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Langley, BC, Canada
I love to read. I love books. I like to talk about books and recommend them. I read everything including cereal boxes and junk mail! I heard once that if you're not reading at least 3 books at a time you're not reading enough! This blog will keep track of the books I've read and whether or not I liked them. It will be a little bit of everything from Christian fiction to Science fiction and fantasy. Feel free to participate by suggesting books to review and giving your comments. Occasionally I am given free books by Publishers in exchange for a review. I am not told how to review them or compensated in any way for the review.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larrson

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is Stieg Larrson’s first novel. It was published in Sweden and translated into English. At more than 850 pages The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is a big book. Often a book at this length will get mired down either in characters that are too introspective or pages of descriptive prose that’s pretty but pointless to the story. This book does not have either of these issues. The writing is crisp, the story is engaging and the characters are believable.

The story opens with the main character, a journalist standing trial for libel and defamation of character. He is convicted but convinced that he published the truth. The notoriety of the trial brings him to the attention of Henrik Vangar who has a family mystery that he needs to have solved. The mystery is almost 40 years old and involves a missing person who was presumed dead. The murder involves an island and a specific number of people who were there at the time; all family members. Mikael Blomkvist is offered the assignment which involves writing the family history and trying to solve the murder. The Vangar family story and his own troubles eventually merge and he becomes involved in the story he is writing.

Lisbeth, the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is the eventual sidekick of the journalist. She is a computer hacker and has developed some highly questionable coping mechanisms to deal with a dysfunctional past and family of her own. One of the underlying themes of the story is the treatment of women in Sweden and the prevalent abuse of women in that society. (Growing up I was fond of Pippi Longstocking books which were set in Sweden and Lisbeth is apparently based on Pippi which is mentioned a few times in the story.)

There is no danger of being bored with this book. It was hard to put down and the ending is truly shocking. Stieg Larrson died in 2004 shortly after finishing this book and its two companion novels. I look forward to reading them.

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