“Salander never forgot an injustice, and was by nature, anything but forgiving”
Stieg Larsson from The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
From Lauren’s Perspective:
A little late on the uptake, maybe, but in my defence, there are a lot of books out there and only so many hours in a day. So, I finally read the first in the much hyped series and was thoroughly entertained.
I’m not sure how to go about critiquing a novel that has been translated from a different language since in its original form it may have sounded very different. As far as style goes, I almost found that the words were secondary in this book, obviously important but I was paying more attention to the action and suspense. So, for style, form and structure, it’s simple and effective and will keep you reading to the end.
I’ve always believed that authors should be separated into different categories. There are authors who are storytellers, authors who are writers, and occasionally, authors that are both. In the case of Larsson, he was an expert storyteller at the very least and it was his complex storyline that really makes this book worthwhile.
The only downside I could speak of with this book would be the drawn out financial speak surrounding Blomkvist’s trial against Wennerstrom. Having no financial background I found myself rereading certain paragraphs in an attempt to better understand. It didn’t work, I still had no idea what was going on for pages at a time. Unless you understand this industry, these parts will be dry. However, despite this fact, the book is more than worth the read. It had been some time since I had gotten so into a book that I found myself actually thinking about it at times when I couldn’t read. That, to me, is what reading is about.
And, although it’s been said a million times about this series, Lisbeth Salander is one of the most intriguing female characters I’ve read in a long, long time.
I’m just starting the second book of the series now, The Girl Who Played With Fire, I hear this one is the best of the series….
Also, this was the first book I read on my Kobo…more on that later.
Plot – 5 out of 5
Writing/Style/Form – 3 out of 5
Characters – 4 out of 5
Enjoyment/Entertainment Value – 5 0ut of 5
Overall Score – 17 out of 20
From Krista’s Perspective:
I was the same as Lauren in that I was very behind on beginning Larsson’s trilogy as compared to the rest of the world but I was very leery of jumping aboard all the hype. I find myself frequently disappointed with books that are “all the rage” for a brief moment in the spotlight and question how they had become so popular. But this time I was pleasantly pleased for a few different reasons.
First of all, there were so many elements to the book that it kept you turning page after page, or in our case Kobo click after Kobo click! The two main characters, Mikael and Lisbeth, each developed gradually within two entirely separate worlds until finally they were entwined in a constantly intriguing coexistence. The numerous plots within this book included elements of financial corruption, mafia rumors, scandal, romance, and murder which were briefly accentuated with momentary glimpses of depravity, horror, and repulsive acts.
Secondly, I enjoyed how it was stylistically written. The give and take between plots kept you attentively reading and the quick transitions between each plot drew the reader into the sense of urgency under which Mikael and Lisbeth were operating, both in their original separate plots and once they were brought together. Also, the way Larsson wrote the book keeps the reader constantly guessing which I truly appreciated because I am not a fan of figuring out the plot within the first 100 pages. There were numerous “secrets” between characters that not even the reader was privy to which only furthered my desire to keep my nose in my book; things promised to certain characters that were enticing enough to me to keep me interested page after page.
One negative thing I have to say about the book goes along with what Lauren had to say. The long drawn out financial jargon combined with numerous pages of background and Vanger family history made some portions of the book much less interesting to read. While that may be for some people I found it to be too much detail and excessive amounts of information. Even though I can agree that it all further develops the characters and somewhat enhances the plot, I still could have done with a little less info. I won’t risk spoiling any parts of the plot but my only warning would be to any parents who think their teen daughters may like it; there are two scenes that were almost too graphic and vulgar for my eyes. I am not qualified in any way to make any suggestions but that will be my only warning!
All in all, I am quite ready to get started on the second installment in this trilogy and now feel inclined to go and see the movie in theatres. I usually wait until I have read the book to go see the movie because I typically enjoy the books so much more! There is much more to this novel than what the commercials for the movie allude to. But I will warn those of you who read the first 50 pages then decide if you will finish out the book or not… I would strongly suggest you stick it out because I will let you know the beginning is a little dull. I found myself really questioning why everyone was so amazed by this book in the beginning but then it blew my mind with its suspenseful twists. I was pleasantly surprised by my true enjoyment of this novel and would recommend it strongly.