{Book Review} The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

August 15, 2011 § Leave a comment

Normally, I don’t like reading the “popular” books. I tend to stick to non-fiction and the classic fiction. The ubiquitous nature of Steig Larsson’s first book in the Millenium trilliogy “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” was a turn off but my curiosity was piqued. With my long drives twice a week for work and volunteering, I needed something to keep me intellectually engaged in the car. When I saw this book in the books on CD section of my local public library, I decided to check it out to find out what all the hype was about.

“An international publishing sensation, Stieg Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo combines murder mystery, family saga, love story, and financial intrigue into one satisfyingly complex and entertainingly atmospheric novel.

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.”


This book was difficult to engage in for the first few chapters. I had already heard this from a friend and having it on CD made it easier because it just kept going, unlike a “traditional” book. Eventually I found myself paying attention to the story. There are a number of mature themes that are interwoven into the story – sexual misconduct of those in authority, violence against women, social services care of the mentally handicapped, sexual promiscuity. The sexual scenes are written discreetly and most are implied, although my preference would be to not have them there at all.

Steig Larsson died shortly after delivering the three manuscripts to the publisher (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl who Played with Fire, and the Girl who kicked the Hornet’s Nest). There is now controversy about the release of the fourth book (see HERE)

I appreciate reading books like this though because they give a different perspective from what I am used to. The murder mystery was engaging and the character development was great. Overall, I would recommend the book as a fun, entertaining read. I have already picked up book #2 so I guess that also speaks to the fact that I liked it well enough!



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