Thursday, October 28, 2010

Book Review: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

TITLE: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Book 1 in the Millanium Trilogy
AUTHOR: Stieg Larsson
GENRE: mystery, thriller, drama
PREMISE: Blomkvist is a reporter asked to investigate a decades old mystery. This investigation leads him to encounter Lisbeth Salander, a tough dragon tattooed girl who isn't like anyone he's met.
MY REVIEW: I want to start by saying I dispise this practice of hyping up books that has been going on for years (I also dislike it with movies and music). Far to often hyped up books don't live up to their potential for a person because that person had unrealistic expectations due to said hype. So please, can we stop it with the hype? I'd appreciate it thanks. That said, Dragon Tattoo is thankfully one of the few books that does live up to the hype, even though I still think the hype for these went overboard.
Now it's not perfect. It suffers from what a lot of crime thrillers suffer from (seems to be a staple with this genre): flat impersonal writing, little character growth, and an excess of details to the point that I kind of wished the author would get on with it. But as I said, most thrillers suffer from this so I can't really fault the author I guess. Because even while the writing was impersonal it was still very solid. I could easily picture everything in my head, I admit that the details easily explained difficult subjects such as swiss banking and politics(not an easy thing to do, you think the american system is complicated? Oi). Also, I admit the author did try to put in character growth, at least on the part of Salander.
Now that said, the best part of this book/series is hands down the mystery part. I love good juicy difficult mysteries and this book has that in spades. The author did a great job in setting up the mystery too and getting me engrossed in it. Almost too good because I found myself getting annoyed when he would throw in stuff that didn't have to do with it. For me, this was the great part about this book. It reminded me of why I used to love thrillers so much (I've kind of stopped reading them in the past few years). This book is also not for the squeemish or those who like their characters with good moral standing. There are some brutal scenes in here and all the characters kind of get annoying and do bad things at one point. In short, the people are human. I'd advise not to try and love the characters too much because chances are they will disapoint you at some point like they eventually did with me.
So is this book worth a read? Yes, most definitely. I can't wait to get my hands on the Girl Who Played with Fire the Girl Who Kicked a Hornets Nest. But I still wish people would stop with the hype. It just sets people up for disappointment.
WHO SHOULD READ: mystery/thriller fans, James Patterson fans, you aren't the squeemish kind
MY RATING: Four and a half out of Five tattoos

12 by 12 in October
One Hundred Plus Books

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