By Stieg Larsson
paperback, 590 pages. Vintage. $14.95
I don't like scary, I don't like creepy, and I hate anything related to sexual abuse... but, strange enough, I liked this book. In all fairness, I didn't think it was actually very scary though I can see how others might. It was definitely creepy with a capital C. In fact certain parts were cover-your-face-I-can't-believe-I'm-reading-this creepy. Don't let that deter you from reading the book, however, just be warned. In fact, I highly recommend this book. The mere fact that this is not my typical cup of tea but I gulped it down in almost one day is witness enough to its level of entertainment factor.
Though others have remarked on the bad translation or Larsson's lack of writing skills, I have to wonder: how many people pick up a crime mystery expecting Hemingway? If you are one of them, might I warn you not to do that? Perhaps because of translation there are words that I haven't seen since Shakespeare, such as anon which is used frequently throughout the book. And it helps to know that this was translated into British English instead of American English. Did that interfere with the plot? Not at all. I was too busy trying to figure out the mystery to worry about the wording. And I venture to say that you will be too as I have not met a single person who figured out the details of this book before it was told to them in the pages. Honestly, if someone had, I would be worried about them because figuring out who is behind the main mystery is not as difficult as figuring out why it happened (which is the crux of the story anyway). Along with the engaging story (which others have said takes a good 100 pages to get into, but which only took me about a chapter) I enjoyed the characters. Lisbeth and Erica were two of the most interesting women I've read about in awhile and I actually found myself liking Mikael.
Take note that there are a lot of characters (I read this on my Kindle so wasn't able to flip back to the family tree very easily). Also, there have been discussions about who was supposed to be the protagonist (being that it was named after Lisbeth but seems to follow Mikael more closely), so that could have been clearer (maybe just with the title, which they ended up changing from Men who Hate Women to The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo). And the fact that Lisbeth is supposed to have Asperger's Syndrome is farfetched -- and also seems to be an irrelevant point -- unless they bring it out more poignantly in one of the following novels . But I'll forgive that considering I haven't read the rest of the series and I have to factor in translation.
I'm absolutely looking forward to reading the next book and have already bought my copy. An absolute page turner that I recommend for anyone who enjoys a riveting tale!