Monday, April 26, 2010


I just finished The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, by Stieg Larsson...what a disappointment! At 600 pages, one would expect to find out just what lurks in the background of the title-girl -- but no! Buy his next book, and maybe all will be revealed. No thanks.

The translation is herky-jerky and clumsy, and paragraphs go on and on in the vein of he went in the kitchen and made coffee and sandwiches, then sat on the bench and ate them. Tell us something! Propel the plot forward! And, if not, then edit edit edit!!! I suppose if you're into the details of computer hacking, there is something here for you. But I think that Larsson relies too much on an apparent shock factor of a 25-year-old pierced-and-tattooed girl with, possibly, Asperger's Syndrome. Yawn.

There is, I must admit, incest, murder and torture. But very little suspense. I advise forgoing the $16 paperback price tag and turn on the evening news: it spins a better story, and it's over in under an hour.

Perhaps if one lives chastely in the middle of a cornfield somewhere, the gimmick works. But if this hadn't been my book club selection, I'd have flung it across the room well-before 150 pages, when it finally seemed to be taking off. Don't get me wrong -- I don't begrudge a novelist writing a bestseller and actually perhaps being able to live off the earnings of his writing. But damn. Work a little harder on the art of the craft.


  1. Oh, you mean I don't have to read it after all? Phew and hooray for a dissenting voice.:)

  2. Live off the earnings? He died before it was published, and his life partner got nothing. His father and brother are living off the earnings to the tune of at least $30 million so far. And keep in mind it's a trilogy and some things are not revealed until the end of book 3.

  3. After reading the first reviews of this book (and then the following volumes) I knew there was certainly too much violence against and by young women for me to stomach. There was just too much porn-like glee of a disgusting sort in the breathless descriptions of what the reader can expect from these books. So, why no, I won't. I'm really cranky that way.

    But now you come along to tell me this is a book also filled with a plethora of unnecessary BORING sequential details! The Horror! The Horror! The Horror!

    Love, C.

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  5. Reg, I feel somewhat humbled here. I had no idea, obviously, of the back story. As a widow myself who dealt with all sorts of legal fallout in the aftermath of my late husband's death, my heart certainly goes out to his widow.

  6. (Reg, BTW, I hope that you, as the translator, are enjoying a sufficient portion of the profits.)