Thursday, April 15, 2010

Book Review: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

There is hardly a literary bandwagon I don't jump on at some point in time.  I may not have read Harry Potter until long after Deadly Deathly Hallows was published, but I got there eventually.  Same goes for Twilight.  So of course I had to jump on the current Millennium trilogy bandwagon, too.  

I used that book cover because that is what my copy of the book looked like.  I bought my copy in the Amsterdam airport because I'm just THAT cool.  Okay, not really.  If I were really cool, I would have known that I should have bought the last book in the trilogy because it was just sitting there on the table in the airport shop, available for purchase.  Because guess what?  The third book is not available in the United States yet.  Damn it!  I lost my chance.  

Oh well.  It's not such a bad thing because, to be honest, I'm not nuts about this series.  Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and I didn't guess the ending (which is always nice in a mystery).  I'm even reading the second book right now, The Girl Who Played with Fire.  But I'm not really having any kind of emotional reaction or attachment to these books or to the characters.

I think part of the problem is the language barrier.  My favorite books tend to be ones written by American, British, or Australian authors, mostly because I like to read books in their original language, and I am embarrassingly monolingual.  Nevertheless, some books are beautifully, effortlessly translated.  Les Liaisons Dangereuse blew me away; I never would have guessed it wasn't originally an English-language book (other than the fact that that author is French, it is entirely set in France, and the characters are all French, of course).  But other times translated books come across as dry.  Sadly, I'm putting The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo in this category.  In my opinion, it read like a book translated into another language.

But aside from the translation, I think that I'm just not a big fan of the mystery genre.  I like characters and character-driven stories.  I think that mystery novels are, by their nature, more plot-driven.  Even though the two main characters of the Millennium trilogy, Mikel Blomkvist and Lisbeth Salander, certainly are three-dimensional and interesting, I just feel like thus far in the series it's been more about what they do than who they are.  Maybe that will improve as I continue with The Girl Who Played with Fire.  I'm slightly optimistic.

Also, did anyone else who read this book feel like it took more than half of the book to really get the story moving?  I felt that way. 

No comments: