The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

By Stieg Larsson

I FINALLY finished this book… HORRAY!!

I got this novel as a gift and had previously read to almost page 100 of this 590 text. Nothing, and I repeat, NOTHING of interest had happened to that point, so, like a quitter, I gave up. I told the person who gave it to me that I, candidly, found it to be boring. She assured me that it would get good soon. So, despite my not being interesting in bearing through 490 more pages of boringness, I started up again where I left off.

Overall, I’m happy I did.

This is one of the most complicated books I have ever read- not because the plot is particularly complicated, but because Larsson is a fan of details. When I say ‘details’ I mean that this guy likes to include minute by minute accounts of what each character was doing and inch by inch of what each different setting looked like. As much as I hoped that these details would be necessary to the ultimate plot- they were not. I got lost in the details and found them to be pretty anal retentive, though they do make me wonder if they were intentional to echo the personality of one of the main characters- but that might be giving too much credit.

This is a murder mystery- and a unique one at that- where a journalist who is taking a break after being convicted of libel has been hired to solve an over-30-year-old disappearance of a teenage girl. One of the characters is “the girl with the dragon tattoo,” who, like all tattooed people (according to non-tattooed people who try to write about tattooed people) has emotional issues- and is a brilliant hacker and researcher. I always think it’s funny to see what non-tattooed people construe as cool tattoos- an example being that Lisbeth Salander has numerous armbands of tattoos- oh god.

I had no idea where this novel might go but found myself compelled to keep reading until I got some answers. The mystery itself was fascinating and enjoyable- making pages 100-500 an absolute joy to read.

But then I got to page 501.

For reasons unknown, Larsson follows a fascinating, complicated, intricate murder mystery with a return to the libel case that had proved itself to be so boring for the first hundred pages. I won’t get into it, but this is basically a really fun novel that will have you anxious to continue- that happens to be sandwiched by too many pages of a plot that is a complete bore in comparison.

Overall, I recommend this book and am curious to read the others in the series- HOWEVER- understand that Larsson is not afraid of random/boring tangents and goes off on them more frequently than he should (or anyone should, for that matter). If you can navigate yourself through the maze of fascinating and pointless, then you’ll be sure to enjoy the experience.

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