You’d think that by now I would have learned to trick myself into expecting less-than-greatness from really hyped-up things. Dancing With The Stars? Yeah, NO. Bikram yoga? Hell-to-the-no. Cheesecake Factory? I don’t know because I’ve never been, but I’m guessing it’s not that great. Maybe if I’d learned to do that with this book, I would have enjoyed it more. Don’t get me wrong- I probably enjoyed it about 3.5 stars worth.
Don’t feel bad if you’ve tried to read this book and couldn’t get past the whole Wennerstrom affair- bo-ring! I consider myself to be fairly knowledgeable when it comes to business and finance matters (fairly… mildly, whatever) and the first 100 pages or so lost me. I wasn’t totally lost- I understood what was going on for the most part, but it was pretty boring, and all of the details didn’t really contribute much to the story. I would advise anyone who reads this book to skim the first 100 pages or so, or until the Wennerstrom details are pretty much over.
I loved Lisbeth’s character. She is a very unique but totally believable character. She’s a total badass, but she has her weaknesses. I didn’t feel like the author was glamorizing her problems or making her too awesome, either. Actually, I stumbled upon this flowchart and according to it, I think it can safely be concluded that Lisbeth is, indeed, a strong female character. Quite refreshing.
I don’t want to give very much of the story away, but I’ll just tell you that it’s kind of the stuff of nightmares. Once it got going, I was disgusted yet fascinated by all the morbidity and nastiness. I would stay up late into the night reading it, cowering under the covers hiding from a psychopath that was certain to be in my house. No, there never was one, but that didn’t make me sleep any easier.
Someone described Larsson’s writing style as “Scandinavian cool”. I’d say that’s pretty accurate. I’m not sure if it’s because it’s a translation or what, but the writing is a bit dry. The style has kind of grown on me though (now that I’m on Hornet’s Nest). He does go into some pretty in-depth descriptions of day-to-day things and you’re like “Get on with it! I get it- THEY WENT TO IKEA.” (That was actually the second book, but you get it.) I also felt like he went into a lot of unnecessary details about all the sexual relationships of the characters that were pretty pointless, but maybe that’s just the conservative Salt Lake in me talking.
I’m going to cheat a little bit and tell you that I’m now reading the third book, and if you can make it through Dragon Tattoo, the other two are worth it. The story has gotten really good (albeit complicated) and I’m pretty sucked in now.
PS- The movie was pretty good too- Noomi Repace is an awesome actress. But I did have to close my eyes and say “La la la la la” during some parts.