Title: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
Author: Stieg Larsson
Published: November 8th 2011 (first published 2005)
Purchase: Book Depository ♦ Amazon
Synopsis: 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 unfathomable iniquity and astonishing corruption.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was a book that both irritated and fascinated me. My irritation is with the writing style – the story was unbelievably slow paced with unnecessary, long, drawn out conversations and pointless scenes/descriptions. I wanted to put this book down and walk away but as boring as some chapters were, my mind kept stubbornly going back to Mikael, Lisbeth and the crazy ol’ family.
Unsurprisingly, Lisbeth chapters never bore me, she was far more interesting than Mikael and Henrik was never there to ramble on and on about his family history. The first 300 or so pages were very character oriented and there wasn’t much progress with the mystery itself but I truly enjoyed the characters that made up the Vanger family. If you thought your family had issues, wait till you meet the Vangers. They’re a diverse bunch with varying levels of crazy, I liked reading about them. Also there were other bat shit crazy things going on so that added to the bulk of the story, it’s better to jump into the story than know what I’m referring to.
Mikael was a very dull character but the more I got to know him, the more I liked him, he had a relaxed demeanour and he never came off intrusive despite being a journalist. His normalcy was also nice. He was a good contrast to Lisbeth who could be very unnerving. It was surprising when I realized I couldn’t put this book down even for far more appealing books but midway through the intensity of the story kept building and when the plot unfolded I was shocked, speechless and excited.
I didn’t think the magnitude of the story was going to be that big or that good. Hype be damned. It made everything worth it – characters who talked too much, the business drama that I didn’t care about, the slow pace. It was grotesque and horribly fascinating and though the story was easy enough to follow my mind couldn’t wrap around it. It was brilliant though I was disappointed by how the story wrapped up, it felt a bit anticlimactic. I did end up loving The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and I’d definitely recommend it though I’d slap on a warning, beware of the writing, you’ll suffer a bit. If you haven’t read it, free up some evenings and give it a chance if you want to read a twisted story with a lot of heavy issues.