Book Review: 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo'

The Girl with the Dragon TattooThe Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

Steig Larson's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, like J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series, never intrigued me enough to commit to reading the story. Fortunately, I never had to actually read the Harry Potter books because my nephew Alex was always willing and able to be my dynamic, interactive Cliff Notes while I watched the movies.

He could not help me out with Larson's adult novel, so I was on my own until came to babysit me with some very fine storytelling thanks to Simon Vance. Sixteen hours, 20 minutes, and 50 seconds later, I can say with satisfaction that I have experienced this story.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo--Lisbeth Salander--is my hero because she mashes her heel into the feet of mean and miserable giants in their handmade leather shoes and custom tailored suits and brings them to their knees, exposing them for what they are and quite severely—however justly--punishing them for it.  I felt exhilarated when Swedish Goth Girl prevailed.

Salander is a hacker who works for and with Mikael Blomkvist, a financial journalist recently burned professionally after publishing an expose of a corrupt industrial don, who is trying to solve the mystery of a young girl's disappearance almost 40 years before this story opens. Together, Blomkvist and Salander’s passion for the truth and their basic human decency combine with their investigative skills to take them down some pretty dark roads and into the corrupt heart of a depraved man who enjoys hurting women because, as he says, it's easy.

Martin Venger captures, torments, and destroys women because he can and because he gets off on the feeling of godlike power over another human being. Even being caught thrills him. He enjoys having his talent recognized.

The passion for cruelty that drives Martin Venger is as unspeakable as it is ordinary. There are Martin Vengers the world over who toy with others’ desire to be accepted and loved, who derive a strange pleasure from inflicting pain in others.  Those people who understand our basic human needs but turn them against us for their own amusement and aggrandizement are both despicable and ordinary.  It's a dreadful fact.

There are also many Blomkvists and Salanders who hate cruelty, fight back, win, and carry on. We call it living. These are the characters who kept me listening. How will it end?

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  1. not my kind of story but sounds compelling...

  2. I loved this book and film..sandy

  3. I love the books. Great backstory on the books also.

    We haven't see the movie yet, but plan to do so.

  4. I never read the book, but my husband and I have seen the newest movie and the older foreign one. We were liked them and enjoyed comparing them. Now, though, I probably won't read the book.
    But what a well-written review you have rendered here.

  5. Anonymous5:53 PM

    Finished his thres books in ten days. Liked them incredible much. Sad that he died as future works surely would have been great. Please have a good weekend ahead.

    daily athens photo

  6. I've seen trailers for the movie; I have a feeling the book may be more to my liking. Thanks for the review.

  7. I hate torture movies and books. I think people don't have to learn about such things.
    Nothing nice or entertaining about hearing how a person is made to suffer..

  8. I have read all three and didn't like any of them. I read them so I could see what the fuss was about. I always wonder about an author who is able to so realistically horrify me with misogyny and violence. The first Swedish movie was as twisted as the book; the 2nd and 3rd were poor. I find I had no need to read these books for my social education. I never have figured out why they are so popular or what their redeeming value is.

  9. I have the book...just haven't taken the time to read it.
    Thanks for the review.

  10. I haven't seen the film but I LOVED all three books in this series.

  11. I loved this series too. I want to see the movie when it comes out on dvd.

  12. For Lisa and all the others who haven't seen the movie: the Swedish one is free to view everywhere (Netflix, Amazon Prime). Well, not free. Free if you join.


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