Leisha Wharfield's Reviews > The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
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May 02, 10

it was ok
Read from April 11 to May 02, 2010

** spoiler alert ** This book was loaned to us by a friend and my husband read it first and said he liked it, so I was predisposed to think it was a good one. Not only that, I heard a report about it and its rabid worldwide fanbase in which it was touted as an "international phenomenon."

Initially, I thought it was well-written, even in translation. Then I hit the early chapters that flip from sex to sexual violence, sex to sexual violence, and I found it insultingly gratuitous. Larsson had done nothing to earn the moral weight such violence demands, and the situation was not credible. I started asking, "Just how many times does this little girl get raped?"

"Just wait," I was told. I didn't have to ask what I was waiting for, because I'm familiar with revenge franchises like Mad Max and Dirty Harry; I've even seen The Gladiator. What I was waiting for was the moment of morally bankrupt gratification I'm supposed to feel when the good guys pay back the bad guys by committing the same sins and crimes as their foes. Yawn.

My mistake in misinterpreting this trash as literature came not only because it was recommended to me but because the book is written far better than anything by, say, Dan Brown or Nicholas Sparks, so I hoped it may actually be a good novel. Of course, The Da Vinci Code was also an "international phenomenon," and it could have been written by a monkey.

I should have known. If you want to read a page turner of a mystery with plenty of sex and you're titillated by forced sodomy, bondage, and anal rape, pick this one up lightly, purge your moral compass and credibility, and enjoy.
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