Finally I have started my adventure with Stieg Larsson’s series. I must admit, the beginning of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is so slow and boring that I almost gave up on it. However, usually I do not abandon books so easily and after day or two I picked it up again. Soon I got so caught up with the book that I could not put it down. Shame on me! It was such a great read, I should have read this years ago!
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, the first part of Millennium Trilogy, starts slowly with quiet boring description of illegal practices of one of the Swedish companies. The book gets really interesting when financial journalist Michael Blomkvist, convicted of libelling, is offered a job by one of the richest man in the country. The elderly Henrik Vanger wants Blomkvist to investigate what happened to his beloved niece Harriet, who dissolved into thin air 36 years ago. The journalist very soon gets to know the complicated relations between family members and realizes that magnates are hiding dark secrets. Lisbeth Salander, a 24- year- old computer hacker, joins the investigation and together with Blomkvist solves the mystery of Harriet’s disappearance.
The most gripping subject of this book is appalling sexual violence against women. The author shows crimes of sadist and misogynist men, who use their positions and power to make women fully submissive. So the question arises…why women are targeted? We find out an explanations of one of the oppressors: “Because it is easy. Woman disappear all the time. Nobody misses them”. What I really like is that Larsson included statistics on violence against women in Sweden, which makes you realize that stories of abuses in this book symbolize tragedies of many real women.
Although Blomkvist is a positive protagonist- a journalist with strong work ethics, he is a womanizer that cannot resist to sleep with every woman that enters his life. However, a memorable character is not Blomkvist but Lizbeth Salander, who got all of my attention. Damaged girl, with tattoos and piercing all over her body; a social outcast that does not follow any rules. She always solves problems on her own and never shares the details of her life with others because ‘every time she tried to make someone aware of something in her life, the situation just got worse’. Although regarded as weirdo by those around her, Salander is extremely brilliant young woman.
I really enjoyed reading and I found Larsson’s writing very clear. The book is extensive but I did not get confused with multiple plots. Some descriptions were needless though. I did not understand why the author put so much attention, for instance, to what the protagonists were eating.
In overall, Larsson deserves all the praise he gets for his work. I cannot wait to read second book of Millennium Trilogy.