Chris's Reviews > The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
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Apr 30, 2010

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bookshelves: mystery-nordic

** spoiler alert ** There is television show entitled Criminal Minds. I watched it for a while. After all, when it first came on it had Inigo Montoya in it, and my mom is right, Mr. Shemar Moore is one of the best looking men on television. Then I noticed something. Each week, the evil pyscho killer targeted women, and if it wasn't women, it was a dad with a little girl. (And how come no one ever has a dog?) Now, I know that women are more likely to be victims of violent crime than men; I also know that most, if not all, of the women in America know someone who has been raped. I live in a big city. I take precautions when I go home at night. I understand this; I believe most women understand this. This means I don't always have to have such facts thrown in my face every single time I watch a television show.

Or turn a page in a book.

Maybe such knowledge isn't widely known in Sweden. And I don't think Larsson hated women. I think he is trying to draw attention to violence aganist women. Maybe Criminal Minds is trying to do that as well. To be fair, Larsson's Salander and Ricky are strong women. What I found to be a little annoying was the fact that, with few exceptions, every single woman in the story had been a victim of sex crime. In fact, there are a total of five good men in the novel. Two of those men have small parts, and one is only mentioned, not seen. Apparently, next time I am in Sweden, I should not date Swedish men. They seem to be dangerous.

Now despite this, Larsson's writing is good, he is looking at the effects of abuse, and his central male character, Mikael Blomkvist, is likable. I did not like his female lead, Lisbeth Salander, which is strange because I agree with her opinion of Harriet, but for a different reason. Salander doesn't quite seem believable; she seems like a construct. I get that she is suppose to be hard to like; I think that it is bold choice and Larsson did it well. The story, however, drags for me whenever she is around. It really does. I thought the book would be better without her in it. Maybe it is because I don't understand why having a tattoo makes you a hard ass. Really? I know many, many people with tattooes; I would call very few of them a hard ass. In fact, the only belief (-ism, if you will) I have about a tatto is this: If a woman has the word "juicy" above her butt and is wearing jeans with a too low waist, the tattoo really is a tramp stamp (alternatives to why you would have such a word there, boogle my mind and make me very, very worried). No, I don't think she is asking to raped, but I think she is a bit easy, like some men. Like the women who do the fashion parade up to the local bar late at night on the weekends. But, hey, that's their choice, and if they're happy, good for them. So I have never gotten the tattoo means special symbol thing.

The other problem I had was with Harriet, who apparently thought it would be a good idea to send her beloved uncle flowers every year on his birthday. Somehow, he was suppose to know that they unsigned presents were from her and she was still alive. Right! Sure! That part is not explained very well, to be honest.
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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by Chris (last edited May 01, 2010 02:33PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Chris This book makes me want to keep taking showers.


message 2: by Hazel (new) - added it

Hazel Chris, I'm interested in how mixed are the messages about this book. Some of my friends thought it was great. Some weren't at all impressed. (Manny's read lots of Swedish literature. I wonder what he thought.) There's been a lot of media hype here in the UK, which usually turns me right off. I put it on my to-read list, then took it off... It may be back on there now.

I suspect I'll bump into it on a library shelf someday and open it, hopefully with an open mind, and see how it goes.


Chris I think Larsson's writing is very good. He was a very good writer. I also think if the writing wasn't that good, I would've put down the book. I also suspect that if I were a native Swede, I would've got more out of it. In some ways, it seems to be a commentary on Swedish Social Services.


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