Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Review: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo + My Love of SAABs
I'm just gonna jump right onto the bandwagon here and say "OHMYGOSHYOUNEEDTOREADTHIS!!!!" It definitely lives up to all the hype.
This first book tells the story of Mikael Blomkvist, a journalist who is now in trouble with the law for libel, after publishing an article of "false" claims made against major corporation Wennerstrom. To save the magazine he's worked hard to create with friend Erika Berger, Blomkvist decides to take a break from journalism and move out to the country, where another big-business owner is paying him to find out what happened to a family member who's been missing for 40 years. Along the way, he is joined by the genius hacker and troubled young woman named Lisbeth Salander. Together, they must piece together the Vanger family mystery and hope that they don't get caught in the middle of something violent.
I adored this book and read it SO quickly! It's the kind of story that keeps you on the edge of your seat and prevents you from sleeping because you just. Cant. Put. It. Down. I loved how Blomkvist and Salander are trying to solve a mystery, and I found myself making my own guesses throughout their investigation. I also loved the mystery surrounding Salander and her past. Slowly in the next book, we start finding more info on her ;) The relationship between Salander and Blomkvist is also interesting. Salander is so antisocial, but there's something about her partner's personality that brings out her good side and gets her talking. I LOVE their chemistry.
There are some darker scenes in the book that were extremely well written, in my opinion. I'm sure a lot of authors would have shied away from these types of scenes because they are hard to read (and I'm sure even harder to write), but author Stieg Larsson didn't sugar-coat anything and told it how it was.
I LOVED the setting (of course the author was Swedish, so it only makes sense that this series takes place there)-it's a place I've never been to and never thought much of (except, of course, the fact that my beautiful little SAAB, whom I've named Henrik, is Swedish-and there are a few SAAB mentions in the book!!). And I, being a huge lover of travel and languages, have decided that someday I simply MUST visit Sweden and at least attempt to learn the language. And I'll probably be in bliss because of all the SAABs I'll see (assuming that they really are as popular in Sweden as I've been imagining all these years since falling in love with my own adorable Henrik).
One little cautionary note on this book for people thinking about reading it. The first chapter or so are kind of slow (or were for me anyway) because the book starts off with the background for the rest of the story (as it should, of course). Blomkvist is a financial journalist so there is a lot of technical information, along with a rundown of some financial things and economic things and whatnot. I obviously did not understand it, which is why I can't properly explain what it talked about. But I feel it was necessary because there were parts where I was like "Oh, this makes sense….I think….from what I read in the beginning.."
One thing of note that I loved and have to mention: Blomkvist is a big reader and is always reading/buying books/seeing what others are reading. It makes me happy!
So now that I've freaked my readers (and myself) out by my weird SAAB obsession, I would like to say on a more serious note that I truly wish Stieg Larsson was still here today to witness the HUGE success of his work, and to continue bringing us these fascinating and well-developed stories.
I'm in the middle of The Girl Who Played With Fire, and officially obsessed.
And now for good measure, some SAAB quotes from The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (you totally saw this coming, didn't you?!):
Pg. 215: "As she set her rucksack on the ground to put on the bike lock, a dark red Saab began reversing out. She had her back turned but heard the cracking sound from her rucksack. The driver didn't notice and thing and, unwitting, drove off up the exit ramp."
Pg. 452: "At 19:42 the Saab that belonged to Ostergarden drove towards Hedestad."
I heart SAABs and I hope you do too! And I really hope you pick up this book if you haven't already!
Title: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Author: Stieg Larsson
Date of Publication: 2009
Number of Pages: 600
Source: personal copy