While some of the books I review on my site are furnished by the publishers, authors, or publicists for the purpose of review all of my reviews are truthful, honest, and my sincere opinion.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Review: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

I got this book from Paperback Swap - it's a great service for rotating your personal library. For every book you send out you get a credit for another book that you want to read (you can also sign up on their sister sites and get CDs and DVDs).

About the Book

A spellbinding amalgam of murder mystery, family saga, love story, and financial intrigue.

It’s about the disappearance forty years ago of Harriet Vanger, a young scion of one of the wealthiest families in Sweden . . . and about her octogenarian uncle, determined to know the truth about what he believes was her murder.

It’s about Mikael Blomkvist, a crusading journalist recently at the wrong end of a libel case, hired to get to the bottom of Harriet’s disappearance . . . and about Lisbeth Salander, a twenty-four-year-old pierced and tattooed genius hacker possessed of the hard-earned wisdom of someone twice her age—and a terrifying capacity for ruthlessness to go with it—who assists Blomkvist with the investigation. This unlikely team discovers a vein of nearly unfathomable iniquity running through the Vanger family, astonishing corruption in the highest echelons of Swedish industrialism—and an unexpected connection between themselves.

It’s a contagiously exciting, stunningly intelligent novel about society at its most hidden, and about the intimate lives of a brilliantly realized cast of characters, all of them forced to face the darker aspects of their world and of their own lives.

Once you start The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, there's no turning back. This debut thriller--the first in a trilogy from the late Stieg Larsson--is a serious page-turner rivaling the best of Charlie Huston and Michael Connelly. Mikael Blomkvist, a once-respected financial journalist, watches his professional life rapidly crumble around him. Prospects appear bleak until an unexpected (and unsettling) offer to resurrect his name is extended by an old-school titan of Swedish industry. The catch--and there's always a catch--is that Blomkvist must first spend a year researching a mysterious disappearance that has remained unsolved for nearly four decades. With few other options, he accepts and enlists the help of investigator Lisbeth Salander, a misunderstood genius with a cache of authority issues. Little is as it seems in Larsson's novel, but there is at least one constant: you really don't want to mess with the girl with the dragon tattoo.

For more information about The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo you can visit Steig Larsson's website.You can also "Like" Stieg Larsson on Facebook.

My Review

I know I'm a little late on reading this one, as the movie is already gone from the theater. But I like to read the books for movies before I see the movie. So I guess I'll be waiting for the DVD to come out.

I liked this book. I think the characters were well developed, the story was great. However I felt like it took too long to get going, and the ending was a bit drawn out for me. I think there was quite a bit from the beginning and the ending that could have been cut and this still would have been a good story. I do have to warn you that it can be a bit hard to read. There are a few scenes that were a bit graphic, and not in a romantic graphic sort of way. So if you have trouble reading gruesome material you may not care for this book.

The story, once it gets going is pretty good. There's so much going on in the story but having the mystery of Harriet Vanger's disappearance as the backbone to everything else was a great tool. I wanted to find out what happened and who was responsible for it. There were so many twists that I didn't think it would ever be all sorted out! I wanted to see what was going to happen with everything else too. My favorite scene is when Lisbeth gets revenge - It was very disturbing, but at the same time I was so glad that she did what she did! I don't think I would have handled things the same way she did, but I'm not like her. She did what she had to do to and I'm pretty sure she got her point across!

I really liked Lisbeth she was a great character. I've never known anyone like her, she was so different, but I really connected with her. I wish she would have been in the story more, it seemed to not focus so much on her as opposed to the other characters. She didn't play as central of a role as I would have wanted her to - given the title refers to her, it seems she would have been a bit more involved. Mikael was an ok character. He was well developed. Although I was just kind of indifferent about him. I didn't hate him, but I didn't really like him either. He just seemed to be kind of selfish and ditzy. The ending with him kind of upset me, although it wasn't really a surprise, just showed his true colors - yet again.

Overall it was a pretty good book. Once I got into it I couldn't put it down. I will be picking up the other two in this series.

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