Review: Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium, #1)The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Depending on the phase of the moon or my biorhythms, this could be a 3 or 4 star review. Overall I liked it. It’s a good yarn, with corporate intrigue and family secrets and even a murder mystery all rolled into one. I liked Lisbeth, and thought Mikael was a decent character, though a little lacking in imperfections.

I had some small quibbles. Though it read well, it could have been tightened. I also thought the factoids e.g., “X percent of women have suffered domestic violence,” weren’t necessary. I felt like those stats were bolted on as a bit of do-gooder journalism.

But while checking the spelling on “Blomkvist,” I read this on Wikipedia: “Larsson, who was disgusted by sexual violence, witnessed the gang rape of a young girl when he was 15. He never forgave himself for failing to help the girl, whose name was Lisbeth – like the young heroine of his books, herself a rape victim, which inspired the theme of sexual violence against women in his books.” That said, why IS there so much explicit violence against women in the book?

The only other thing that bothered me structurally was the how the corporate baddy was faceless. I fully understand that the heart of the story was the Vanger family, but if you never meet the guy responsible for sending the protag to jail, and then you don’t meet him at the end either, it feels like it could have more conflict. But what do I know, he only sold about jillion copies.

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