The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
My rating: 3/5 cats
we are in low-three land here. but at least i am learning things about sweden! for example: ladies in sweden just kind of shrug off sexual abuse! they are rape-teflon! this i am learning from the facts provided at the beginning of chapters, and from various characters’ reactions to events. they just brush themselves off and go back to eating sandwiches. yes, that is another thing i learned: the swedes eat sandwiches. exclusively. if you excise every occurrence of the words “coffee” and “sandwiches” from the text, you will be left with a book maybe half the size of what it is now. it is like larsson had some sort of writing tic that when he was stuck for what the characters should do next, he would just bang out, “eat sandwiches and coffee.” sweden is overall a sexually permissive country – women will share their men with a “no harm done” attitude of complacency – there will be handshakes and smiles all around. and perhaps a sandwich! sweden’s prisons are fun places where a guy can really get some rest before he goes back into the world to sex up some more ladies – consensually, of course. these are the wonders of sweden, as presented by the girl with the dragon tattoo.
so those constitute my “ughs”
i really just don’t understand the mass appeal of this book. there are crimes committed in this book for no other reason than character development. that, to me, is an odd way to write a book. there is a density to the writing that is enjoyable, but the dénouement is incredibly abrupt, and then there is just… more story… true, it is a wrapping-up of another plotline, but the energy that should follow the big whodunit seems compromised by about fifty pages of …more plot. the reader becomes emotionally invested in one storyline and intellectually invested in the other… after the emotional plot is spent, who wants to read a long subplot wrap-up? this is coming from someone who doesn’t read a lot of mysteries, but knows how they should be shaped. and i rather liked the subplot wrap-up, but my attentions as a reader were confused.
questions i am forced to ask:
is the hype just because of author-death? and the mystique therein? because this guy ain’t no mishima, is all i’m saying.
is there a distinction between autism and sociopathy?
what was the point of the character of cecelia?
are three facial piercings and 4 tattoos really considered to be that “weird” and excessive in sweden?
and while we are on the subject – i am so sick of hot-goth-computer-hacker characters. i was sick of it wayyyy back here:
and i don’t even watch this show, but i am aware of it:
i announce: it is enough already. get a new cliché. like “average-build girl who sometimes listens to dave matthews.” or “girl who dresses office-appropriate and sometimes smokes pot on weekends.” cybergoth chicks are over, people…
the book is fine, i may or may not read the other ones – this one was for class, but now that i have read one, i am almost compelled to finish it off. this is the reason i don’t usually read genre fiction. i cannot commit to 11 books, or whatever… but i may have just mentally committed to 2.