'The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo'
For a year now, friends and co-workers have told me I just have to read “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” by Stieg Larsson.
Since I’m fluent in Swedish, I decided to wait until I could get my hands on a copy in the original language (Original title: “Men Who Hate Women”). My brain has a hard time reading about Swedish names, places and policies in a foreign language, and I figured if I were to give this book a chance, I must pick up the Swedish version.
My dad gave it to be for Christmas, and I started reading it on the plane back to the U.S. when my vacation was over. I found it very difficult to get into, and after just half a chapter of economic controversy and company corruption, I had to put it aside.
My mother-in-law was finally the one who convinced me to push through.
“It’ll get better,” she said. “You just have to get past the first couple of chapters.”
Well, I pushed through, and once I was finally introduced to the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo – Lisbeth Salander – the immediately became more interesting.
It turns out you don’t have to know much about economics or politics or how companies are created to follow along in the book, you just jump onboard and come along for the ride into a tiny Swedish village where horrible things once happened.
And once Lisbeth and the book’s main character, Mikael Blomkvist, finally met, I couldn’t put the book down. I stayed up reading until 4 a.m. several nights in a row just to find out what would happen.
The end, which I won’t reveal, was a bit anti-climactic. It’s good to have the second book in the series – which seems to be less about Mikael and more about Lisbeth – to jump into immediately. “The Girl Who Played With Fire” is followed by the third and final book, “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest.”