Monday, February 2, 2009

The Girl With the Dragon Tatoo by Stieg Larsson

Translated from the swedish by Reg Keeland

Book Jacket: It's about the disappearance forty years ago of Harriet Vanger, a young scion of one of the wealthiest families in Sweden ... and about her octogenarian uncle, determined to know the truth about what he believes was her murder." "It's about Mikael Blomkvist, a crusading journalist recently at the wrong end of a libel case, hired to get to the bottom of Harriet's disappearance ... and about Lisbeth Salander, a twenty-four-year-old pierced and tattooed genius hacker possessed of the hard-earned wisdom of someone twice her age - and a terrifying capacity for ruthlessness to go with it - who assists Blomkvist with the investigation. This unlikely team discovers a vein of nearly unfathomable iniquity running through the Vanger family, astonishing corruption in the highest echelons of Swedish industrialism - and an unexpected connection between themselves. It's a novel about society at its most hidden, and about the intimate lives of a cast of characters, all of them forced to face the darker aspects of their world and of their own lives.

My Thoughts: This was not an edge of your seat thriller for me (except near the end) but it was a compelling read. I liked this book. The characters were likable (or hate-able as the case may be) each with their own flaws. The heroine was very different, asocial but sympathetic. I enjoyed the setting, Sweden, and the social comment I found here. It could have been a thinner faster read if those things had not been written in or had been edited out, but then the feel of reading about another country would have been lost. I found some of the relationships strange, especially the open relationship of two of the main characters. The main mystery was wrapped up well before the end of the book. The rest, closing a corporate mystery that began at the beginning of the book, was a little anticlimatic but rewarding for the characters sake. I did not love the very end, but assume it will be resolved in the next book. I will be reading the sequels.
Here is a trailer for the book.


Diane said...

I'd like to read this one some time. I tried the audio version, but between the accent and keeping track of the characters it became too confusing. I'll need the print version.

Thanks 4 posting!

Dorte H said...

Good review!
As a Scandinavian I have the advantage of having read all three books about Blomkvist and Salander, and I liked them a lot. I may use the third one later for my thriller challenge :)

Jenne said...

Thanks for reviewing this one. I had been thinking about reading it, but wasn't sure if it was my kind of book. I'll add it to my Goodreads "to-read" shelf!