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October 19, 2010

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

by Stieg Larsson

Was I the only one not to get on with this book? The first volume in the Millennium trilogy, this is the story of journalist Mikael Blomkvist, who is hired by industrialist Henrik Vanger to solve the mystery of his niece’s disappearance several years before, under the guise of chronicling the family history. Blomkvist is assisted by the rebellious security specialist Lisbeth Salander, the girl with the dragon tattoo.

Partly, perhaps, because I am a translator by profession and I read the English translation, I found myself almost proofreading the text and I think this also impacted on my enjoyment of the book. This is not to say that the translation wasn’t extremely good. However, the complexity of the family history with all the many names and relationships repeatedly sent me into a slumber. Whatever the opposite of a page turner is, for me, this was it. I could barely finish a page without wanting to nod off.

The few compelling parts of the story were, unfortunately, outweighed by the many tedious narratives. I so wanted to like this book after the great reviews it received, but I won’t be rushing out to buy the second and third volumes.

James’ out-of-five star rating: ** (and that’s being generous!)

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