I need to read.


James Thane Dan wrote: "Probably not until April or May. I have a lot of books I already own I need to read.
..."


If that were a legitimate excuse, I probably wouldn't be buying another book for the next two years!


message 31: by Riku (last edited Feb 22, 2012 09:25PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Riku Sayuj James wrote: "Dan wrote: "Probably not until April or May. I have a lot of books I already own I need to read.
..."

If that were a legitimate excuse, I probably wouldn't be buying another book for the next two..."


Exactly the thought that came to my kind too!


message 32: by [deleted user] (new)

"Homework from the Ladies?" Wait, you have a fricking category for that???


message 33: by Dan (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dan Schwent Emily wrote: ""Homework from the Ladies?" Wait, you have a fricking category for that???"

You've got three out of the top four spots!


message 34: by [deleted user] (new)

I have to re-evaluate our friendship. I didn't realize you took recommendations from just anyone. Pride and Prejudice? What broad told you about THAT one? I feel so used....sniff....I hope you wind up with a disease from ripping through the pages of something like "Breaking Dawn" without wearing hand gloves and die of a paper cut infection, you skank.


message 35: by Dan (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dan Schwent None of those other books meant anything to me, I swear!


message 36: by [deleted user] (new)

Heard that one before. Tell it to the girl you met at the book brothel!


message 37: by Dan (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dan Schwent Can't we pretend this never happened? I'll read Tiger!


message 38: by Mark (new) - rated it 2 stars

Mark Loved the last conversation Dan/Emily very funny and although I feel cruel butting in at such a sensitive moment I found it interesting that the over-hype of the book didn't disappoint you more. I was so led to believe it was going to fair knock my socks off that when it most certainly didn't but was just ok i was sad. The problem with over-hyping is it sets stuff up for heavy falls. Good review as always though


message 39: by Dan (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dan Schwent Thanks for reading, Mark. I wouldn't say it was a sock-knocker but I was completely ensnared once I started reading it.


message 40: by Skip (new) - rated it 5 stars

Skip Lisbeth Salander rules.


message 41: by Dan (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dan Schwent Skip wrote: "Lisbeth Salander rules."

Yup! I never did read the third book, though.


message 42: by Skip (new) - rated it 5 stars

Skip Watch the Swedish movies. Noomi Rapace was terrific as Lisbeth.


Dᴀɴ 2.☢ I liked book 2 quite a bit more than the others. Probably because it's focused more on Lisbeth. Some parts of Book 3 are a little tedious to get through(much of the conspiracy stuff).


message 44: by Dan (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dan Schwent Dan 2.0 wrote: "I liked book 2 quite a bit more than the others. Probably because it's focused more on Lisbeth. Some parts of Book 3 are a little tedious to get through(much of the conspiracy stuff)."

I liked the second one more as well since it was mostly Lisbeth kicking ass. I read the first 30% or so of the third book before throwing it back on the shelf for when I was in the mood for something tedious.


message 45: by Skip (new) - rated it 5 stars

Skip I liked all three, but agree that Book #3 was not as good as the earlier ones. (Nowhere near as disappointing as Mockingjay though.) Wish someone in Sweden would finish Book #4.


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