There are so many things I thoroughly loved about The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo that I cannot decide which aspects were the most entertaining. Stieg Larsson has done a terrific job of creating a suspenseful story full of social and political commentary and extremely original and interesting characters.
So I am just going to list a few things that maybe you agree with, or maybe not:
- Lisbeth Salander is such an original character with so many contradicting traits. Despite her difficult personality and intimidating appearance, many of the men who meet Lisbeth are attracted to her in complicated ways, with varying shades of paternal love (?) and romantic feelings. She is fiercely independent and antisocial, yet underneath all this is an unidentified need. What do you think Lisbeth really needs? Does it make you cheer for her or are you frustrated with the way she cuts people off?
- Larsson’s disgust for violence against women and his hatred for pedophiles are dominant themes in this book. Do you think the impact of his message is even greater coming from a male author?
- Despite the serious themes, Larsson inserts a great deal of amusing details. Once I got over the overwhelming number of references to streets, towns, people, I stopped being frustrated and actually laughed. Did anyone else feel that way? In particular, I loved how he talked about how his characters got around town and around the country and what kinds of technology they used. In the beginning, I tried to visualize where the streets were in reference to each other (I even drew myself a map of the Vanger cottages!), then I gave up and just enjoyed myself. I also got a kick out of the sayings on Lisbeth’s t-shirts.
- Did anyone notice how industrious Larsson’s characters are? They plow through incredible amounts of work, piles of paper, their efforts fueled by a lot of coffee. Whenever I put down the book, I always felt an urge to try to accomplish something in my own life!
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