The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

While I was reading Stieg Larsson’s ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,’ I found myself constantly in a position of setting the book down and saying to myself: “Eww.” This book is not for the faint of heart. There are repulsive graphic scenes the make you cover your eyes (but then you realize your reading a book and not watching a movie, and that the story doesn’t go on unless you keep looking). Larsson attempts to draw our attention towards the horrific occurrences of sexual abuse and violence towards women, and masterfully accomplishes his task by making you feel weak in the knees and warping your mind into thinking you need a bath regardless of your cleanliness.

That being said, Larsson weaves a story with painstaking detail to food, technology, cars and coffee, and cannot be read unless you have a family tree of the characters at your fingertips. But even though the protagonists are not the most likable people to support and cheer for, the addicting mystery will have you turning page after page, even if your stomach squirms with each graphic scene.

On a 5 level book shelf, 5 being the best/highest it goes on shelf number 2.

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4 thoughts on “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

  1. Nice idea for the blog, and nice review! I will say that while I had many of the same reactions you had, by the time I hit the halfway point, my enjoyment of Salander and Blomkvist interacting and working together overtook any intense feelings of disgust I had picked up, taking this book from what would have been the 2nd shelf to the 3rd or 4th shelf instead.

    I found out after reading the book that the Swedes, when it comes to explicit content, have views opposite to ours. We throw violence around like it doesn’t matter but keep a tighter lid on sexual content, while the Swedes amp up the sex but find violence to be pretty horrifying. I’m not saying one way’s particularly right…we could probably stand to tone down the violence and they could tone down the sex…but it definitely affected the way I viewed the book in hindsight.

  2. Great review. I felt exactly the same way, but you were much more eloquent. I loved the mystery, but the milieu was so icky I had trouble just enjoying the story.

  3. Your first paragraph reinforces by thoughts about what the book would be like. My book club read it & I was not sorry that I had to miss that meeting. I can’t forget things I read & knew I didn’t want those scenes hanging around in my mind.

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