Friday, September 30, 2011

Book Review - The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

Title: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

Author: Stieg Larsson

Book Synopsis from Back of Book: 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 iniquity and corruption.

My Review: It took me a few months to finish this book, but not because of lack of interest. I was pulled in immediately with the Prologue and my attention was kept as the stage was set. My problem came with the amount of information that is presented throughout the course of the book, particularly in the beginning. I don't know much about journalism or business, so for me it took a lot of concentration to follow the conversations as they discussed the case against the main character, Mikael Blomkvist. I will admit, at some points, I didn't really try to understand. It was taking too long to read, so I just gave up and I figured that what was important would come across, even if it wasn't completely clear to me why. This method of reading seemed to work for me, and it was worth pushing through the 'heavy' stuff because the rest of the plot was amazing.

Another challenge for me was trying to remember the characters names and the places that they went. The book takes place in Sweden, as that is where the author is from, but the names are so foreign to me it was hard to keep them straight at first. Once they became established characters for me, it was much easier.

How the book is presented is fascinating. We follow Mikael and the other main character Lisbeth, but their story doesn't actually overlap until almost halfway through the book. I knew that they would eventually come together, so it was fun to read how they got to that point.

The plot was extremely intricate and the plot twists were surprising. The Vanger family is unlike any other family I've ever read about. Each member had their own unique quirk that added to the twists of the plot. When I finished, I immediately wanted to pick up the sequel, The Girl Who Played With Fire. There is a preview of the book at the back and after reading the first ten pages I know I'm going to enjoy it as much as the first book.

This book is definitely not for everyone, but if you enjoy a good mystery and you like to be surprised, this is a book to take a look at.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars (It would have been 5, but I couldn't justify it with the skimming I was forced to do.)

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