|Rated G||Rated R|
|To-go||Sit and Savor|
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson is a dark read, parading under the guise of popular culture. Which, perhaps, is appropriate, given its underlying themes.
Larsson takes a hard look at the historical and current climate of assault on females in Sweden, but captures it in the context of a mystery thriller.
The story follows Mikael Blomkvist, a recently discredited financial reporter, as he’s contacted by a rich old man who’s looking for the murderer of his niece, who disappeared forty years ago. The story also follows Lisbeth Salander, a tough computer genius who portrays herself as a punk rock, tough young woman.
Of the two storylines, Mikael’s is the most interesting and drives the story. He’s exploring the family and history of the island, where everyone is a suspect. It’s good old-fashioned crime solving, filled with red herrings and the slow revelation of relevant details.
Lisbeth’s story is much darker. She’s a genius, though the state has deemed her incompetent, and she’s put in a position of vulnerability by a system that was designed to help those most vulnerable.
When their two storylines converge, the story keeps the crime-solving tone and pace, though the revelations take a very dark turn.
Overall it was a page-turner, though it had some very adult themes. This book is centered around violence against women, and I’m not sure how I felt about it. I finished it, but it haunts me. And not in a delightful way.
I’m glad I read the book first. I think I’ll pass on the movie.
Would I Recommend It?
Yes, if you like crime novels and have a certain tolerance for reading about violence. The themes are important to discuss, but this book is packed with triggers, and for someone who sometimes closes their eyes when watching sitcoms on ABC, it was a little intense.