The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – Steig Larsson

17 Jan


I strongly suspect that I might actually be the last person alive to read this book.  Possibly I have put it off for so long because I am not a great fan of hyped-up books.  However three friends of mine have asked me what I think about it recently, so I decided that it was time to push it to the top of my To Be Read pile.

So what did I think?  

I really don’t get the hype.  

The book was fairly well written, and was vaguely reminiscent of Colin Forbes, with one critical difference.  It needs to be edited.  I think the 840 pages could have easily been condensed to 600, or less.  There was far too much technical detail in some sections, and a lot of time was spent explaining background information that was critical to the understanding of the book.

I understand that the book was translated from Swedish, and possibly I am attempting to judge it by different standards.  However by the standards I did use it was cumbersome and convoluted. 

Larsson creates two very compelling main characters, in the form of Mikael Blomkvist and Lisbeth Salander, and he manages to get us to identify enough with both of them to make their adventures and trials relevant to us.  However the bulk of the novel was driven by a spirit of “telling” as opposed to “showing”.  There was too much explanation of what was going on in a situation, and not enough of letting us experience it.

A decent book, and one I wouldn’t have regretted reading; but I can think of at least ten other books which did this story better.

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Posted by on January 17, 2011 in books


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