Sunday, August 23, 2009

Review: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

Title: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Author: Stieg Larsson
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group (Vintage)
Publication Date: June 23, 2009
Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Summary (from back of book): Stieg Larsson's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo combines murder mystery, family saga, love story, and financial intrigue into a complex and atmospheric novel.

Harriet Vangar, a scion of one of Sweden's wealthiest families disappeared over forty years ago. All these years later, her aged uncle continues to seek the truth. He hires Mikael Blomkvist, a crusading journalist recently trapped by a libel voncition, to investigate. He is aided by the pierced and tattooed punk prodigy Lisbeth Salander. Together they tap into a vein of iniquity and corruption.

Review: I remember the first time I saw this book when I was browsing at the bookstore and initially didn't think much of it, only sparing a quick glance at the cover before I passed it by. It wasn't until a few months later that I took notice of the book for a second time and took a closer look before finally making my purchase.

Initially, the first 30 or so pages started off a little slow for me but very quickly picked up - boy, did it pick up! The worst thing about some crime novels is when you figure out the ending early on and I was a little skeptical that I wouldn't be engaged enough and that the novel would be predictable. I wondered whether the story would live up to all the hype I was hearing about it. Thankfully, my skepticism was unfounded. I became entranced by the unsolved murder of this young girl, Harriet, and the drama that surrounds the mystery.

I found myself wanting to know more about two of the main characters as I made my way through the novel. Their own history and storylines were just as compelling to read about as the murder investigation, which I found especially true of two of the main characters: Mikael Blomkvist and Lisbeth Salander

All in all, this was a fantastic book that was nothing like I expected or thought it would be. The content is, at times, extremely disturbing and keeps the reader on the edge of her (or his) seat. There were certain points in the story when I literally got chills while reading. It's wonderful to really not know what's going to happen when you turn the page and being just as shocked or astounded as the characters are. I can't wait to pick up the next book in the series: The Girl Who Played with Fire.

This is only the fourth book review I've written since I started my blog earlier this month and I've found myself being unsure of how much of the plot and characters to talk about without giving too much away that also doesn't just leave the review at, "I liked it!" or "I hated it!." For me, one of the best things when I'm reading a book is to make all the discoveries along with the characters and experience things with them. So, for now I've gone with a less is more approach. Hopefully I'll get the hang of this whole reviewing thing eventually!

This is also the first book I have completed for the Olympic Challenge - London 2012. 1 down...201 books to go! =)


  1. Yup Strand in NYC. I love it too. I have to go once a month or else I get very sad.

  2. Great review! i don't really read crime books. I really liked the way this one sound and looked.

  3. I need to read this! I have it, just haven't gotten around to it.

    I've experimented with different amounts of info in reviews. I like to know the main plot points but not the details about what happens then or after. Sometimes people give long summaries and I only skim b/c I don't want spoilers and b/c I already know what it's about.

  4. Shanon - I'm jealous! It's such an amazing store. I live out-of-state or I'd be there all the time!

    Faye - Crime books aren't my first pick either, but this one was definitely worth it!

    Jenny - I think it'll just take some tweaking on my part and find what I'm happiest doing. For the summary stuff I tend to stick with the blurbs from the back cover - they're usually better than what I would put together as a summary anyway ;)

    You should definitely read it when you get a chance! It always seems that there are so many great books I want to read, but never near enough time. It's so hard to choose what to read next!

  5. Great Review! I have been meaning to pick this book up because all I've heard are good things! Thanks!

  6. Hi Cynthia! You have a great blog, AND have the neatest taste in books.

    I gave you an award!
    You can claim it at:

    Have a great day!

  7. Enjoyed your review! Think you did a good job with it, not giving away too much information yet still letting us know what you liked about the story.

    I think most book reviewers are constantly tweaking their review style as they go along, but I think you're off to a great start!

  8. Krista - Definitely read it when you get a chance, it's amazing!

    Lisa - Thank you so much!! You have a great blog, too!

    Alexia - Thanks! I'm slowly getting the hang of some of this blog stuff :)

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