Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium, #1)The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – Stieg Larrson
Evan’s ESS= 5.4 out of 10
Erin’s ESS= 3 out of 10
Content = R (Violence, Language, Adult Content, Nudity, Illicit Sexual Acts, Mythical Animal Tattoos)

Why:  If you couldn’t already tell from our somber facial expressions, we’ve got some major issues to discuss in this post.  For the past few months we’ve tried to get swept into the hype associated with The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.  And with all the excitement surrounding the novel, this wasn’t difficult.  We were impatiently waiting to watch the Swedish film adaptation and follow the latest casting drama surrounding the American remake.  Hopefully by now you can see the HUGE hole in our master plan.  We kind of assumed that the novel would deliver on its hype...  oops. 

We’ll try not to get ourselves all worked up in this review, but at this point, we’re not making any promises.  Just so everyone’s clear, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo follows the exploits of a hard hitting journalist recently convicted of libel against a corrupt Gazillionaire industrialist.  Discredited and humiliated, Mikael Blomkvist agrees to take on a unique assignment writing a family biography while at the same time investigating a questionable missing persons case from 40 years earlier.  It doesn’t take long before Blomkvist solicits the help of an eccentric and hardened female who happens to possess a Dragon Tattoo.  Together, the pair expose plenty of skeletons and encounter more than one life threatening exchange.    

Okay, onto our thoughts...  When reading a novel, there are a few “nice to haves”.  Most importantly, we need to actually like the main characters, or at the very least, understand their motivation.  For all the back story given to many of the corporations and their CEO’s, couldn’t a little more time have been spent explaining why Blomkvist felt the need to be a self proclaimed horrible father?  Also, it would have been nice to know why Lisbeth (the girl with the dragon tattoo) has a gigantic bag of Doritos attached to her shoulder.  We’re given some clues, but very little prior to her encounter with that slime ball, Bjurman (maybe more to come in book 2 & 3???).  We also want to know why she has zero concern for anyone’s privacy.  Both characters felt zero remorse for any of the carnage left in their world-beating wake.

We also have some major issues with the anticlimactic bad guy car chase scene near the end.  Really, why all the build up if things are just going to end like that??? 

Our final issue with the novel was the blasé attitude towards relationships and intimacy.  Everyone’s perfectly comfortable sleeping with everyone else.  It doesn’t matter if adults in question are married or even if children are involved – everyone and everything is fair game (okay, maybe not everything). 

We really need to wrap things, and frankly we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the suspense and intrigue that was also prevalent in the story.  On more than one occasion we found ourselves reading well past midnight.  The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo also deserves credit for taking on the serious and real topic of sexual abuse against women.  Honestly, if this novel wasn’t sooooo hyped, we probably would have enjoyed it more.  In the end, we were just hoping for more...  or a little something different...    


  1. You do get a lot more background in books 2 and 3. Unfortunately, Larsson had like 10 books planned so you definitely don't get all of the information you want in just those three. You do, however, get information on Bjurman.

    Even though I rated this book the highest of the three, I still recommend the other 2. They have their lulls and problems like the first one, but they also have plenty of those keep you up late reading moments, too.

  2. i've heard mixed things about this series! still deciding whether or not to read it!

    new gfc follower! follow me?!

  3. I listened to the audio and enjoyed it. But that was before I realized that it was THE book. It's everywhere! Delphyne is right, you do learn more with the rest of the books. I read the second book and didn't enjoy it nearly as much. I still need to get around to reading the last book.

    For some reason, I have a hard time getting mustering up enthusiasm for hyped books. Of course, there are exceptions, like The Help!

  4. I didn't see what all the hype was about either. Great post. I loved reading this and it made me laugh out loud!

  5. Ouch, that's too bad :( It's not my favourite book ever, but I really liked how unusual & unconventional it was for a mystery/thriller, and am psyched to start the second (and later third) book. But to each his own. Thanks for your honesty & for backing up your opinion :)

  6. I haven't read this book yet and am still hesitant to do so BECAUSE of the hype. Generally, I am disappointed in the novel because the media and promotion make it up to be some splendorous thing and's not. I love your honesty though.

    You guys rock at reviews btw. I need to up my game :)