THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO
by Stieg Larsson
Review by Jarad Johnson
While many of you may have seen the movie or movies (one Swedish, one American) the novel is worth your time as well. If you missed this phenomenon the first time out, here’s your chance to make up for it. The award winning book is detailed and complex.
This is an especially dark story, full of murder, mystery, sex, betrayal, and much more. It revolves around the disappearance of Harriet Vanger, the daughter of one of Sweden’s wealthiest families. After forty years, her elderly uncle continues to obsess over her mysterious disappearance.” He requests the services of Mikael Blomkvist, crusading journalist recently disgraced by scandal, hoping that he can solve the case. He is aided by the reclusive punk computer hacking prodigy Lisbeth Salander, who is dealing with her own trauma. Together, they unearth a vein of iniquity and corruption.
This book was dark and gritty without being affected, and genuinely intriguing.(I stayed up half the night to finish it). I had heard of it before in passing, so I knew what to expect from it. Or, I thought I did. I was surprised mainly by the level of sexual violence in this novel (for that reason, I would say that anyone sensitive to that topic should not read this because it is quite explicit); furthermore, at the beginning of each
Salander and Blomkvist are an unlikely pair, drawn together by their need to solve the crime. The relationship between the two characters is complicated by their pasts and that helps keep the story interesting. But it’s the movement toward the intense, sinister climax, that will keep you reading. There’s a reason it won the several awards for crime thrillers. The book is well-written and compelling and it will keep you interested whether or not you have seen the movie. section of the book, there is a statistic on the level of sexual assault in Sweden. This is one of the underlying messages of the novel. The episodes of violence are shocking, revealing the story’s dark center. Salander must overcome the trauma of assault at the same time she helps Blomkvist uncover a dark secret.
The supposed murder of Harriet Vanger is the main thread of this story, and it is what ties everything together. Mikael Blomkvist goes months without finding anything, and the frustration is nearly visceral, as the novel does drag a bit at that point, but this adds a touch of realism to the story . When Blomkvist begins to discover uncover the family’s secrets, the whole story starts to come together and the slow moving plot line pays off.
Jarad attends Middle Tennessee State University, loves tea, and tries to spend every spare second reading. Jarad is majoring in English. Bless his heart! Let's all light a candle for him and send him happy thoughts!