Book Reviews

So many books (you know the rest)

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
by Stieg Larsson
Published in 2005 (I finished it on March 31, 2011)

About 120 pages into this book, I was done. It was slow and somewhat boring. I was convinced to keep going. So I did.

And after finishing it?

I found it slow and somewhat boring.

There are some shockers in the “best seller” lists. Sometimes I think books are not there because they’re great, but because everyone else is reading them. This isn’t to say it’s an awful book. The prose itself is well done and the characters are fully fleshed out. It’s just that the story isn’t terribly exciting or interesting. I never really cared or had to know what would happen next.

It’s also very wordy. There are nearly 600 pages, but it’s not a 600-page story. Frankly, it would have been fine at 300. Even after the climax, it just would not stop. I was close to screaming “JUST END ALREADY!” on many occasions. The climax happened way too early, so the denouement just dragged on and on. As well, some characters didn’t need to be so developed as they really didn’t further the story. Cut, cut, cut. Like to sit around reading about people sitting around reading? Then this book might be for you.

Again, the main characters are fleshed out; however, they’re just not very interesting or likeable. For the most part, the narrator could have off’ed anyone in the novel and I wouldn’t have blinked an eye. For some of them, I would have danced a jig at the funeral.

And okay, it might just be me. I had just completed books like “Unbroken,” “Water for Elephants,” “A Separate Peace,” and so forth. This one just doesn’t compare in any way. Also, the “whodunit” motif wears a little thin with me. John Grisham crime solver phase is over with—got my fill years ago. This novel was just loaded with so much meaningless, dull information. I think the list of suspects was over 30 (!). The plot itself isn’t novel or riveting. When you discover the secret truth, it’s met more with “Ah, I see,” than “OH MY GOSH!”

I wanted to enjoy it. I really did. But after a long, arduous, month of reading it (it was hard to pick it, easy to put down after 10 minutes), I have to conclude that it’s just not that good.

I hear his subsequent works are better, but nah. Not for me. I’m not heading down this long, wordy road again.