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The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson


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#141 Accio Euron

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 05:27 PM

Say what you want about the writing, but I liked the protagonist, Lisbeth Salander. She was different than most female protagonists. She was impulsive, flawed, she wasn't traditionally pretty, but she was profoundly intelligent and focused on what she did and was good at it. My only real complaint about the series was her love for Mikael Blomkvist seemed rushed and out of place. My theory is she confused his friendship and acceptance of who she was a true love. I liked the second one, but I found the ending to be unreal and the third book, the first part could have been condensed. It seemed to drag on.

Another complaint was Larsson wants to depict misogyny in its subtle forms, but he fails to let the reader see it subtly. The misogynists take the form of Nazis, rapists, murderers, serial killers, and sociopaths. His series is well formed and structured, but his story telling skills are a bit lacking. That does not mean I did not enjoy the series as it was.

#142 Inkdaub7

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 02:34 AM

... And even her anti-social maladjustment felt like a geek wankfest: a poster girl for basement-dwellers who resent their lack of social skills. And Bloomqvist was an even bigger Gary Stu than Lisbeth was a Mary Sue.


Which I like. Then it's totally ruined by her going for Blomqvist.

I don't know. I read the book and I liked it alright, but Blomqvist bugged the hell out of me. The hacking stuff didn't really impact me at all.

#143 ztemhead

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 10:25 AM

musings on Girl Who Played With Fire:

I had higher expectations for this book, I think because a) international film success of Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, and acclaim by many people I consider to be of the "well read" class /cool.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt='B)' /> it's European, so theoretically the book is good enough to transcend international boundaries and become a commercial success in the states.

What I found is that it's basically pulp. Yeah Lisabeth is an interesting character, but in so many areas the book is lacking that little bit that would make it a good story. About halfway through I grew tired of the ham fisted descriptions of alternative lifestyles, and started expecting every new character to have some peculiarity about how they like to get off, and then a paragraph or two explaining why such is totally cool in today's enlightened Swedish society. Totally cool, except for the disapproving feelings of some one dimensional characters, who it's hard to believe ever made it into positions of authority in the first place. In this way, it's a bit reminiscent of Robert Heinlein, except that Heinlein was writing in the 50's and 60s, instead of 50 years later to an audience that has seen and heard it all before.

The unrealistic chase/ fight/ cop investigation scenes, and never ending back story don't make Girl Who Played With Fire a bad book. What it is, to me, is standard pulp fiction, and I'm glad I got it at the library and didn't pay for it on Amazon.

#144 NewJeffCT

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 02:07 PM

after a slow start, I enjoyed The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo recently. I had not seen either movie version ahead of time, either. I've now seen parts of the US version with Rooney Mara as Lisbeth. Maybe I should also watch the Swedish version, since that is supposed to be pretty good, too. I think the author dying young (suicide was it?) kind of added to the legend and the popularity of the books, as well as the atypical setting in Sweden. Not great literature, but I like the main characters - Lisbeth & Mikael - and, it did have me thinking about the explanation behind Harriet Vanger and the other mysteries in the book and how it happened.

I'm about halfway through the second book now.

#145 PetrusOctavianus

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 03:09 PM

the author dying young (suicide was it?)


Heart attack.
But I must admit my first thought when I learnt he dies young was "probably a botched sex change operation". From his books I got the impression he desperately wanted to be a woman.

#146 ztemhead

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 05:05 PM

after a slow start, I enjoyed The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo recently. I had not seen either movie version ahead of time, either. I've now seen parts of the US version with Rooney Mara as Lisbeth. Maybe I should also watch the Swedish version, since that is supposed to be pretty good, too. I think the author dying young (suicide was it?) kind of added to the legend and the popularity of the books, as well as the atypical setting in Sweden. Not great literature, but I like the main characters - Lisbeth & Mikael - and, it did have me thinking about the explanation behind Harriet Vanger and the other mysteries in the book and how it happened.

I'm about halfway through the second book now.



They work better as movies IMO

#147 NewJeffCT

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 08:04 AM

Heart attack.
But I must admit my first thought when I learnt he dies young was "probably a botched sex change operation". From his books I got the impression he desperately wanted to be a woman.


Well, he did seem to have a thing for "take charge" women - Salander, but also Erika Berger and Miriam Wu. I don't think all Swedish women are like that, but I could be wrong? Not sure about the detective that's a woman will turn out in the story yet (no spoilers, please).

#148 ztemhead

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 10:30 AM

OMG, Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest is awful. Was this a finished work when Stieg died? Where was the editor?? Think of the children!!!

Why didn't you people warn me it was this bad.

#149 ztemhead

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 08:17 AM

Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest has the distinction of being the first book I've ever stopped reading so far into it. Larsson's writing style just gets worse and worse, reaching it's nadir when Bloomkvist hooks up with Figueroa. /stillsick.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':stillsick:' /> It never should have become a trilogy.

Awful, awful book.

I'm curious- seeing as how I picked up the series with the second one, am I correct in assuming that the first book was in fact readable? Also are many of Larsson's idiosyncracies (including those that are bad writing, and those that are just irritating/ foreign to my experience) typical of Scandanavian authors?

#150 NewJeffCT

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 08:41 AM

hmm, I'm going to be starting Hornet's Nest tomorrow probably. Kind of discouraged based on some of the comments here, though.

One thing I noticed is that the main characters always drink a lot of coffee and eat a lot of junk food (McDonald's, or those frozen pizzas that Lisbeth buys in huge quantities.)

#151 ztemhead

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 10:30 AM

hmm, I'm going to be starting Hornet's Nest tomorrow probably. Kind of discouraged based on some of the comments here, though.

One thing I noticed is that the main characters always drink a lot of coffee and eat a lot of junk food (McDonald's, or those frozen pizzas that Lisbeth buys in huge quantities.)


I read Girl Who Played With Fire because I found the Lisbeth character interesting based on the movie. (never read Dragon Tattoo) My lovely SO said there weren't huge inconsistencies between the movie and book version of her, so I started on the second book. It was okay, but as I said, basically pulp. I can only hope the first book was better written, and maybe subject to editing revision that the second wasn't. The third book is awful to the point it makes me wonder _what happened_

The way the characters are introduced with pages and pages of exposition before they actually do anything would never have gotten past my creative writing prof in college. It's the same criticism that Red Letter Media had for the Obi Wan/ Anakin relationship in Phantom Menace- the supposed bond is created by telling stories of events that occured in the past, rather than showing scenes for what they're about today.

Larsson's sexual tendencies are a bit off, too, described with the enthusiasm of a catholic school kid who has just taken his first human sexuality class at a public university. He feels the need to tell us how enlightened most of Swedish society is these days, but some of us don't give a wet crap who's porking whom in the first damn place. Further, though this is a large focus of the book, he typically describes the passion of one person for another with all the feeling of an income tax form.

Also, why such an enormous deal as to why "this poor girl's civil rights are being violated?" Set her free and move on. There is this slavish adherance to rules and procedure throughout, though said rules are carelessly ignored when they no longer serve a specious plot point, or advance the subplot of how awesome it is to live in such a sexually liberated place as Stockholm.

He has a hard time making up names for things, such as the clunky "Zalachenko club" (cabal? conspiracy?) but has no problem inserting "Ericsson" "Scandia" and "Palm" multiple times into each chapter.

Anyone who has ever watched Law and Order will be convined Sweden is a third world country in terms of law enforcement. Their idea of security or protecting a witness made me start yelling at my kindle.

I could go on, but not without even more massive spoilers. Bah.

#152 Serious Callers Only

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 05:32 PM

Why do you read crap thrillers?

#153 NewJeffCT

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 08:48 PM

OMG, Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest is awful. Was this a finished work when Stieg died? Where was the editor?? Think of the children!!!

Why didn't you people warn me it was this bad.


The book was finished, I believe, but it had not been through the editing process. Since I'm almost done with the book, my impression is that the editors did very little editing of this final work, possibly afraid of friends/relatives of Larsson criticizing them? Or, if somebody picks up the outlines for the next two books in the series, they wanted to give the author more material to work with. (just speculation on my part, but if Stieg had outlined what he planned for books 4 and 5, I'm sure some talented author would want to finish the next two books, just based on potential sales.)

I agree that book 3 could have been edited better - or, more. Not a bad story, but the ending was kind of anti-climactic.

#154 Lyanna Stark

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 04:57 AM

I'm curious- seeing as how I picked up the series with the second one, am I correct in assuming that the first book was in fact readable? Also are many of Larsson's idiosyncracies (including those that are bad writing, and those that are just irritating/ foreign to my experience) typical of Scandanavian authors?


If you get the pulp stuff then yes. We have a couple of really famous "pulp" writers who are all Larsson's style or worse which sell a lot of novels. Easy "beach reading", but not much more. If you want crime/detective novels, you can do far better than Larsson, if you want Scandinavian writing. Only problem is, I don't know how well they fare in translation/if they are even translated.

Jens Lapidus tends to be rated pretty highly. Mons Kallentoft will do in a pinch. Avoid Läckberg like the plague, she's terribad.

Stieg Larsson is a bit special since he had a huge political axe to grind, some of it rightly so, but he does miss out completely on anything and everything that could be labelled "subtle". The first novel is ok, the second meh and the third godawful.

Anyone who has ever watched Law and Order will be convined Sweden is a third world country in terms of law enforcement. Their idea of security or protecting a witness made me start yelling at my kindle.


In some ways, we are. The idea that Sweden is extremely secure and that "nothing ever happens here" is pretty strong, despite the fact that we've had one Prime Minister (Olof Palme) and one Foreign Minister (Anna Lindh) assassinated on the town during the last 30 years. Both of them without bodyguards, I might add.

Edited by Lyanna Stark, 03 January 2013 - 06:55 AM.


#155 Horza

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 06:14 AM

Hey, at least you didn't lose a Prime Minister to rough surf.

#156 ShadowRaven

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 06:49 AM

In my opinion, only book 1 was good. The other 2 parts weren't good at all.

Edited by ShadowRaven, 03 January 2013 - 06:49 AM.


#157 Lyanna Stark

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 06:54 AM

Hey, at least you didn't lose a Prime Minister to rough surf.


Third time's the charm, isn't it? /smile.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':)' />