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 The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

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Paul
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PostSubject: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson   Wed Jun 09, 2010 10:41 pm

This novel, the first part of a trilogy, has generated a lot of talk among readers, especially since the author died right after delivering the three novels to his publisher in 2004, so I figured I would give it a shot.

It is, basically, a mystery novel. Set in Sweden, it involves a disgraced (convicted of libel) financial reporter named Mikael Blomkvist who is contacted by a powerful industrialist named Henrik Vanger to investigate the disappearance of his niece, Harriet, a case that is forty years old. The story also involves Lisbeth Salander (a very interesting character), a misanthropic yet brilliant young lady who is a top-notch computer hacker and investigator, who apparently has a very dark past. Halfway through the book the two characters team up, and at that point the novel really starts to go.

I want to warn any potential readers that this novel has some of the most disturbing and graphic sexual assault/torture scenes I have ever read. Some of the book is not easy to get through. Fortunately, Larsson is a decent writer, and the "twist" at the end, while not entirely unexpected, is still pretty decent. Based on this I will read the last two books of the trilogy.

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PostSubject: Re: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson   Wed Jun 16, 2010 12:50 am

I tried to start this but gave up at about 3 chapters in. (Yes, I am ashamed) Is it really worth it?
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PostSubject: Re: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson   Wed Jun 16, 2010 2:54 pm

Kayatina wrote:
I tried to start this but gave up at about 3 chapters in. (Yes, I am ashamed) Is it really worth it?

Don't be ashamed. I've given up on lots of books in my time. The way I see it, if a book doesn't grab my attention within 100 pages, or give me any reason to believe it will get better, then it gets put aside. My personal philosophy is "Life is too short for crappy books."

Is it worth getting back into? For me, the book did seem to get better the more I got into it, but if this is genre or style of writing that doesn't appeal to you, then you're better off moving on. And, as I said in the review, there are a couple of scenes that are on the rough side. I know your level of maturity is high for someone your age, but you still might find these scenes upsetting.

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PostSubject: Re: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson   Thu Jun 17, 2010 3:03 pm

I read The girl with the dragon tattoo two years ago. I was really into it during the first half the novel but a bit disappointed by the ending.

I really think that the Scandinavian detective stories are among the most interesting publications (in that genre) of the past decades. I've read some of them (Mankell, Indridason...) and I've been again surprised by Stieg Larson. Indeed, the characters are fascinating, even if sometimes a bit caricatural, and most important the plot is really original. The story takes place in an environment that the author knows well and the way financial crimes are described is highly convincing. The story of this powerful family gripped me. However, I found the solution a bit too easy, in the sense that it ends as many other detective movies/novels. I am not going to add something, because giving the answer of a detective novel is a real crime, but when I finished the first volume I didn't really want to go on.

Nevertheless, I've just started the second one. First of all I read it now in English and the English translation is far better than the French one (I am not enough good in danish to enjoy reading in that language, or worste directly in Swedish). Then I really enjoy meeting again Lisbeth and Blomkvist. Besides I've been to Stockholm last January and I am pretty glad to recognize some of the areas described. I've only read two hundred pages, so I will tell you later what I think of the following. For the moment it seems great. Smile
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