Stieg Larsson: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

by Rachel Baker on February 26, 2009

Lately, I’ve been pondering the whole book review process.  We book reviewers do a really good job of telling our audiences about books we like, books we would rank high on our best read lists, and books that were okay, but better for those that may more frequently read the specific genre.  Most of us, do our best to leave out spoilers, and some of us want you to be fully prepared and tell you everything.

I try to be in the former group.  I do everything possible to draw your attention to the book without giving anything away.  Occasionally, I run across a book that will take is rightful place, at the end of the year, high on my best read list and I want to tell you everything about the book.

The book right now in this classification is The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson. I want to tell you the whole story; I want to use every positive adjective available to describe this book; and if that fails, I want to lock you up in a room with a comfy overstuffed chair, give you a latte and force you to read it.  But, alas, I can’t do any of those things.

Telling you the story is blasphemous in my opinion; using every positive adjective imaginable degrades a review; and…well, I obviously can’t lock you up and force you to read the book.

But, I can tell you, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo will be on the best read books of 2009 for Old Musty Books; notice I’m confident enough to say this in February.  I can also tell you this book is probably not really about what you might expect.  The book is extremely well written, and I read most of it in a day – I just couldn’t put it down.

I know, I know…there’s always some small flaw in every book.  My challenge with The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was in starting the book. At first, I couldn’t get through the first two chapters with any speed.  It just wasn’t grabbing me.  I’d heard great things about the book, and was determined to read it; and I’m glad I stuck it out through those first chapters that made no sense.  Push through the first chapters and understand once you are past them, the story picks up and flies really fast.

The second somewhat bothersome item, for me, was in the translation.  There a some words here and there that aren’t correct for the sentence – they are ‘of’s and ‘an’s and little tiny things like that.  Overall though the translation is fine and the words flow wonderfully together.  Push past these small translated grammatical issues that pop up infrequently.

I have a review copy of The Girl Who Played with Fire (on sale July 2009), the next book by Stieg Larsson.  Larrson died in 2004, shortly after delivering three manuscripts.  I can’t wait to read the second and see what the third will be.  I think I’m hooked – of course, I’ll let you know if that still holds true after …Playing with Fire.

If you haven’t read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo pick up a copy and read it over a weekend!

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