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I finished reading THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO last week, one of the most hyped books in recent memory, at least for me.  Many, many people urged me to read this book.

Some of my thoughts (with a possible but vague spoiler) include:

  • I haven’t been hooked on a story to this degree in a long, long time.
  • As complex and nuanced as the story was, it was surprisingly easy to follow, even when days passed between readings. 
  • Boy does Steig Larrson believe in the use of specific brand names in his work.  The reference to the Eudora email client brought me back to my first days on the Internet back in 1993, and references like this just kept on coming.  I have been both praised and criticized for a similar use of specificity of brand names in SOMETHING MISSING, but I don’t hold a candle to Larrson.
  • The title of the book seemed strange to me.  The girl with the dragon tattoo, Lisbeth Salander, is a central figure to the story, but she is by no means the primary protagonist, nor does she even play a significant role in the story for the first half of the book.  And her dragon tattoo is just one of many.  Why the choice of title?
  • Though I loved the book, the ending was a little too tidy for my taste.  There are two moments in the book when a “good guy” might be forced to kill a “bad guy” but in both cases, the punishment is conveniently doled out in other ways, thus keeping the hands of our “good guys” relatively pristine.  Bad guys receive their comeuppance, good guys, are rewarded for their nobility and intelligence, and things are essentially wrapped up in a neat bow in the final chapters.  Not the kind of ending that I ever enjoy. 
  • The cover art was fantastic.

And yes, I plan on reading the sequel, THE GIRL WHO PLAYED WITH FIRE soon.

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