Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Tuesday Review

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
Stieg Larsson

I noticed the book awhile back while book-shopping. I got the sense that it was some sort of successful book as it was featured on end caps and webpages and mentioned on television.

I love fiction, but it's always a gamble. Sometimes you grab a fiction work that captivates you and intrigues you - and other times, you end up buying some lightweight, beach-read and feel like you've wasted time by reading it.

I wasn't all that interested in the book until a few weeks ago when some Twitter Friends saw the movie. These friends watched the original film version, which was made in Sweden, and could not say enough about it. Their rave reviews were enough to make me pick up the book. In cases where books are made into movies, I like to read the book first before seeing it. It took me awhile, but I finally finished this one.

Nothing matters more than a good story and Larsson's written a great one here. I had trouble getting into it for the first couple of chapters, but once the 'mystery' was revealed, I was all in. I've always loved the locked room scenario and the author has created one that's very intriguing. Once the players were established and the big questions were posed, I couldn't stop reading. This one communicated "spooky" and involved the reader in the tension and suspicion.

This book was 50/50 for me. I liked a lot about it, but found something other stuff irritating. My biggest complaint has to be volume. Larsson has just put too much in the story. He's trying to get us to follow 2 protagonists in one time period and then a third from a different time period. Once the 'bad guy' is revealed (and where the book should end,) he keeps writing, allowing us to follow the characters through even more, but relatively unrelated, drama. In my opinion, there were 2 or 3 strong stopping places, but the book just kept going.

I started watching the Swedish version of the film. I haven't watched much, but already it has confirmed that this story is probably better suited for the screen than the page. I rarely say that about books, but in this case, I feel like the film adaptation(s) might slim down the story and focus on the essentials.

Have you read the book? What did you think?