I am procrastinating on today’s packing just a bit longer to bring you a quick book review of Stieg Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I’d been putting off reading this one for no apparent reason. I just wasn’t into it, I guess. But then when I was packing to go to the beach last weekend, I figured I may as well take it with me. If I started it and liked it, I could keep going, and if I didn’t like it, the house has plenty of other things to read. Well, I started reading it Friday night on the ferry over to the island, and it took a good 50 pages for me to really get into it, but after that, I was hooked. The rest of my family has already read all three of the books in this series, and they tell me that the other two are easier to get into because you already know the characters and don’t have to go through the whole introduction part in the beginning.
I’m looking forward to that, but I have forbidden myself from reading any more fiction until after I move. I just wouldn’t get anything done, and I have a LOT to get done, so no more books for a week and a half. Then I am definitely going to read the other two Larsson books.
In a nutshell, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is about a completely wacko family, a girl who isn’t crazy but is thought to be by the state, a journalist, his “business partner” (with whom he has a wholly inappropriate relationship), and a whole heck of a lot of crimes against women in Sweden. Y’all, there was so much about this story that I didn’t like, yet I would have to give the book at least three stars. Probably four. Because the things I didn’t like were the things that the characters were doing, and it wasn’t that I had a literary problem with them. It was that I had a moral problem with them. But I’m not scoring books based on my own personal moral compass. I’m scoring them based on the writing and the entertainment value. And this book is extremely well-written and gripping.
I’d be interested to know what I missed having read the English translation of a book originally written in Swedish (and also what I missed by simply not being Swedish) because I got the feeling that there were a fair number of cultural jokes and references that were lost on me. But other than that, the characters were believable and still haven’t given everything away about themselves, which makes me want to read the next book. The story moved at a good pace. I did NOT expect what happened to have happened. And the story was tied up nicely while still leaving you with a little cliff-hanger. I liked it.
Four stars. ****