The Random House division Vintage Books really made it big with this entire series. If you haven’t heard of Stieg Larsson’s national bestselling hits by now, you don’t ride subways, you don’t talk books, and you essentially have not stepped out into public the last year or so. To the editor who first got this manuscript on his or her table: Dang, how did that feel? And how does it feel now?
All that being said, I spent most of my time reading thinking that this book was over-hyped. I think that’s the downside of having a thrilling bestseller that gets turned into the ‘must see’ movie of the holiday season. People that haven’t read it yet expect it to be life-changing. Well, this isn’t a life-changing book. It’s a well-written murder mystery. A very well-written murder mystery that also happens to incorporate a financial mafia story that I enjoyed. Of course I can’t say much without giving away crucial details, so I won’t spoil it. Let’s just say I think Larsson was trying too hard to plant red herrings and give readers the shock factor when focusing on the murder mystery aspect. That being said, it was still a page-turner. And perhaps if this book had not been so hyped up (ok, if I hadn’t’ been so late in jumping on the Dragon Tattoo bandwagon), I wouldn’t have been so critical. The financial mystery takes a backseat for most of the book but then really blazes up at the end and I appreciated that immensely. It seemed less out to shock and more amusing and natural to me. That being said, details throughout the book were fantastic. A well-woven plot indeed. Agree? Disagree? [Polite] Thoughts always welcome here!
I was forewarned by many that the various European names in this widely cast novel would be confusing, but I did not find that a problem. So if that dissuades you in any way from reading the book, don’t let it. Secondly, I was told that there were scenes in the book that were graphic and sexually gruesome. This was primarily why it took me so long to get down to reading it. After reading it, I’d say…sure it’s graphic and gruesome. But I found it to be bearable. The scenes that were of this nature was where I thought the shock factor was played up, but frankly I got through the pages without cringing. I’m not the most strong-stomached person in the world and I was fine. So I encourage you to overlook those warnings and read for yourself. If you find something particularly un-handleable, skip the paragraph. You’ll be fine.
Larsson…Vintage Books…Random House…. You did good. It’s a great read. Easy, engrossing, exciting twists—everything a bestselling novel ought to be. Do I recommend it? Yes indeed. Do I think it will be the best book you will ever read in your life? No, but that’s no reason to not acknowledge that it’s a top-notch book to add to your bookshelves this year.
Interest Level: 3/5
Recommendation Rate: 5/5
And that concludes my thoughts on Book One of my #70bookpledge!