This is the kind of series I would never normally read, but my curiosity got the better of me. It was so popular I had to pick it up. It started out really slow for me, since I have no interest in the financial babble at the beginning. Once Lisbeth was introduced, my interest was peaked.
Lisbeth is a wonderfully complicated character. Her development in this book was minor, but it was there. I feel a lot like her boss about her relationship with Mikeal. How on earth did he gain her trust so easily? This tough-as-nails little girl who never trusts anyone, opens herself up (as much as she’s ever willing to) to a man old enough to be her father. Not that his age really matters. I kind of feel like Mikael and Lisbeth are the type of people that are beyond age difference issues. Mikael is cool enough, but nothing particularly special to me. He has a good eye and really pays attention to detail (probably a side-effect of getting screwed by Wennerström.
The plot, though very interesting, had a tendency to drag. I’m attributing this to Larsson’s detailed writing. He gives very in depth descriptions of everything. Sometimes it’s a little much, but other times I appreciate it. He does a great job with the element of suspense toward the end, then we’re left with a very surprising discovery at the end. I think the writing is good enough. It’s nothing special, but it really doesn’t need to be. It definitely could have been a little shorter.
The theme isn’t hard to find in this book. Especially since the original Swedish version was called “Men Who Hate Women.” The whole book is centered around hate crimes committed on women. Most of the crimes are committed for no real reason, just hatred. I think we can all agree that some of the things that go on in this book are just sick. There were a few particular scenes that seriously made me sick to my stomach. I guess, if you can’t deal with that kind of thing you might want to skip this one.
I saw the movie soon after I read the book. I think they did a stellar job. I was thoroughly impressed with Noomi Rapace. She is Lisbeth Salander. I just don’t think the American version will live up to this. Michael Nyqvist did an excellent job as well. I think he’s just perfect as Mikael. I do not think that Daniel Craig is the right choice, but we’ll just wait and see. I will say it will be a relief to be able to watch without reading subtitles the whole time. I don’t really mind all that much, but it gets a little tiresome. All in all, two thumbs up for the Swedish version.
In the end, the plot and main characters won out over any qualms I had with this book. By the end of it, I was in love. I just had to get there first. One question, why is Mikael such a hit with the ladies? I don’t see it. He’s cool and all, but I’m not jumping into bed with him over it.