S.G. Browne

Fiction Friday – The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

First of all, I need to make something clear.

I don’t love most of the books I read. If we’re giving one to five stars to books, with five for Loved It, four for Really Liked It, three for Liked It, two for Didn’t Like It, and one for Hated It, the majority of the books I read fall into the Liked It category. Three stars. It takes a lot to get four stars from me. And even more to get five stars.

Now, with all of that said, you’re probably expecting five stars for Stieg Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Well, that’s not going to happen. I liked it, so it gets three stars. Why not more? Let me elaborate.

First of all, nothing happens for the first two-hundred pages. Nothing. It’s all back story. Yes, I know it was integral to the plot, but I like my exposition peppered into the narrative, not given to me all in one big chunk. By the time I hit page 200, I was wondering how this book became a best seller because I couldn’t imagine anyone continuing to read it. After all, most people I know have a 50-100 page rule. If the book hasn’t delivered anything by then, it’s on to the next one.

But I stuck with it because I wanted to find out what all the fuss was about. And then things finally started to happen. Lots of things. I became intrigued and compelled to keep reading. The characters became interesting. The story got darker and more complex. I wanted to know what happened next. And when it ended, I was happy I hadn’t given up.

That said, I’m not compelled to read the rest of the trilogy. I don’t care enough about the characters to find out what happens next. I know a lot of people love crime thrillers, but I’m not a big fan of them. And to be honest, I didn’t find the writing particularly inspired. It might have been the translation from Swedish to English, but if I’m going to read something similar, I’m much more likely to pick up a Raymond Chandler novel or something by James Ellroy. I find their style of writing much more enjoyable to read.

All in all, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is definitely worth reading. But as for the other two books in the trilogy, I’ll find out what happens by streaming the Swedish film versions on Netflix.

Filed under: Fiction Fridays,Movies and Books — Tags: , — S.G. Browne @ 6:52 am