Alexander Averin

Monday 16 August 2010

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

Dear Diary,

I have just finished reading The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, our book group’s choice for September which was picked by two of our members,  I had never got round to trying it - it was always out (!) and I was getting mixed reports from borrowers who returned the book to the library (but they were mostly very positive).

Before I picked up the Tattoo I had just finished Joseph O'Connor's Ghostlight (and I want to slip in a quick but huge recommendation for this one as his writing is just superb) but the Larsson book couldn't be more different, genre-wise.

I don’t usually go for crime fiction,  mysteries, thrillers, violence or very ‘explicit’ material and would normally avoid them like the plague. This book was all of those but much, much more and it would be fair to say that I cannot recommend it highly enough.  It took a little while to get into as I struggled a bit with its ‘Swedishness’ but I persevered (I had to) and once I was in I was well and truly hooked.   It gripped me so much that whenever I had to put it down I couldn’t wait to get back to it.  The author must have had an amazing gift for writing this sort of book, he certainly had the experience and the knowledge of the world he wrote about.   I won’t give much away in case you haven’t read it but I will say that it is tragic that Stieg Larsson died so suddenly just after handing the three books in to his publisher.  He wrote about the dark side of Swedish life and although he and his partner were said to be receiving constant death threats from extreme racist and far right-wing groups, it appears to be generally accepted that he died of a heart attack after climbing very many stairs (the lift was out of order) to hand in his finished books.

Dragon Tattoo is the first in a trilogy, namely the Millennium Trilogy and the next two titles are The Girl Who Played with Fire and The Girl who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest but you really can read the first as a ‘stand-alone’ title as it ends ‘properly’ with only the characters carrying on into the next books.  I have been told by some people that the first one is not the best so I am really looking forward to numbers 2 & 3 and also to seeing the films.   Dragon Tattoo is out on DVD (I have ordered it from the library) and I believe the second is to be released in cinemas soon.

That’s all for now,
Go mbeannai Dia duit,

PS What are you reading?


Toni aka irishlas said...

Currently I'm reading "My Small Country Living Goes On" by Jeanine McMullen. I'm loving this series so far.

Milla said...

hmmm, I was vaguely underwhelmed to be honest, but E is really enjoying it at the moment. Have read lots of Swedish thrillers (they tend to be quite nasty) but found this really dragged with all the family tree stuff. However, I did love the second one, since there is much more of her in there but if you are going to read all 3 then do make sure you read the 3rd straight after the 2nd since it is a direct continuation but with no helpful back story to remind you.
Will certainly try the J o'C when it comes out in paperback since was knocked out by Star of the Sea.
Am just loving Shantaram at the moment, half way in an almost perfect book. Praying it doesn't suddenly disappoint...

Pondside said...

I've read the first and am now reading The Girl Who Played with Fire. I'm slogging my way through Barbara Kingsolver's La Lacuna - such a disappointment after her others.

Fennie said...

Haven't read any of the three. But the title is hooking. Currently I'm reading Rose Alison's book for the Book Club, though I can't remember now what it is called. Yes, funny how Swedish novels should be dark. Must be those winters though Malmo is no further northern than Berwick which isn't a terrible dark place, even in winter. The snow then and the spirits - vodka? slivovitz? schnaps?

Mac n' Janet said...

I enjoyed all three, but liked the 2nd the best. Hope his heirs and his partner come to terms and they release the 4th that he left on his laptop.
I've heard the movie was great, no doubt Hollywood will muck up their version.

Frances said...

Cait, I have read all three ... over a very long period of time, as each book was borrowed, returned, re-borrowed, etc., from the library. I really did enjoy all the books, particularly the Scandinavian political shenanigans.

Each of the characters is interesting, and the villains really are very, very bad.


DAB said...

I'll have to look out for this one.

I've just started reading "One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich" by Alexsandra Solzhenitsyn. Very dark and deep, a little gem.

Marcheline said...

I am currently right near the end of the third book, "The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest".

My husband and I watched the DVD movie of the first book, and it was GREAT! A bit hard core, but we're like that anyway.

Glad you're reading them, hope you like the other 2 as much!

Marcheline said...


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CAMILLA said...

Hello Cait,

I was introduced to the the first book of The Girl With a Dragon Tattoo from my daughter. She absolutely loved it as I did too, although at first I was a tad unsure as it was not the kind of book I usually would have chosen.

Looking forward to the second and third book and the DVD when it is out.