Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Stieg Larsson)

I don't know why I didn't read this book sooner, when it was at the front of Chapters or when my mom whipped through them.  I still didn't know much about the book when my aunt started talking about the new movie that's now out.  When I told her I hadn't read the book, she just told me, "Oh, you have to.  They were so good."

So, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson was the next book I decided to read.  When I started it, I didn't read the back so I had no idea what I was getting myself in to. 

The novel is giant and it's a thriller/mystery/suspense book (with a bit of a love story at parts, I guess).  Without giving much away because most of this is on the back of the book, Mikael Blomkvist, a journalist, is hired by Henrik Vanger to solve a mystery.  Henrik's niece disappeared forty years ago and Henrik believes that she was murdered.  He's been stuck on this case for forty years and is desperate to find an answer.  Lisbeth Salander enters the story (she's the one with the dragon tattoo!).  She's a "genius hacker with someone twice her age" and tries to help Mikael with this mystery. 
"You didn't have to be a rocket scientist to see that these events were somehow related.  There had to be a skeleton in one of their cupboards, and Salander loved hunting skeletons.  Besides, she had nothing else on at the moment."  (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Stieg Larsson, p. 390)

I really liked this book.  It took me a little while to get into for a few reasons.  First, I didn't have a good chunk of time devoted to reading when I started the book, and I think that you really need that to understand what is going on at the start of the book.  The whole novel isn't like the first fifty pages, so if you're having trouble with the beginning (the first hundred or so pages), don't worry - it gets a bit easier to read once the story is set up a bit for you.  Second, it just took some time getting used to the names of people and places (because they're all Swedish).  Once you start reading though, these names become familiar and it's fine.  Don't ask me to pronounce them, but it was easy to understand and recognize the names. 

This really was a "don't want to put it down" book for me.  It was exciting and a little bit crazy.  (That's one messed up family, the Vangers!)  If you haven't read it and are looking for something with a bit of substance, this could be it!  It's big and has a lot of details, but it moves at a steady pace and was very interesting. 

This is the first in the trilogy and I am looking forward to reading the next two!

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