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A fine piece of literature - highly recommended
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - Stieg Larsson
Member Name: Coolchris330
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - Stieg Larsson
Advantages: Brilliant storyline, great characters, very dark, intriguingly written
Disadvantages: Can be a little confusing, rape scenes may disgust some
I had been intrigued by this book for a long time before I read it. I was expecting a fairly exciting; yet fairly generic crime-thriller which had a pretty straight story and not a lot of variety from other books of its kind. I couldn't have been more wrong than I was.
The story of 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo' is both smart and dark. The premise of the book is that in a small town in Sweden, a man named Blomkvist, whom is a writer for the political magazine 'Millennium' is accused of libel, libel that involved damaging allegations to Swedish billionaire Wennerström and is sentenced to a three month period in jail (that Blomkvist does not have to serve immediately).
As a disgraced journalist, it comes as a surprise when the lead CEO, Henrik Vanger, of The Vanger Corporation offers him a freelance job; with no other option, he accepts the job. His task, to find out who killed Harriet Vanger, one of the possible future heirs of the Vanger Corporation that disappeared, and thought to be killed forty years before on an island where the Vanger Corporation meet up, and also the last place that Harriet Vanger was ever seen.
It isn't long, however, before Blomkvist and Salander get so close to the murder; to discovering the murder that they, in turn, become the targets.
Now, it may seem like I was giving away a lot there, but the book has so many twisting plot points, so many unexpected turns in the story that that doesn't even begin to describe the story in full.
The story was incredibly gripping, and it was one of the best that I have seen in a crime-fiction novel. I was genuinely rooting for the private-investigators all of the way through and although the beginning of the book was a little bit hard to get into, by the end it is fast-paced, nail-biting and tense beyond any other book that you will read.
This is truly one of the best crime-fiction novels ever written, from humble beginnings to heart-stopping finish, the story never ceases to impress.
Mikael Blomkvist - Disgraced journalist convicted of libel who is offered a job from ex-CEO of the Vanger Corporation, Henrik Vanger, to research the case of his missing family member, Harriet Vanger. He is coaxed into the investigation by a massive cash sum that could, in turn, save his magazine, Millennium, from bankruptcy.
Lisbeth Salander - Lisbeth is a professional researcher, she can find out the information relating to any person that you could possibly want, with methods that may not be deemed entirely legal. Considered mentally ill by the state and sexually abused by the man designated to look after her. Lisbeth Salander is considered to be one of the best, even if socially awkward, private researchers around.
Henrik Vanger - Ex-CEO of the Vanger Corporation, forty years after the disappearance of Harriet Vanger, he still searches frantically for her killer, and in turn hires Blomkvist in a last-try attempt to find out who and what happened to her, and at the hands of who?
Martin Vanger - Henrik Vangers good family friend. One of the few in his family that Henrik really trusts. He is the brother of Harriet Vanger and is the current CEO of the Vanger Corporation.
Gottfried Vanger - Late father of Martin Vanger; Harriet Vanger and husband of Isabella Vanger. Had various neo-Nazi tendencies and was an abusive alcoholic
Isabella Vanger - Wife of the late Gottfried Vanger, mother of Harriet and Martin Vanger
Dragan Armansky - Lisbeth Salanders former employer.
Cecila Vanger - Daughter of Henrik Vanger, is extremely opposed to the investigation into Harriets disappearance.
While some people may be justified in getting nervous with the amount of characters presented to them, having the amount of players in the novel as this, as well as the other, smaller characters that I didn't mention can really add a lot of depth into the book.
Without the characters, especially Blomkvist and Salander, this book wouldn't have been half as interesting as it was when I finally got around to reading it. The characters really carry the book along. They're not average, run of the mill secret agents, they're normal people like you and I. The only difference is that they defend secrets that people couldn't even begin to comprehend.
Each of the characters have a very good backstory; each of them have something to hide; none of them trust each other and none of them are what they seem.
==Value for Money==
The value for money on this book is tremendous. I'm assured that it is one of the best books that I have ever read; it totals five hundred pages and it will keep you entertained for its entire load of five hundred pages. It's a must buy for anyone who is a fanatic of crime-fiction; thrillers or thrilling crime cases. It will keep you entertained longer than your average video game, longer than a movie by far and it's far cheaper.
This book, and its late author: Steig Larsson deserves all of the money that you could possibly throw at it. It really is that good.
==Is there anything bad about it?==
All books have some downfall, and the downfall is almost always only justifiable by opinion. A lot of people will stop reading if the start of the book doesn't captivate their interest immediately, but if you've got the attention span I urge you to read more than just the first hundred pages. The book starts slowly and then jumps into a really fast and captivating story that you won't be able to put down.
Some may find that the extensive amount of characters is one of the bad things about the book, but personally, since I could keep up with all of them, I didn't mind at all. When people I know have read the book, that was the main complaint about it. Be warned that the characters are numerous and in-depth, if you have a habit of forgetting who's who.
Apart from that, I can't really think of anything particularly bad about 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo' - It's a fantastic book with more twists than your average paper clip chain; you should certainly pick it up if you can get past the issues that stop some in their tracks.
Usually I'd feel obliged to do this for a movie or a video game, but certainly not for a book. However, this time, I felt like it was necessary for me to write a content watch on it, seen as there is some content that would upset many people, especially younger audiences.
Sexual Content - The Millennium series has a lot of this; mostly consisting of rather vivid depictions of rape. Salander is abused twice, Salander abuses someone once and rape is a main central theme for the detective part of the novel. It's very vividly described: but it's not a kids book in any way shape or form, you need a certain level of maturity, and sympathy to read this and understand what the characters are going through. These scenes are important, however, because it shows why some of the characters get their personality traits from.
Violent Content - Most of the book is about murder; usually in a sexual fashion, but there is a lot of violence, although not that vividly described. A man is shot at, but only hit a few times. There is some accurate depiction of the blood. A string of murders relate to biblical passages.
Language - Stronger language, for example 'f-ck' is used regularly, and very strong language, 'c-nt' is used twice.
Most certainly not a kids book, but you should have expected that from a dark detective crime novel with heavy elements of Thriller mixed in. A fourteen year old could squeam a little bit, but if you think they can handle it, fourteen plus is likely fine.
I am an inherit fan to this series, I now own the films books and want some of the posters. I have nothing other to say than it's brilliant, and it's easy to see why it is such a phenomenon across the globe. It is easily one of the best novels that I have ever read, and I am looking forward to reading the next in the series, 'The Girl who Played With Fire'. Final note? Read it, you won't regret it.
Also posted on Ciao account of the same name
Summary: A great piece of literature that anyone with an interest in Crime Fiction should read.