The Girl… = 79 down, 21 to go

19 Aug

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo + The Girl Who Played with Fire
Stieg Larsson
600 pages +  630 pages

So it seemingly took me a while to jump on The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo bandwagon. I had heard the title’s name, knew a couple of colleagues who had read it, saw it pop up on my Kindle best seller list…but I never even clicked through to read the plot summary.

I could smack myself now for not starting this three-book series sooner. Though it’s probably not nice to beat myself up, and it might leave a mark.

I read the first book about a month ago, and just finished the second earlier this evening. The books follow the life, challenges and from time to time a glimpse of triumph of Lisbeth Salander, a slight woman in her 20s who many would stereotype as having a punk look. After an extremely difficult and abusive childhood, she spend her mid teens committed and then bouncing between – or maybe more accurately stated, running away from – foster home after foster home. (You receive much more insight into how destructive her childhood and teen years were in book two.) At the age of 18, she is moved into Sweeden’s guardianship program, which means she is assigned a person to watch over her finances and the major decisions in her life.

Lisbeth is described as a very moral person – but one with her own set of morals. She can be violent, but only against those who have truly harmed her. And from the reader’s perspective…only against those who really deserve it anyway. While she can be antisocial, you learn that the few people who consider themselves her friends are fiercely loyal to her.

Book one pairs her with journalist Mikael Blomkvist, and they partner up to solve a decades-old murder. At the beginning of book two, Lisabeth’s guardian, a journalist working for Mikael and the journalist’s girlfriend are murdered, and Lisbeth is splashed across national headlines as the killer. The book follows numerous characters and plot angles through a maze to get to her innocence.

There were a couple of lines in the second book that resonated with me, outside of being just part of the book…in the second book, Lisbeth is fascinated and challenged by mathematics. Each intro to the different sections of the book contain a math reference and equation. At the beginning of part 3, skipping the equation (as I’m a writer my trade and not an accountant), it says:

Those pointless equations, to which no solution exists, are called absurdities.

Pure truth and brilliance…even when not tied to an equation, and this philosophy of Lisbeth’s contains a certain amount of truth:

Nobody was innocent. There were only varying degrees of responsibility.

Stieg Larsson has a rare ability to include numerous characters and personalities and plot twists and mired details. If I was a novelist, I would desperately cross my fingers and wish for half his abilities.It’s just great classic murder mystery in the 21st century. I’m anxious to read book three, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, but I need to whittle away some of my other categories first. Hopefully, I’ll circle back to it before the end of my challenge. It took every ounce of control I could muster tonight to not hit “Buy Now with 1-Click” in my Kindle app.


2 Responses to “The Girl… = 79 down, 21 to go”


  1. Mic and Jack’s summer vacation reading list (via Loonyville) « The 100 Book Ninja - August 22, 2010

    […] homepage when I saw The Girl with a Dragon Tattoo in the photo. I’ve finished the first two books, just downloaded the third on Friday and am about a third of the way through it. I also loved the […]

  2. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest = 83 down, 17 to go « The 100 Book Ninja - August 27, 2010

    […] original plan was to wait a couple of weeks before I purchased and downloaded the third book in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series. But just a day or so after I finished the second one, I couldn’t resist and gave into […]

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