Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Girls with Tattoos, specifically dragon ones...

Finished The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larsson and LOVED it. I actually picked the book up before all the "hype" was out about it. It was such a random deal too. I saw it in a little bookstore and loved the cover, loved that it had to deal with tattoos and decided to buy it. That was like 3 years ago, and I always meant to pick it up and read it but school and work always got in the way. I figured it would just be silly of me not to read it when A. I already had it and B. I've heard such good things about it. So I did. 
First Line: It happened every year, was almost a ritual. 

Summary: Mikael Blomkvist is a financial reporter/editor of a financial magazine and is facing charges of libel. Defeated and full of disappointment he agrees to take on a freelance job for an older, wealthy industrialist who has been in search of his missing niece for forty years.  At first Mikael believes there is no mystery to be solved and the whole "deal" is a waste of time...until he realizes he may be wrong. The intertwining story of Lisbeth Salander only adds more mystery to the plot. As cold and distant as she may seem there are reasons for her madness. The tattooed and pierced Lisbeth is a force to be reckoned with when you get in her way. 

What I loved: One may think it's hard to read a book that was originally written in a different language but it really isn't. I loved that this book still has a lot of it's culture still in tact. Even though there are a ton of swedish words I didn't know or understand, you really didn't need to, but it enhanced the authenticity of the novel. I love the relationship between the main characters. I love Mikael's hard working, morally correct (for the most part) attitude about his journalism. But I also love Lisbeth's unorthodox, completely morally wrong, lack of work ethic attitude about her job as well. I love them together. I also like that the author played around with sexual relationships without a hint of judging. Maybe in Sweden having the whole "friends with benefits" thing is a more accepted practice than it is in the US. The action of the novel is another positive aspect to the book. There are times when I literally was hungry for the next sentence, next paragraph, next page. It's one you can't put down. 

What I didn't love: It takes about 40 pages to get to all the things I loved about the book. He should have really rethought the first couple chapters because they are so boring and blah that I almost didn't even continue (even though I'm very glad I chose to continue). I wish Mikael's background was a little more played out in the novel. We got a good sense of how Lisbeth came to be how she is, I think Mikael should have been explored a little more. Other than those few things, nothing to complain about. 

Grade: A!!! This book is fantastic! I highly recommend it for readers who enjoy fast paced thrillers/mysteries. Disclaimer though-there are some pretty graphic parts to the novel. There were a few times I was actually shocked at what was written. If you're okay with cussing, sex and graphic violence, then you will do fine. 

I promptly went out and purchased the second and third book in the trilogy. So excited to start reading them, of course I have a few books ahead of them before I can join Mikael and Lisbeth on another adventure. Hope the week is going fantastic for everyone!


Mason Canyon said...

I've read a lot of good things about this book. Loved your review. I'll have to add this to my wish list.

Thoughts in Progress

Okie said...

I picked this up way back when it first came out, but haven't yet even cracked the cover. I keep hearing great hype about this book and the books that come after it. One of these days I'll really have to read it.

Jessica (BookLover) said...

I've had this book on my wishlist for so long - I need to pick up a copy soon.

Jemi Fraser said...

This is one of those books I keep saying I have to read - I really do!

Vicki Rocho said...

I'm holding out for now. Waiting for the uproar to die down so it can be 'my' experience and not part of the masses.

Ash said...

I have this book but haven't gotten to it yet. Might add it to my must-read summer books list. I actually saw this book before the hype too, I guy was reading it on a plane I was taking (but I can't remember where I was going- California I think). I remember thinking the book had a really pretty cover and an interesting name, plus the guy was pretty cute so I thought maybe I should read the book. Then the guy picked up some soft core porn magazine (essentially) that he apparently thought no one could see. Then I decided I didn't want to read the book haha. Weird how stuff like that happens.

bibliophilica said...

Hi Jade,
This was one of my favorite books (and series') of the year. I have had the same hesitation to recommend it to certain people because of the sexual violence, but for those who I know can "handle it" I've heartily recommended it - and so far no one has been disappointed. I've since read the other two also. Both were just as good or better than the first.

Keri said...

I've picked up this book recently in a store but haven't started reading it as I have all these other books to read first. Good to know it is good though as I can never quite trust the hype but it has me intrigued.