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Review: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
Monday January 16, 2012 at 12:00 am |

Publisher: Vintage Books
Copyright: 2005
Published:November 22, 2011
Pages: 644
Form: Paperback
Series: Millenium Series (1)
Author: Stieg Larsson
Buy The Book: Book Depository | B&N

Harriet 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:

This was a different sort of book for me, but I did find myself enjoying it once I got well into it.  I have to say the first 150 pages were filled with background information on the two characters that I feel was only necessary to know to understand events more towards the end of the novel, and after completion of the main mystery.

After Mikael Blomkvist, a financial journalist, is convicted of libel he abandons his post as editor of the magazine Millenium, and is contracted to investigate a disappearance that happened over forty years ago.  Unable to rest until the mystery is solved, Henrik Vanger convinces Blomkvist to work on a history of his family while investigating the disappearance of his most beloved niece.  But when Mikael stumbles upon a list of Harriet’s with women’s names and numbers with no explanation, he employs Lisbeth Salander to help him, and in turn they find a harrowing reality too crazy to believe.

This was an interesting mystery that was so odd that it was compelling and after getting through all the background information, I found myself completely engrossed.  I like Blomkvist because he was pretty much a straight shooter.  And although he was driven to investigate to further his own agenda, I could appreciate that once he started to gain new ground in the mystery surrounding Harriet Vanger, he was determined to see it through despite the increasing danger to his own life.

Lisbeth was altogether different and I’m still not quite sure what to think of her.  She’s actually really brilliant, but very odd.  She’s had a hard childhood and thus balks at anyone trying to structure her life in any way, and she has no regard for authority.  She works as a freelance researcher for Milton Securities, and manages to obtain details about her subjects that wouldn’t be readily available to anyone.  She’s very anti-social and closed off to people emotionally, so I was surprised when she began developing feelings for this journalist twice her age.  I’m still not sure what to think about the relationship beetween Salander and Blomkvist as neither are the romantic type.  They did seem to cultivate a comfortableness and contentment with each other, but I wasn’t drawn in because there really was no chemistry.

The mystery and the events surrounding what happened to Harriet Vanger were completely mesmerizing.  I was totally drawn into the story and was bumfuzzled when they stumbled upon a connection with Harriet Vanger and a stream of women who had all died brutally and under mysterious circumstances.  The deeper they dug into Vanger’s case, the more I found myself connecting to the story and fearing for the characters.

Overall, while there is a good chunk of filler information, once the main story gets under way, it’s hard to tear yourself away from it.  I was satisfied with the way it all wrapped up, but am curious on how they will continue the story of this peculiar girl and savvy journalist.  This would be a good pick for someone who loves a good mystery/thriller.  I’m not anxious to get the follow-up, but I will definitely read it sometime in the future.

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Written by Jade

Jade is a book blogger from NC. In her spare time she loves to read and build and maintain websites. She has been reading since she was four and building websites since she was 16. SortofBeautiful.com was born on March 8, 2011 and is a fantastic merging of her two favorite hobbies. Enjoy your stay!

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18 Responses to “Review: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson”

  1. I have been debating about this one, and when the movie came out I said to myself, ‘go see it’. but didnt like the previews. its on the back burner and it may take their for awhile.
    Enjoyed reading your review of the novel. Glad you are feeling better.

  2. Evie says:

    This is the kind of book that I like. I love the story, the characters and the mystery. I loved the first 2 books in the series but the last one I thought it was just ok.

  3. I enjoyed the book as well. But it is one of the rare occassions where I enjoyed the film more than the book version.

  4. Alysia says:

    I feel like I am the only one who hasn’t read it yet. I will have to add this book (series) to my every growing TBR. Thanks Jade and I am glad you are back.

  5. Great review. I’m on the fence about these.

  6. Brenda says:

    Well…. I did not like this book…. I found it fell completely short of what I expected it to! And the ending? did you like the ending? I hated it!
    And welcome back!!!!

    • Jade Jade says:

      I thought it was appropriate because I figured it was a lead in to the next book. I don’t know that I had any expectations for this book so I did enjoy it once the main story gets going. It was a bit tedious getting to the heart of the story though. This is definitely not a book that everyone will enjoy so I can understand your feelings.

  7. Ooooohhhhhh, I’m so intrigued about this one! I’ve heard some pretty cool things about it too and the fact that the movie is coming out soon is definitely a part of it LOL! I always try to read the book before watching the movie, so of course I want to pick this up soon! (Every time I see a trailer for the movie though, I think JAMES BOND. LOL!)

    Awesome review, Jade! Even despite its flaws, the mystery aspect sounds really cool and I hope I’m more on your side of the spectrum rather than the other! 😉

    • Jade Jade says:

      That’s why I went ahead and took the plunge. I really wanted to have the book rad in case I decided to see the movie. I think I might have to see it by myself if I go though. If you read it I hope you enjoy it.

  8. Missie says:

    WOW! You go through this book? I have to applaud you because I’ve tried several times and just can’t get past the first couple of pages. I plan on watching the movie instead.

    From reading your review, I think I’d feel the same about Lisbeth. And I didn’t know that a romantic type relationship formed between her and the journalist.

    • Jade Jade says:

      Missie I can’t even blame you hon. For a good portion of the beginning I debated on whether or not I would continue reading. As I said the first 150-200 pages are like just background and filler information on the main characters. And while it helps to understand the characters and give them depth, it was a task to get through. I hope the movie is better for you!

  9. I’m really glad you liked it! I know there’s been quite different reviews on this one. Everyone I know have basically read it, but I’ve only watched the movies so far, which I really like though. Just not sure if the books are something for me. Hmm! Great review, Jade!

    • Jade says:

      You guys have the movies already? I’m jealous! I am totally not surprised that the reviews are mixed on this book. This definitely will not be everyone’s cup of tea.

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