Book review: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Stieg Larsson)

Title: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo 
Author: Stieg Larsson
Page count: 590 
Rating: 2/5 stars 

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You guys know how I usually write really happy, positive reviews? There`s some complaining usually about the bad points, but hey, overall it`s good and go watch/read/listen, right? Well, not this time.

Oh dear, where do I even begin with this book.

In all fairness, I picked it up because so many people were raving about it and there was a movie like, twice, and I came across it ridiculously cheap so I decided to give it a go. But if I`m going to be honest: I`m still not entirely sure how I even made it through all of the almost 600 pages this version counts.

Let`s see if I can think of some good points first:

I suppose there was a good message in there somewhere that if you`re a guy who treats women horribly, then Lisbeth Salander will come after you and hurt you horribly. Except if your name is Mikael Blomkvist, who gets to sleep his way around Sweden but hey he doesn`t physically abuse anyone so it`s totally ok.

There was a lot in this book about (sexual) abuse of women, and it is definitely a good thing to keep pointing out that this stuff happens. People get abused, people get killed, even in seemingly calm and organised countries like Sweden, and we should all be taking action to prevent this from happening.

That said: I really disliked this book. The only reason I waded through all 590 pages is because I kept waiting for it to be better, to see what the fuss was all about, but I still don`t actually know.

The storyline was such a cliché. It was unnecessarily complicated at points (with the entire Vanger family history) and way oversimplified at other, important parts. It was utterly predictable and boring. And really, making Salander fall in love with Blomkvist? Did you have to go down that cliché road? Really?

I could tell this book was written by a man: to have a main male character who gets to sleep with almost every woman he meets, wherever he wants? Again, cliché, and a male fantasy come true, I bet. Apparently Larsson was also quite undecided on which crime he wanted the Big Bad Company to have committed, so he just gave them everything. And, oh, the Swedish media are perfectly okay with taking down one of their biggest companies who funds several of their own magazines and newspapers, because someone who was convicted of libel of that same company a year earlier has now written some really long article? I`m not buying it.

The characters were bland and oversimplified. Does Blomkvist even have any characteristics? I`m not sure. The other characters sure don`t. Most of them just shrug off everything that happens to them and move on. Might be something Swedish? I`m not sure.

It was badly written, too. Oversimplified at times, too detailed at other times (I can`t even begin to count the amount of times Blomkvist every Tiny Single Action has been written. Great for him that he knows how to open a cigarette pack, take a cigarette out, light it, and smoke it, but did you have to write it down?)

So why two stars instead of zero? Because I`ll grant the book that it didn`t make me throw it away in despair while reading it. I`ve quit reading books before, so making it through this one in its entirety is an accomplishment in itself.

Will I read the next two parts though? Absolutely not. 

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One Response to Book review: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Stieg Larsson)

  1. Pingback: (SORT-OF) MID YEAR BOOK REVIEW ROUND UP | Kojitmal

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