Friday, December 31

Book Review: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

Title: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

Author: Stieg Larsson

Pages: 841

Summary: Harriet Vanger, scion of one of Sweden's wealthiest families, disappeared over forty years ago. All these years later, her aged uncle contiunes to seek the truth. He hires Mikael Blomkvist, a crusading journalist recently trapped by a libel conviction, to investigate. He is aided by the pierced and tattooed punk prodigy Lisbeth Salander. Together they tap into a vein of unfathomable iniquity and astonishing corruption.

My Rating: 8/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: Overall I enjoyed the book. Thrillers and crime novels like this one aren’t my usual cup of tea, but I’ve been working on branching out my reading tastes, and this one ended up being a good choice. I didn’t love it like some readers, but I liked the book, and I will read the rest of the series.

The characters intrigues me, enough information was given about each one to grab your interest and hold it, but enough left out to keep you guessing, wanting more and itching to get to the next book to find out what happens next. Lisbeth is a favourite, she has so many layers to her, and I want to know more about her. I also feel for her, she’s been through a lot, and the ending of this book struck a cord with me. I can’t say more without spoiling, but I felt so bad for her.

I really enjoyed the plot itself, there were some sexual scenes that were a little graphic, which I didn’t like. I found the author handled them fairly tactfully, although they were still overly graphic for my liking. It wasn’t enough to turn me off the book, although it was enough for me to not enjoy the book as much. I’ve read worse, but it still bugs me to have that graphic of scenes in scenarios like that. I rather have little explained, and the rest left up to the readers imagination. By the looks of things, I may have some difficulties with the next book. But we’ll see. I don’t want to scare anyone off, but some scenes that are sexual in nature, are graphic. So readers beware. The book is still a good one to read, but graphic scenes. I’d recommend it, and I’d read the book again, along with the series.

Would I recommend it to read: I would, but select readers. Mainly because of certain scenes, I know a lot of readers would be turned off, and maybe even disgusted and sickened by some of the graphic scenes. I’ve been like that with other books I’ve read. But the plot is interesting, I find it to be less cliché than other thrillers, and more plot and character driven than to other books in it’s genre tend to be. The author focused less on making it scary and building up to a big climax (which usually ends up being a big left down) and focused on his characters and the plot around them.

What to read next: The Girl Who Played with Fire

Challenges: Read ‘n’ Review, Pages Read, 10/10 Challenge, 100+ Challenge, RYOB Challenge (I haven't set up links to the challenges, as they are no longer there. I deleted my old challenge posts, to make room for 2011. You can see my progress in my December and year end wrap up posts.)


  1. While I liked this book, I also disliked some of it as well. I thought there was a lot of needless description at times and got a little annoyed with the over cataloging of material things. I still saw all three of the movies and am going to be reading the other two books, but this one wasn't a total winner for me. I also was a little skeeved out by the sexual violence as well. The second and third book get really violent in other ways as well, but they were very gripping. Great review, Jules! It was very interesting to get your take on this one! Happy New Year!

  2. I'm not sure how many books you read for the challenge, but there are 3 giveaways up for participants of the Vietnam War Reading Challenge. I hope you'll enter and spread the word.

  3. Zibilee - I haven't seen the movies, although I want too, they aren't Hollywoodized (yet), so they look pretty good. Are they true to the books? I have the second one on my shelf, and waiting for the third to become a paperback. I like everything to be consistent. Glad to hear the others are still gripping, but not looking forward to the violence. And Happy Belated New Year to You.

    Serena - I failed the challenge, I think I read 2 books. I will do better this year. I will! Thanks for a great challenge.

  4. Hello Jules. I accidently stumbled upon this site and liked it too.. The reviews are good, honest and suggestive. Its great that others also get a chance to express their ideas. I read your review on Girl with dragon tattoo coz the Millenium series is so far the best that i have read. Not that i approve the violence and abuse written but at least we can get an idea to what extent ruthlessness can take over.. I think the plot is ingenious and Lisbeth's abilities are marvellous. It also makes me think a lot on how upbringing in the early age can affect mental and physical development of a human being. And that a person can have excellent photographic memory and at the same time be socially withdrawn... The book has many facets that one can explore. Depends on what you are looking for when you pick a book.. -Vidhishree

    1. Thanks for stopping by. You've made some excellent points and glad you enjoyed the books. I hope to finish the series soon.