Previous reviews are at Mack Pitches Up

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Review: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Stieg Larsson

I'm not going to write a full on review of this book. It is probably the most written about book appearing in 2008 and is appearing on top ten lists all across the blogosphere. You find excellent reviews and discussions on these blogs. Be sure to read the comments as well.

The Rap sheet and here.

Crime Scraps and again here.


Mysteries in Paradise

Oh, just do a search in your feed reader on Dragon Tattoo and you'll find an abundance of discussion.

Some of my observations:

I liked the UK cover better but that is usually the case with me.

The first two hundred pages did drag on a bit but I didn't mind too much. I listened to it on my iPod during a long dental procedure and later on a long road trip to Florida. Besides, I like to read Charles Dickens' novels. Bleak House and the case of Jarndyce and Jarndyce prepared me.

The character Lisbeth Salander fascinates me and is why I put Dragon Tattoo on my top ten list. Declan Burke, on the other hand, said (here and here) that Salander was looking like the "idealised fantasy of a middle-aged man" and "The Lisbeth character, meanwhile, came on like a goth Modesty Blaise who was simply too good to be true." I don't know about the middle-aged male fantasy bit (yes I do but don't want to admit it) but I don't disagree with the second statement. Of course, I have a weakness for goth and would probably dabble in it if I were a teenager today. And I read Modesty Blaise as a teenager - talk about male fantasies. I also didn't find Salander's technical skills too far off.

I too believe that the original title, Men who Hate Women is more descriptive but probably failed the marketing test in favor of the sexier Dragon Tattoo.

I found it riveting when Blomkvist and Salander's investigations really got going in the last third. It was worth the wait.

I liked enough to order the UK edition of The Girl who Played With Fire and purchased a print copy of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo for reference and probable later re-read.