Thursday, February 4, 2010

Book Review - The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

I have a confession to make - I tend not to read the books that are SUPER popular. I have no idea what has caused me to develop this particular character flaw, but I have muddled along without really having reason to reexamine my world view in relation to SUPER popular books. Until now. I had not planned to read this book until it was selected by our book club and for the first hundred pages or so, I felt like I would have been totally fine with never picking the book up. Then it happened...all the strings came together and I could not put this book down (seriously - I read 400 pages in one night)!!! The two main characters are a contrast that work well together. Mikael Blomkvist, a journalist picking up the pieces after a libel suit, and Lisbeth Salander, a young tattooed brilliant computer hacker - who was inspired by the authors musings on what would have happened to Pippi Longstockings as she became an adult, become entwined in resolving the decades old disappearance of a girl from a prominent family.

(From Publishers Weekly)
Starred Review. Cases rarely come much colder than the decades-old disappearance of teen heiress Harriet Vanger from her family's remote island retreat north of Stockholm, nor do fiction debuts hotter than this European bestseller by muckraking Swedish journalist Larsson. At once a strikingly original thriller and a vivisection of Sweden's dirty not-so-little secrets (as suggested by its original title, Men Who Hate Women), this first of a trilogy introduces a provocatively odd couple: disgraced financial journalist Mikael Blomkvist, freshly sentenced to jail for libeling a shady businessman, and the multipierced and tattooed Lisbeth Salander, a feral but vulnerable superhacker. Hired by octogenarian industrialist Henrik Vanger, who wants to find out what happened to his beloved great-niece before he dies, the duo gradually uncover a festering morass of familial corruption—at the same time, Larsson skillfully bares some of the similar horrors that have left Salander such a marked woman. Larsson died in 2004, shortly after handing in the manuscripts for what will be his legacy.

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