The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

 
Title: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
Author: Stieg Larsson
Number of pages: 644
Published: Vintage, 2009
Rating: 2 out of 5

 
 I’m so disappointed.

 
 It wasn’t until page 642 that I really enjoyed this book. Not until I got to some of the unlocking of the Girl With The Dragon Tattoo’s heart, and there was a lot to suffer before I got there: 
  • a long, boring, tedious beginning hinting at some case for libel that journalist Blomqvist made pertaining to some businessman that we neither know, or care, about.
  • a somewhat magically solved chain of events, that were long drawn out, pertaining to the Venger family’s huge dysfunctionality.
  • the way that Blomqvist, our alleged hero, can commit himself to neither female: his long time lover and co-worker, who’s already married, or Salander with her tattoo and broken life.
I love mysteries. I love thrillers. I love the race through a compelling novel of crime and intrigue such as I found in The Bourne Identity.  Or, The Death of A Red Heroine. I had greatly anticipated such a read with The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, especially after reading accolades not only from the blog-o-sphere, but from The Washington Post and The New York Times. The later two are especially trustworthy sources, no? No. My summary:
“It was a brick of a book, 608 pages in paperback.” (p. 626)

Alas, I couldn’t have said it better myself, Stieg.

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33 thoughts on “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo”

  1. Oh, that makes me so sad. I loved this book with all my heart, but then again, I listened to the audio, which can make a difference. I've read so many mysteries and crime thrillers, and they all seem to blend together for me. This one stood out by a mile…interesting characters, serious character-development, clever detecting, and an author that does not seem to need to "outdo" the other crime novels by throwing in outlandish gore. I've ordered the second book (on audio) from the library and I can't wait. I need more of Lisbeth Salander!

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  2. Sandy, maybe that's what disappointed me the most: I, too, needed more of Lisbeth Salander. She was be far the most interesting thing about this novel. I thought the clever detecting was too clever, okay, contrived, and I thought the character development was not developed enough. Maybe I just came at this with far too high expectations.

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  3. It was a lot to read, but I just felt compelled to finish it because I'd heard such high accolades. Plus, I'm sort of OCD; can't lay things down incomplete. 😉

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  4. Bermudaonion, I seem to be in the minority of people who disliked it; don't let my impressions dissuade you. You might like it a lot. In fact, I'd be very interested to hear what you think.

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  5. My mom's friend recommended this book for me, but I soon found that it was far to "adult" in content, although not in actual writing and word-choice. I soon gave it up, abandoning it, as I thought was best for me, if not the book. I also, though, enjoyed "The Bourne Identity" – and I told my dad he had to read it. I believe he's fairly close to the end, but he's always losing the actual book…Have you read "The Bourne Supremacy"? I found the book incredibly boring, and it's one of the few books I've actually given up without a real moral motive.

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  6. Like Sandy, I listened to this one on audio; I suspect it might have been better that way, after all, even though I had a tough time keeping all the Vengers straight. Like you, my feelings were mixed: Salander is interesting; Blomqvist's life was strange, and I recall one scene of immense brutality (the first one; the second was deserved–LS can kick ass!) that nearly made me sick. Literally.

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  7. Madeleine, I've read all the Bourne books, but the first was the only one I thought exceptional. Maybe it was because I was living in Germany at the time, and I really hungered for American books! If you liked The Bourne Identity, you may really like Frederick Forsythe's The Day of The Jackal which is about the assasination attempt on France's Charles de Gualle. It was outstanding!

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  8. ds, that scene of which you speak is still sitting like a rock in my stomach. It made (makes?) me so upset I can hardly write about it now. I know what you mean. Perfectly.

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  9. I loved this series and I am not a huge fan of crime mystery. I agree that there were slow parts but I found it mainly in the first 150 pages. Yes, there is darkness and brutality and I usually cannot stomach that in a book but found it was done in a way with compassion. From what I've read, I believe that Stieg Larsson was trying to show the problems related to the reality of victimization and violence of women through his books. This book was originally titled Men who Hate women in the Swedish Version. There is much more of Salander in the next two books so I hope that you will give them another try.

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  10. I know. So many times in my life there's the group…then, me. I'm not sure why I wasn't crazy about it like every one else. Liked it? Yeah, sort of. Loved it? Nah. But, I dont' want to keep you from "going for it."

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  11. I'd be very interested in reading more of Lisbeth Salander. She was by far my favorite, and the most intriguing, character. I think you're right, that one of his intentions was to bring to light the abuse of women. I wish he'd developed Salander even more in this novel.

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  12. It took a while to get going for me, but once I was hooked, I was hooked. It is a different style of read for me. I have read the sequel, and have the third one here which I am looking forward to.

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  13. It's interesting that you say it was a different style of read for you, Marg. I could almost feel the translator working, almost as if it was difficult for him. That was my impression, anyway.

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  14. Do you have the book Yakuza Moon? That was such a fascinating look at the Japanese gangsters/mafia. I'm amazed by their tattoos along with their other lifestyle choices. I wish I had an extra copy of Yakuza Moon to send you, and I'm curious as to what Yakuza book you'll be reading. Thanks for the connection to tattoos. (I think I'm one of the few teachers in our elementary building who doesn't have one.)

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  15. It definitely has a slow start, but it didn't take me nearly as long as you to get interested. I wouldn't say that I loved it, but I did enjoy it once I got past the first 60 pages. I hear the second book reveals quite a bit about Salander's personal history. Not sure I want to wade through another one of these hefty books, though, just to see what makes her tick.

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  16. I do have Yakuza Moon, waiting. I'm nearly finished with Confessions of a Yakuza by Junichi Saga and have another non-fiction to get through, then I'll be reading YM for the challenge.I was just delighted (um… in a literary kind of way) to see the bit on 60 Minutes.

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  17. I have this and the second part in the trilogy on my shelf waiting patiently for me to read them. Yours is the only review that was negative so far. I think I will still read it.I'm sorry you didn't like it, but I admire your honesty.I love that a quote in the book summed up your feelings about the book! LOL

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  18. Wasn't that quote a riot?! It pertains to a book that Blomqvist wrote in revenge, quite an ingenious attack on his part, but it seemed to sum up how I was feeling on page 800. Or, so. 😉

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  19. Interesting – I've heard so many positive reviews for this one but for some reason hesitated getting it. I finally picked up a copy on sale, but still haven't been compelled to pick it up and read it. I think I'm concerned I think it was overhyped. I will eventually read it, but it's not jumping to the top of the pile for me yet.

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