Monday, February 13, 2012

Book Review: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

A lot of people have been talking about this book recently, even more so with the release of the movie. I stubbornly, as always, insisted on reading the book before I saw the (english version) of the movie. I have to say it wasn't what I thought it would be.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
With all the hype surrounding this book, I had suspected it would be a serial-killer murder mystery. And to some extent, it was: but the suspenseful plot existed within an exhaustive political narration. As a woman, the use of guardians for "incompetent" females drove me crazy, as well as the percentage of woman that report being sexually assaulted every year in that country. Staggering. I also grew to really love the girl with the dragon tattoo herself, Lisbeth. After all that has happened to her, she doesn't see herself as a victim. Instead, she refuses to accept any fate that she doesn't chose: which is great to read about and very empowering.

Like Steven King's novels, the book took a great deal of time to get into. The author writes extremely meticulously, and it can be hard to get used to the Swedish dialogue and names for people and places. It picked up for me briefly about 2/3 through, where I couldn't put it down through the climax. However, after that, the book continued its resolution for far too long. If you are a "to-the-point" reader, this book may not be for you.

That being said, I saw the movie right after I read the book: and I liked it. But I'm not sure if I liked the movie because I read the book - I knew who all the characters were, and liked knowing what was going to happen. I felt somewhat disappointed with the portrayal of the movie: I felt as though they really could have taken elements in the book a lot further visually. But the movie was very talk-y, didn't have a lot of action / movement, and had long, drawn-out scenes. Or scenes that interrupted other scenes like the book did. It was exactly as boring as the book was. I will say that Lisbeth Salander was nailed perfectly with great casting.

Bottom Line: Well thought out, cool plot - but requires a lot of patience. Great time-killing book, or for people who are into politics.

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