There really should be a way to give half a star or something the like. I can't say that I didn't like it and neither can I truly say that it was ok.There really should be a way to give half a star or something the like. I can't say that I didn't like it and neither can I truly say that it was ok. The way I'm starting to view David Baldacci's novels is like an action movie without the movie. I want to relax, forget about other things and disconnect. I found out that reading these kind of novels works like that for me. No higher brain activity. In that way this book was ok. It served its purpose, did what I expected it to do and no more. The structure of the novel got me puzzled. 99 chapters with an average length of 3 pages and switching between story lines all the time. Is that suppose to give a novel fast pace? Make it more... "gripping"? Or is the return rate based on chapter numbers? The story itself is so full of Hollywood's action movies cliche there is no wonder there is nothing left other than that. Recipe: One bull-size action hero with a chip on his shoulder, one emotionally stunted boss (purely my subjective observation, no characterization provided in text), one talented journalist on the downhill path of her career, one smart beautiful woman (the love of action man's life) and of course one twisted, deluded, ridiculously rich evil guy. Mix'em all up and there you have it. ...more
I chose this book because I've heard about the series and the author many times. I wanted to read it and see what the hype is all about. It seemed intI chose this book because I've heard about the series and the author many times. I wanted to read it and see what the hype is all about. It seemed interesting enough, some crime solving, interesting and mysterious characters. If you read the back cover seems innocent enough. However I've been forewarned about Stieg Larsson stories are not for the faint-hearted. For me a good book - regardless, though not dismissing, the story, characters and writing style - must make me feel something. On this regard, this book is an overdose. I'm at page 238 and I forced myself to stop reading and take a break. Heart pounding and shaking hands I'm writing this in an attempt to calm down. The book starts of innocently enough with innocuous characters and their problems (Mikael Blomkvist and Dragan Armansky, each occupying the first two chapters). Enjoyable reading, interesting and relaxing. Through Dragan and it's relationship with the character, mysterious Lisbeth Salander comes into the story. Her assignment, to investigate Mikael Blomkvist feeds your idle curiosity. From there on the two stories (Mikael's and Lisbeth's) grow and intertwine each other at a sedate pace. When one story line reaches an apex it is stopped and the other story takes its place. When the stories intensity grows, the changing rhythm between the two stories also grows to an alarming rhythm. Mikael's story is almost sedate compared to Lisbeth's thus far. A 30 year old mystery, all too present and vivid now, is the center point of his story. His character is dutifully developed, not your typically strong powerful almighty hero, but almost the opposite. You see him at a low point in his life and career, a man beaten down by some unknown undisclosed trickery, sad to the point of depression. He is rationalizing his defeat, trying to gather up his shattered dignity, retreat and recompose himself, all the while trying to convince himself that he is not running away, cowed into a retreat, subdued by his enemy. It's a bitter drink to swallow and he is handling it at the best of his abilities, his strong integrity being his most redeeming feature. Lisbeth's story line is a complex puzzle. The girl is a mystery, hard to understand, hard to follow. Her perceived image is a stark contrast with her actual self. Part of her story line brought me to this state. Fear growing to horror, rage at what was happening. Something I was definitely not expecting from what I assumed would be a lite interesting reading.
Update: I've managed to man through those pages hooked all the way through the end. The story is engaging even if gruesome at some parts, the characters build a rapport with the reader and I can certainly say I can't wait to see what happens next....more
If there is one thing that I can say about this book is that it is interesting. It hooks you up from the first paragraph with a very dramatic moment iIf there is one thing that I can say about this book is that it is interesting. It hooks you up from the first paragraph with a very dramatic moment into the author's life, a moment of desperation where unanswered questions and inner turmoils cannot lay dormant any longer. From there on it's not so much a matter of wanting to know but more of a need to know where it all leads. Is there a meaning for this life?
All in all it starts of as a really good book. However, somewhere in the middle of Rome, I found the authors angst (for lack of a better word) superfluous, her insecurity out of place and her self-destructive habit of thwarting all life's pleasures big or small quite irritating. I kept having the feeling the book was written by an high-school drama queen, full of angst, with an half-developed personality and overly emotional.
Despite of this I must appreciate the author's truthfulness about herself and most of all, courage to put her soul in the pages of this book. Her journey around the world is a journey of self-discovery and no mistake about it. The back and forth between the actual traveling and previous memories give more substance and spice to the entire story and help deliver the point across. The inserts almost act as factual arguments for her conclusions, which she rarely fully expresses, leaving it more to the reader to decide what to make of it. Her humor, a rare gem that when actually present is light-hearted and delightful.
The story builds up to lightly hint towards one way of answering questions like: What is happiness? How can one achieve it? How can one find balance between oneself and everything else, be it love, pleasure or hope....more