The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Ok, I don't know if it's the fact that everyone has been going gaga over this book for the last couple of years or if I'm just a curmudgeon, but I wasn't terribly impressed.
1) The person lending me the book told me it would take 60 pages to get into it. That seems like a lot, and it was accurate.
2) After "getting into it" nothing much really happened that was relevant to the plot until about page 300, when the two main characters finally meet. Considering that the jacket describes the story as a secret investigation being jointly run by these two characters, the fact that one of them doesn't even know about it until more than halfway through makes the advertising seem a bit misleading.
3) The most interesting character, the one you've been waiting to meet, finally arrives about 50 pages from the end, turns out to be horribly 1-dimensional, and then bites it in a car accident about 5 pages later.
4) The reunion at the end is far FAR too devoid of complexity. It's too happy happy.
5) The protagonist beds women with misleading ease. Pretty much every woman he meets throws herself at him. One even has made special arrangements with her husband JUST so she can keep having sex with the protagonist. And he seems to be really emotional attached to all of them. Not terribly realistic. It gives a weird sort of unpleasant polygamist feel to the whole thing, which considering that each chapter starts with a statistic regarding violence against women in Sweden, makes it all particularly weird.
All that said, lots of people have told me that the other two books in the series aren't very interesting. Paradoxically that makes me want to read them because their opinions on this first book seemed so gushingly positive.
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