Amanda's Reviews > The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
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May 06, 12

Read from April 24 to May 06, 2012

The only thing I knew about this book was that it existed, mostly in mass quantities at my neighborhood Costco. I’ll admit that the hype turned me off, but mostly, I just wasn’t interested. But being a rabid fan of all things David Fincher, I had to see the movie. I was completely sucked into a story that was compelling, complex, and twisted in just about every way. I hoped the book would just more of a good thing, and I was right. Reading it from the perspective of already knowing what was going to happen, I found myself thoroughly enjoying the extra character development, all the background information, and all the little details that movies just can’t include.

This book has pretty much everything you could ever want in a thriller -- violence, serial killers, sex, religious fanaticism, history, political and financial intrigue, remote locations, and unique characters. The best part is that it is so much more than a financial conspiracy, or a murder mystery, or a twisted love story, or a character piece. All those individually fascinating aspects are insanely well-developed and perfectly woven together into one story. It actually gave me that same feeling I had when I first read The Da Vinci Code -- yeah, it’s not a perfect book and it might be a little overrated, but it includes so many awesomely fascinating things that it’s just impossible to put down.

That said, there were a couple issues I had with the book that kept this one from being a full five-star review. The first issue is that the book lacked a consistent format to deal with how the separate actions of all the characters eventually come together. For example, one chapter’s section would easily switch between Salander’s life, Blomkvist’s time on the island, and the activities at the magazine; the next two chapters were devoted solely to whatever Blomkvist was doing, pushing everything else to the back of my mind. I often found myself having to refer back to previous sections just to remember what someone had been doing and why. I also felt that the conclusion of the Wennerstrom scandal really dragged down the end of the book. Without trying to give much away, I just felt that what really happened was so bland in comparison to the truly shocking answers given in the Harriet Vanger case. It was actually a very anticlimactic ending to an otherwise gripping story.

But overall, this book was incredibly compelling. As soon as I started reading it, it was instantly obvious why it’s so popular -- it has something that could grab everyone’s attention long enough to keep them reading. I’m looking forward to reading the second book more objectively (without knowing the plot in advance, that is) and seeing if I feel the same way.
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