Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

Title/Author: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson.

Genre: Thriller.

Publisher: Vintage Crime/Black Lizard.

Source: Purchased.

Favorite character: Lisbeth Salander. Duh!

Favorite quote: "What she had realized was that love was the moment when your heart was about to burst."

Synopsis: Mikael Blomkvist, a once-respected financial journalist, watches his professional life rapidly crumble around him. Prospects appear bleak until an unexpected (and unsettling) offer to resurrect his name is extended by an old-school titan of Swedish industry. The catch--and there's always a catch--is that Blomkvist must first spend a year researching a mysterious disappearance that has remained unsolved for nearly four decades. With few other options, he accepts and enlists the help of investigator Lisbeth Salander, a misunderstood genius with a cache of authority issues. Little is as it seems in Larsson's novel, but there is at least one constant: you really don't want to mess with the girl with the dragon tattoo.~Goodreads.

My Thoughts:
I read this because it was on my TBR pile for a long time and I wanted to read it before I saw the movie. I can see why this is an international bestseller as it has so many elements; intrigue, mystery, danger, great characters and complicated plot threads.

There is a lot of telling in this book as it’s an omniscient POV. I usually don’t like being told what is going on, what went on, what people are thinking, etc. However, while I got a bit bogged down by all the finance talk, I didn’t mind the "telling" as much in this book. The details are intriguing and although I may not have totally comprehended the content, it is written in a straightforward style.  I wanted to know everything that went on behind the scenes, from Mikael Blomkvist’s relationships, to what led him on his chase of Wennerstrom  to begin with. Maybe it is also because it is just so well written and I knew that it had importance and I wanted to get as clear a picture as possible

What I really loved is the detail that showed the investigation. Everything that Mikael and Lisbeth did to solve this mystery is given a lot of attention. There are no leaps or missing puzzle pieces. The only elements I wasn’t clear about were the computer and bank transaction details, but that’s just me.

As I look back on the book I can’t help but think that at times yet it was unrealistic, but at the time it was just exciting and I went along for the ride no matter where it took me.

The most compelling parts are when Lisbeth comes on the scene. She is complex and abrasive, but very sympathetic and not only did I root for her, I admired her. Her strength and cleverness feature prominently. It is no wonder she is becoming one of the most celebrated characters in literature.  Mikael is another character who is very likeable, heroic and vulnerable at the same time.  I felt that events happened to Lisbeth and Mikael and they both struggle in different ways to survive and overcome very different hurdles. When this unlikely team join forces it is a fascinating combination and they mesh well.

I did enjoy seeing the characters come to life in the movie. Although of course they changed some things in the film, it didn’t take away from the story or detract from the plot or mystery. I’m not sure if I would have enjoyed the movie as much if I hadn’t read the book because, of course, a lot is left out as it just simply couldn’t be conveyed on the screen.

This book does have explicit sexual content and violence so be warned if you are squeamish.

And just a bit of trivia. Rooney Mara who plays Lisbeth is sisters with Kate Mara who plays Hayden on American Horror Story.

Other Editions:


Smash Attack Ash said...

I've had these books forever it seems. Not sure why I haven't read them yet. I really loved the Swedish version of the film and look forward to watching the other 2. Not sure I'll see American movie.

But first, I need to read the series! Thanks for the detailed review. :)

Jen | Book Den said...

I love Lisbeth. What I wouldn't give for a fourth Millennium book...

I haven't seen the American movie yet, but I enjoyed the Swedish ones.

La Toya said...

I definitely want to read this trilogy before I see the movie. Great review!

La Toya (La Toya, Literally.)

Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer said...

I own all three books..they have been in my TBR pile just reminded me why i bought them. I am participating in the WW read-a-thon and may read all three then! Great review :)

Bonnie said...

I just finished this book and found it hypnotic and intriguing. Not sure if I would see the movie as I also found it more than a little squeamish.

xo, Bonnie

Unknown said...

When people I know find out how many books I read, they always ask if I've read this book. When I tell them I haven't, I usually get the shifty eye. It just doesn't seem like something I would like, but I do plan on reading it at some point.
I'm glad you liked it, it definitely seems to be a gripping read.

Anastasia @ Here There Be Books said...

I'm glad you enjoyed reading it! Unfortunately, when I tried reading it a few years ago I couldn't even get past the first chapter-- I found it really boring. I guess the exciting stuff happened after those first few chapters!

- Anastasia @ Birdbrain(ed) Book Blog

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