Monday, February 13, 2012

Book Review: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

Book 2/30 in the 2012 Reading Challenge.  Date completed: February 6, 2012.

My Reading Challenge this year is off to a seemingly grim start.  My second book, Stieg Larsson's The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo is what I finished next, and with it's vastly positive reviews, I had high expectations.  I was disappointed.

I listened to this book in audio format rather than reading it traditionally, even though I own all three of the books in this trilogy in e-Reader format (bought them on sale early on last year).  Perhaps that was my mistake.  Most people who fell head-over-heels for these books, I believe, read them traditionally.  For me, I think I only managed to finish the book because I enjoyed the narrator's voice.  The story didn't really captivate me.  I found myself unable to keep up with the characters and at times the plot.  It just didn't reel me in like I'd hoped it would.  I very seriously doubt I'll read the sequels.

I rated this two stars.  It wasn't that it was a terrible story, it's just that it was all over the place.  Larsson dwells on the fact that the heroine, Lisbeth Salander, is such a rebel with her lithe build and her tattoos and piercings.  Maybe it's because I am from the generation I'm from, but mohawked, tattooed, pierced girls don't shock me much.  Maybe it's just that I'm a heterosexual female and had no sexual attraction to her excessive descriptions.  I liked her character, but I wasn't overly intrigued by her.  I also didn't like the way the writing would flip-flop from using a character's full name to using just their first or last name so excessively.  In one passage, you'd hear a character referred to by all three.  It was difficult to follow.  Lisbeth, Salander, and Lisbeth Salander.  And with names obviously a bit foreign to me - Blomkvist, Armansky, Henrik - I'd have preferred to stick to just the first or the last, rather than skipping around so much.

This book was just not my thing, which disappointed me more than anything.  I'd have really liked to enjoy it, but I suppose my expectations were just too high for it, given that it has been so widely talked about.  I've not decided yet if I'll watch the movie.  It's not something I'll actively pursue, I don't imagine.

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