Friday, September 18, 2009

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
by Stieg Larsoon

I was very skeptical when we selected this book for Oktober Book Klub because

1. it's the first part in a trilogy, are we going to read the other two books?


2. it's a thriller, will we have more to talk about than just plot?

I don't yet know the answers to these queries. I do know that Oprah picked her latest Book Club selection because I had at least 7 emails in my Inbox about it today from amazon and Barnes and Noble and saw it mentioned on 10 blogs in my google reader. I also know that I stayed up way too late past weeknight bedtime last night reading this novel and then walked over to the computer like a ROBOT, ROBOT to reserve the second installment at the library. In trying to be more thrifty and less wasteful with book purchasing, it seemed like a good idea to actually try and use that Arlington library card I got two years ago and used only once. Well, the universe must be trying to tell me something because I am 170th on the waitlist for The Girl who Played with Fire. And coincidentally second on the list for The Girl's Guide to Being a Boss (Without Being a Bitch). Super.

The story takes place mostly in modern day Sweden. Have you ever been to Sweden? Do you know Hedeby Island or Uppsala or Uddevalla? Because it's sort of maddening if you don't. Oh, he went to Uppsala for the weekend? Oh, OK cool. I have not idea what that means.

The protagonist, Mikael Blomkvist, is a financial reporter who gets convicted of slander of a business tycoon. He temporarily leaves his magazine job and conveniently gets hired by an old rich guy, Henrik Vanger, to investigate the disappearance of Vanger's niece. The niece disappeared more than forty years ago, but Vanger is still obsessed with finding out what happened. He suspects that she was murdered, probably by someone in the family, and every single year on his birthday, someone tauntingly sends him an exotic pressed flower in a frame, a tradition his niece had started before her disappearance.

Blomkvist doesn't think he'll be able to crack a case that has 40 years worth of research behind it, but his incentive is the damaging information Vanger promises to give him about that scoundrel tycoon. Oh and along the way he crosses paths with a girl who has a dragon tattoo. She is socially inept but is secretly a genius and totally a bad ass.

Towards the end there the story takes a turn and gets sort of sickening and gross, Silence of the Lambs style. But things get resolved. For the most part. And then you're just left sitting there wondering why your waitlist number has not moved even one spot.

4 out of 5

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