The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

I liked this book, but I don't know if you will. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is written by the now deceased author Stieg Larsson. Originally written in Swedish, Larsson's Tattoo and the two sequels (only one of which so far has been published) have received many positive reviews following their translation into English. I am starting the sequel The Girl who Played with Fire tonight. I found the books again on the NY Times bestseller list. I worry about recommending them. Let me explain why I enjoyed the first book.

Have you had the opportunity to read any British murder mystery novels? Or maybe even watch any of the Masterpiece Mystery! series on PBS (you'll see a lot of familiar faces there)? I really enjoy, shall I say, international mystery novels because of the detail and the story, or better stated, the stories. I think it's because it's how my own mind works. It's really rare for me to only be thinking of only one thing at a time. My mind goes in a million directions at once. And that is kind of how these stories work too. It's not just about a murder, or whatever the mystery is. I always learn about a subject, like the financial world in the case of Tattoo. And the story isn't just about the mystery. And in most cases, the story doesn't end when the mystery is solved. There's more story to tell. Am I confusing you? I hope not.

Now, please understand, any LDS readers out there, that I don't come from an all LDS family. In fact, sitting down to talk to my brothers, if they aren't on their best we're-talking-to-our-Mormon-sister-Caprene behavior, it's like sitting in an R-rated film, the rating solely based on the language. It's an adjustment, but I think that's how I can tolerate a lot of these books. Just as I've learned to tune out certain words that so easily and so often cross my brothers' lips, I can tune them out or cross them out with my eyes as I read.

Because of that, I'd actually like to recommend another author, PD James. I read Murder Room and The Private Patient over the summer and I enjoyed both books. They are MUCH cleaner than Larsson's book[s]. Some say that they do not enjoy British humor because it's dry, or it's slow? You may feel that way with these books, because unlike a lot of popular US crash 'em up, shoot 'em up, bang-bang novels, the books do not jump right to the point. In fact, the first murder may not occur until you are so far into the story that you begin to wonder if there's even going to be a murder. But that's what I like - there's substance to the story. It's not just about a murder and mayhem; the book is about people.

So, if you, like me, have become a little too desensitized and don't notice everything you used to (time for me to go on another mission maybe?), then I would recommend The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. But for those of you who are better people than I, may I recommend The Private Patient or Murder Room.


Marianne said...

Lately, I've been on a Jodi Picoult kick. It sounds like her writing is the exact opposite of these books. She usually starts out with some huge, crazy, chaotic event and then goes back and fills in all the details with flashbacks. Sometimes I'm not patient enough to sit down and enjoy a story that follows actual chronological order. (That is sad, I know!) I always read the last page of a book fist too due to my lack of patience.

dave + kirst said...

Caprene I'm so glad you wrote about this because I had a friend recommend it to me a few weeks ago and I couldn't remember the name. I'll test it out when I'm done with the mountain of books I got from the library.

Ariel said...

i'm reading a murder mystery right now :) i'll have to look into murder room & the private patient. you know how i can't handle the language!

and MARIANNE! for shame! i can't believe you read the last page. i don't do that, but i do have a confession:

if i'm way into a book and it's getting good, and i'm too impatient to read all the blah blah blah and just want to know what happens, i skip a few paragraphs, find out what happens, and then go back :)

Caprene said...

Ariel - I have the two books at my house. They are my parents (not the libraries) so you are welcome to borrow them anytime you are looking for something to read.
Kirsten - you'll have to let me know what you think!
Marianne - I've heard good things about the Picoult books. I'll have to try one. Though I'm with Ariel, I never read the end. I trudge on through.

Gina said...

very interesting...

i've been wanting to read a mystery lately, it's been soooo long since i have. but first i have to finish all the books i've recently purchased and are still on my dusty shelf. ;)

btw, i love that you read a million books a week. i LOVE reading your posts. thanks! i'll check back in a few days and see what other book you've finsihed. :) no pressure.