Monday, March 21, 2011

Review: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

Title: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

Author: Stieg Larsson

Publisher: Vintage Crime / Black Lizard

Pages: 590

Rating: 3/5


Disgraced journalist Mikael Blomqvist is hired by Henrik Vanger to investigate the disappearance of Vanger’s great-niece Harriet. Henrik suspects that someone in his family, the powerful Vanger clan, murdered Harriet over forty years ago.

Starting his investigation, Mikael realizes that Harriet’s disappearance is not a single event, but rather linked to series of gruesome murders in the past. He now crosses paths with Lisbeth Salander, a young computer hacker, an asocial punk and most importantly, a young woman driven by her vindictiveness.
Together they form an unlikely couple as they dive deeper into the violent past of the secretive Vanger family.

I won this book from a giveaway contest quite a while ago and have stared at it every day without picking it up. Finally, after what has been almost a year, I decided to give the book a try. 

The first quarter of the book was terribly hard to read. It dragged and the plot was beyond boring. I ended up taking a break from it and almost stopped reading the book altogether. Thankfully, the second half of the book was much better. The mystery of Harriet Vanger was interesting and while reading about it, I couldn't put the book down. It wasn't at all predictable and I was left shocked at the outcome.

Every now and then there were scenes where Lisbeth, Harriet, or another character would get brutally raped. I don't necessarily mind scenes of this nature and they didn't take away from the book, but I can understand how they could be difficult for some people to read. Rape, assault, and the murder of women were strong topics throughout the book. From what I understand, the original title was "Men Who Hate Women."

Immediately after the mystery was solved, the book got slow again and was really hard to finish. I guess I was expecting the entire book to be wrapped around the suspenseful mystery of the Vangers but I couldn't have been more wrong. A good part of the plot was focused on the troubles of Mikael's magazine the Millennium.

I really enjoyed the characters in this novel. I found myself liking Mikael but I was really impressed by the character of Lisbeth Salander. It is very hard to describe her personality due to the fact that she is different from any character I have read about before. Sure she has tattoos, piercings, and might not always dress appropriately, she was a strong character which I don't find often.

Overall this book just wasn't my cup of tea, but there were some parts I enjoyed. I would recommend it to adult readers much rather than teens. The ending was OK. I thought it would be more exciting than it turned out to be and I still don't know if I want to read the next book although I hear it is the best in the series.

What did you think of this book? Leave a comment :)


  1. Hi Brittany!
    I've been thinking about reading this book for quite a while now, my friend read it and he was raving about it a lot, and since we have similar book tastes I decided I should read it too.

    Thanks for your honest opinion! I will most likely pick it during Summer, when the days are longer and I can stay up late reading :)

    I'm your new follower! let's connect :)

  2. I never knew this novel was for YA. Must investigate.

  3. I read this story and actually enjoyed it. It left me wondering what would happen in the next book. I cant wait to read it. I see where some may think it is slow. and yes the beginning dragged on but it let us know where the characters were going.

    Thanks for your review, its nice to see different perspectives.

    Ms.Tiptress: I Included mine.

  4. @Kate: hey, just for the info, this is not a YA novel. It has strong adult themes, and Steig always meant it to be an adult novel.
    Brittany, it's really awesome that you actually picked up and got through the first book of the Millenium series. It's a classic series, and I loved it a lot. More than mystery or political games though, Millenium is all about Lisbeth Salander and the absolutely amazing character she is. She has to be one of the best neo-modern heroines of this literary era. And again I have a tiny soft spot for this book because of its history: the author never lived to see it published. I totally congratulate you on being able to finish this book and give your opinion on it, it's a difficult one all right.


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