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Friday, September 10, 2010

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

By Stieg Larsson, 2008
590 pages

I'm sure you've heard plenty about this National Bestseller that has passed the mark of 10 million copies sold.  If you're reluctant to entangle yourself with this Swedish trilogy, I say start reading!

This first novel involves the investigation of a 40-year-old murder mystery.  But all the books of Larsson's Millennium Trilogy also touch on themes of social prejudice and question what is generally accepted as "normal" vs. psychotic behavior.

The greatest thing about this book is its characters.  Lisbeth Salander, the girl with the dragon tattoo, is a delinquent genius who is simultaneously fascinating and irritating.  Her nonconformist psyche is confusing but also refreshingly different.  I deem it a sign of excellent writing when, as the reader, you can't decide whether or not to like a character.  Salander and journalist Mikael Blomkvist pull all the various elements of the book together into a cohesive and intriguing storyline. 

If you think the book is dragging in the first few chapters, don't give up!  The background threads slowly weave in, and once the momentum picks up you'll feel as if your sprinting.  The ending is certainly worth wading through the seemingly impeding details.

If you've read The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, what did you think?

  • Checkout the Swedish film version of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo!
  • Learn more about the author Stieg Larrson at www.stieglarsson.com