“Harriet Vanger, a scion of one of Sweden’s wealthiest families disappeared over forty years ago. All these years later, her aged uncle continues to seek the truth. He hires Mikael Blomkvist, a crusading journalist recently trapped by a libel conviction, to investigate. He is aided by the pierced and tattooed punk prodigy Lisbeth Salander. Together they tap into a vein of unfathomable iniquity and astonishing corruption.
An international publishing sensation, Stieg Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo combines murder mystery, family saga, love story, and financial intrigue into one satisfyingly complex and entertainingly atmospheric novel.”
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I had high hopes for The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larson. Not only is it dark, broody and mysterious, all things I seem to enjoy in books, men and movies, but it was also recommended by several friends. I read the book when hype was just starting for the upcoming release of the movie staring Daniel Craig. I knew I’d have to see it if he was in it, so naturally I had to read the book first.
The book started out so slowly I almost didn’t finish it. I couldn’t concentrate for longer than a few chapters without breaks. I sometimes would go days without reading just to avoid having to be bored. Hours without reading is torture, so purposely going days without reading is a good indicator that something is not right. In addition to boring me nearly to sleep, I also rolled my eyes at the male lead quite often. He was cocky, supposedly irresistible to women and thought he was a lot smarter than he was. I kept thinking to myself, “This book was absolutely written by a very boring, very predictable man.” Still, I am very rarely a quitter when it comes to books and I was determined to finish this one. I’m glad I persevered, because I ended up enjoying the book.
Once I got into the thick of it, the mystery picked up and had me intrigued. There were more questions than answers and it got dark fast. Lisbeth’s character is mildly irritating at the beginning of the book, but as her character develops you cannot help but root for her. She may have a bad attitude and be quite odd, but she’s a fighter through and through. Lisbeth’s character took this from being a stodgy book written for a men with unrealistic dreams about their importance and effect on women to a story women can actually relate to.
Even though the average person may not be able to relate to the wealth, the disappearance, being a hacker or any other number of details about this book, any woman can certainly relate to the struggles Lisbeth has faced on some scale.
I read this book years before the #MeToo movement, but even then I knew that we all women have struggled with some form of sexual abuse or sexism. I was pleasantly surprised that a book I found so boring and typically male was able to shift focus and shed light on this issue and create a totally BA heroine we could all root for.
*Please note that this book does contain some sexual abuse triggers and graphic content.