Book Reviews

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

2020 has been a mess of a year, but it has also been the year of book series. I have read or re-read just about all of the series on my bookshelves. Now, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is one that I haven’t really touched since I read it the first time.

Stieg Larsson actually died in 2004 before any of his books were published. Dragon Tattoo published in Sweden in 2005. Another author has taken up the series, meaning that there are six Lisbeth Salander novels now. I’ve been accumulating them over the years but haven’t really read them. They’ve been those “status symbol books” to make me look like I’m cooler than I really am. They’re on my shelf right next to all of the Harry Potter books.

The Story

Harriett Vanger, a scion of one of Sweden’s wealthiest families, disappeared over forty years ago. All these years later, her aged uncle continues to seek the truth. He hires Mikael Blomkvist, a crusading journalist recently trapped by a libel conviction, to investigate. He is aided by the pierced and tattooed punk prodigy Lisbeth Salander. Together, they tap into a vein of unfathomable iniquity and astonishing corruption.

My Thoughts

I enjoyed this novel just as much this time as I did the first! It was nice to read a crime type novel. I did, however, feel that it went on for a bit too long. Now, I read a mass market paperback, so consider that in the following numbers. For the most part, the crime itself wrapped up around page 550 of 644. While the ending of the book was decent for the storyline, I didn’t feel it was entirely necessary.

If you’re unfamiliar with the story, there are some SEVERE trigger warnings. Between rape and abuse and self-deprecating thoughts and actions, parts of the novel were definitely difficult to read. However, I might judge you a bit if those parts didn’t make you uncomfortable.

Now, remember that The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was originally published in Sweden. Written for the Swedish. The whole shebang. To get through it, I tended to gloss over quite a lot of the locations and a few people’s names. While Blomkvist was writing the history of the Vanger family, I got a bit lost in the family lineage. However, not much was lost of the story in glossing over people’s names or locations.

I’m going to keep going through the series. I’m already about 100 pages into The Girl Who Played with Fire. I remember something happening (I’ve read the first 2.5 before), but I definitely do not remember where it happened in which book. Here’s to hoping that I remember the right story!

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