Friday, January 27, 2012

Book Review: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

After tearing through the pages of The Hunger Games series,  I found myself bookless with a week life of Christmas vacation.  I scrounged through my sister's bookshelf and found a title I'd long but forgotten.  Way back in 2009, on my first trip to the Strand, I'd picked up The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.  I'd always intended on reading it but soon found myself drawn into the college freshmen lifestyle.  Fast-forward to 2012 and the 600+ pages seemed a little daunting, but I thought "what the heck; it'll keep me from having to make another trip to Barnes and Noble."

Steig Larsson's first novel about Lisbeth Slander, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, combines a murder mystery, a family saga, a financial intrigue, and a love story.  After a confusing introduction, readers quickly discover Harriet Vanger, a scion of one of Sweden's wealthiest families disappeared over forty years ago.  She vanished without a trace, and her aged uncle is determined to seek the truth.  He hires Mikael Blomkvist, a journalist recently trapped by a libel conviction, to investigate.  Aided by the pierced and tattooed tech prodigy Lisbeth Slander, they tap into a vein of iniquity and corruption.

Be warned this isn't your mom's Nancy Drew mystery story.  The novel offers a thoroughly ugly view of human nature, especially when it comes to the way Swedish men treat Swedish women. In Larsson’s world, sadism, murder and suicide are commonplace.  It may take a little while to sort through the various Vanger family names but keep reading; it definitely starts to gain speed after the first hundred pages.

Unfortunately, one week of classes are completed, and already I'm thinking this is going to be one long semester!  The syllabus for "Japanese History Since WWII" had a wapping 13 books on it, so it doesn't look like I'll be having more fun reading anytime soon.  But, if I can somehow manage to squeeze in the sequel, The Girl Who Played With Fire, I'll tell you have it measures up.

My Rating:  ****

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