Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

This was our January's Group Read and I will be honest, I really had no desire to read it. So that MAY be why I wasn't 100 percent into it. Perhaps, a tad biased. But, I thought it was just okay.

This was a complex novel which had many characters to keep straight and multiple plot lines to follow. The main story line involves Mikael Blomkvist, a financial reporter, who has just been convicted of libel. He is contracted by Henrik Vanger to look into the disappearance of Vanger's niece Harriet, 30 odd years ago.

"Salander fitted into this picture as well as a buffalo at a boat show." (pg.

Another story line includes Lisbeth Salander, a brilliant loner who works for a security firm and is introduced to the reader in snippets. The more you know about Lisbeth the more you wonder and I am anticipating that is why there are more books.

I also would have to say that the relationship that Blomkvist had with Erika Berger was quite interesting as well. It's hard to believe a relationship like their's would survive marriages and time without jealousy and with such great friendship.

"Sometimes they were together so often that it felt as though they really
were a couple; sometimes weeks and months would go by before they saw each
other. But even as alcoholics are drawn to the state liquor store after a
stint on the wagon they always came back to each other." (pg. 62)

To say much more, I unfortunately feel as though I would give too much away and part of the point of reading the book is for the storylines to slowing reveal themselves. The slowly revealing themselves part partly is the reason why I was not a huge fan.

The writing was brilliant, I actually learned more about Sweden than I knew before, and it inspired me to research more about Sweden, however I could barely keep going. I honestly think the only reason I kept going was because I wanted to know more about Lisbeth. I figured out most of 'mystery' before it was fully revealed and was as disgusted and over the Vangers as Mikael was by the time THAT wrapped up. And sadly, even Lisbeth was disappointing me towards the end.

Perhaps discussing the book with someone else would help. I will say that I would probably enjoy the book in movie form. Not sure when or if I will pick up The Girl Who Played With Fire.

Anyone agree? Disagree? Want to talk? Leave comments / questions and I will respond.


Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

My post is going up tomorrow - although it's not much of a review since I am a bit foggy on the details! I own the 2nd book and will eventually get around to reading it. I really enjoyed this book but didn't feel like I HAD to read the next one right away.

Kelly said...

I'm bummed you didn't like the book. I loved it and normally I have such a hard time getting into book club books and/or anything assigned for school etc. I must have different taste in books that everyone else.

First of all, I did find a few things in the book to be a bit weird- particularly Blomvist's relationship with Erika- never could happen in reality! I found Lisabeth weird too, but I learned a lot more about her in the 2nd book so many things make sense now. The only thing I truly disliked about the book was that I found it hard to keep all of the characters straight! It was even worse in the second book because I am taking longer to read it and I swear there are more people...

What I loved about the book was the slow unfolding of the plot. I thought it was very suspenseful because I truly wanted to know what happened to Harriett on the small island where there could only be a certain number of suspects. I am big into mystery and suspense because it keeps me coming back. I also liked the plot twists and the fact that the police had already tried to solve the mystery and couldn't- that added another element that most mysteries do not have. I also was happy in the end with what happened, obviously don't want to give it away- even though it proved that the Vanger family was even more crazy than we ever thought.
I also agree with you that I learned a lot about Sweden I did not know before :)
Anyway, I'm sorry you didn't like it, but in case you ever have any desire to pick up the second book, it's pretty much all centered around Slander, so you may enjoy it!

Anais said...

You have to get the 2nd one, i find it better than the first!!

I loved all that I learned about Sweden... I love that country and it ALMOST made me feel like I was living there (plus, I ended up getting a thermos for my coffee because Blomkvist always uses one... am I lame?).

About the film, it IS very good, but all the violent stuff is shown... it can be hard to watch. I thought the girl that plays Salander was AMAZING for the role and the guy who plays Blomkvist, well... I didn't think he looked the way I pictured him at first but now I'm happy with him. Everybody else (including Erika) did NOT look like I pictured them...

The Many Thoughts of a Reader said...

@ Kelly... I really like mystery and suspense too. I was just disappointed because I sort of figured out "whodunnit" and what not and then I was like ooookay we are dragging this on. And sometimes I was just like oookay move a little faster. I may read the next one in the future but I have tooo many in my "tbr" pile at the moment to add it in, I already have to take some back to the library this week that I haven't been able to touch that I want to read oops.

The Many Thoughts of a Reader said...

@ Anais ... Who played Blomkvist? I will admit I have not looked into the film at all yet because if I know I want to read abook of something first I try to hide myself away from it haa.. :)