Sunday, August 14, 2016

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium Trilogy)- Steig Larsson

A crime novel about a journalist, Mikael Blomkvist, who teams up with a mentally challenged genius to look into a 40 year old missing person case.

Not what I expected at all. I picked this up having found myself at the airport with no summer read in tow and a shitty selection of books to choose from. As a summer read, it was everything I hoped it would be, fast paced, intriguing and entertaining. However, it was nowhere near the literary genius that everyone makes it out to be.

First of all, the fact that it is a translated copy is already a point against it. Nothing wrong with translated books, Reg Keeland did a great job, but I find that they loose their essence in the process.

Second of all, while the mystery was interesting it wasn't an earth shattering, mind blowing, out of this world concept. It was a pretty standard crime thriller

Third of all, what was up with the characters?! Mikael has no personality to speak off. He could be anyone and do anything and I wouldn't question it since we really know nothing concrete about him or about the way he is. On the other hand, Steig tried really hard with Salamander's character (that's the only way I remember her name) by giving her the unnamed personality disorder. Whatever mental illness he had pictured her to have in his head, I didn't buy it. It's really tricky writing about mentally challenged characters, you really have to know your shit, otherwise this character won't be taken seriously. Throughout the novel, Salamander is shown as an anti-social genius who lacks empathy and right at the very end she behaves like a lovesick teenager. Completely at odds with the character we were exposed to.

I read that those books were purely written for Larsson's pleasure and he passed away before they were published, I guess he never got a chance to work with an editor and get a second opinion.

Harsh review aside, I did enjoy the book. If it wasn't hyped up so much and I didn't go into it expecting a life changing novel this review would have been much nicer. The book served it's purpose, it kept me entertained on the airplane and was a page turner. That's all anyone can ask for in a summer read.

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