Review: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Review: The Girl with the Dragon TattooThe Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
Series: Millennium #1
Published by Vintage Crime/Black Lizard on September 16, 2008
Genres: Mystery, Thriller
Pages: 590
Format: Paperback
Source: Borrowed

Stieg Larsson's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo combines murder mystery, family saga, love story, and financial intrigue into a complex and atmospheric novel.

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 iniquity and corruption.

This series came to me recommended by many people whom I respect, so I was very excited to give it a try. Even so, it took me a while to get into the book: nearly three hundred pages. These pages detail Blomkvist’s downfall, his research into the Vanger family and introduces Salander without making her role entirely clear. All of this was not awful, but it was definitely a bit boring at times.

A couple hundred pages in though, the story takes off, when the book switches focus to the mystery aspect of the novel. The researching here is exciting to read about. All of a sudden, I found myself devouring pages and eager to keep reading. The search for what happened to Harriet is incredibly absorbing and well done. The book did not end there though and I must admit that, while I was more invested in the characters at this point, the end was a let down from the middle section.

All that said, I still intend to read the full trilogy on the basis of the quality of this novel. Larsson may include more details than I am interested in at times, but the story itself is interesting. The characters are flawed and multifaceted. I recommend The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo to those willing to slog through a bit to get to the good stuff. If you need instant gratification, this may not be your book.

2 responses to “Review: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”

  1. I was recommended this book by many people in my class, so I borrowed it but it was just so boring in the start that I left and returned it. I intend to borrow it again when my classes start because then I have less time to read and slogging through it becomes easier; I found that in Eragon by Christopher Paolini (Inheritance Cycle #1) which was extremely boring in the start and middle but so amazingly-awesome at the end that…I don’t even have words!

    Your review helped a lot!

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