Zeek's Reviews > The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
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's review
Jul 18, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: favorite-heroine, fiction, kick-ass-heroine, literary, mystery, suspense-thriller
Read from July 18 to August 12, 2011

Hard to grade this one- where as most of it was totally amazing, there is the beginning and the end that pulls it down for me because really, the best part of the story is when the protags were chasing down a killer- which only happens in the middle of the story, oddly enough. (The beginning and ending is almost another story all together!)

Bestselling The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo begins with investigative journalist Mikael Blomkvist being hung out to dry for a piece he wrote that went horribly wrong. Through much of the beginning and to a lesser extent, the ending when Blomkvist gets his revenge for the happenings in the beginning, my eyes began to cross at the seemingly pointless blahdy blah blah of Larrson explaining how Blomkvist got into his current predicament.

But really it was Blomkvist's desire to hide away from his circumstances that made him accept a job offer from eccentric former captain of industry, Henrik Vanger- a frail old man haunted by the disappearance of a long gone relative- that brings us to the exciting part. So I guess I can make the bridge as to why it began the way it did.

Meanwhile we get to meet Lisbeth Salander, a brilliant but socially awkward researcher for a private investigator, who just happens to be assigned the task of investigating Blomkvist for the Vanger family. She’s secretive, sullen, punked out, and- of course- tatooed , but she does a helluva job. However, she finds herself distracted from her assignment when her guardianship is changed and taken over by a loathsome individual. (An individual on whom she exacts some spectacular revenge! At this point in the novel, I literally sat up, bug-eyed then dug in and didn’t look up till my eyelids refused to stay open late into the night!)

Indeed it was this insight into her character the ignites the novel and doesn’t let up until the ending, especially when she eventually joins Blomkvist covertly re-investigating the mystery surrounding Vanger's beloved niece's death under the guise of writing his familys’ checkered history.

Murder, intrigue, sex and violence- what more can you ask for in a mystery-thriller? It’s no surprise this little beauty been hitting the must read/bestseller lists for forever now. (Btw, this part of the story totally reminded me of a Criminal Minds episode, one of my favorite shows!)

Through his body of work, Larsson brutally exposes obvious purveying attitudes of violence toward women and antisemitism... attitudes being swept under the carpet of Swedish society. I love how he boldly empowers Lisabeth in a way few women would have the intelligence and courage to pull off, yet wraps her in a vulnerability that many woman can relate to. The second protag, Blomkvist, is a man-ho to be sure, but something about his innate nobility makes him extremely likeable too.

If it wasn’t for the slooooooow beginning I would have totally given this a 5 star. But I more than really liked it- so lets split the difference with 4.5 out of 5! :)
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Reading Progress

07/18 page 62
29.0% 7 comments
38.0% "Holy Fu*k" 5 comments
44.0% "when I grow up, I wanna be Lisbeth Salander"
71.0% "yeah. it got good."
83.0% "Up until the tapped phonecall, didnt see that coming."
01/09 marked as: read
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Comments (showing 1-15 of 15) (15 new)

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Bark's Book Nonsense How ya liking this one? I found it sloooooow but I'm glad I stuck to it.

Zeek it IS real slow, but I've heard that about this book so I'm gonna keep going. (I've got a deadline to read this now as I'm reading it for a book club- so I need to hop to it!!)

Bark's Book Nonsense Yikes, I hate deadlines. They make me procrastinate. I can't take the pressure. Good luck with it, it does improve but it seems to take eternity.

message 4: by Zeek (last edited Aug 09, 2011 08:47AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Zeek he just goes into so much detail- I'm very character driven in my tastes, the kind of deets this guy focuses on drives me batshit.

HeatherJay Took me about 1/2 way through the book before it hooked me. Then it takes off and doesn't stop til the end of the 3rd book.I think I started reading it at least 5 times before I continued through. Easily has the most balls out, kick-ass heroine of ANY book I've ever read and I've read thousands. It's worth it.

message 6: by Zeek (last edited Aug 11, 2011 01:28PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Zeek oh good to hear! I srsly like Salander everytime she's on the page- but he keeps interrupting with blahdy blah blah details, I keep waiting for him to get back to her and he hasnt too much yet- Hopefully soon! (at least Blomkvist's investigation has finally got me curious with where the story's going...)

Ctanner By far Lisbeth is the best part of the whole book. I love her!

Zeek agreed!

message 9: by Heather C (new) - added it

Heather C Great review!

message 10: by Zeek (new) - rated it 4 stars

Zeek THanks Heather!

message 11: by Catherine (new)

Catherine I haven't read this book, but I watched the movie. There were some very disturbing parts.

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

Zeek I heard the movie was very graphic- its brutal enough in the book. BUT Lisbeth gets some spectacular revenge!

message 13: by Catherine (new)

Catherine Yes, it was uncomfortably graphic. Yes, she was quite pleased with her revenge.

message 14: by Carrie (new)

Carrie Great review!! I didn't read the book but saw the movie and felt exactly the same about the beginning and the ending! Just rented the swedish version of second movie (am totally hooked on lisbeth's badass character!) and the beginning was overly detailed and slow again like the first story -- which was particularly difficult to follow with subtitles -- but still compelling because of lisbeth's character. I bet the book is similar.

message 15: by Zeek (last edited Jan 18, 2012 07:38AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Zeek Thanks Carrie! I actually had an easier time with the second book- in fact I think I liked the second book better! (Not sure though because I loved the mystery they solved together in the girl with the dragon tattoo!) I need to update my review for Girl who Played with Fire- I find it more difficult to review the books that blew me away!

as far as the movie, I havent watched the Swedish versions yet- not sure that i will. The american version was graphic enough. :/

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