Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

by Stieg Larsson

Read in 5 days. Probably 15-20 hours straight reading.

Its storytelling is almost as good as the Godfather. For those who haven’t read the Godfather, let me elaborate later.
The story in its core is mainly an investigating story, a thriller, as described on its blurb. I haven’t read a lot of thriller and certainly not a fan of one and if it wasn’t for the fact book-turned-into-movie, I doubt I’ll read this book. Anyway I’ve read it and I have a high opinion of it.

The language of the book is concise and has a quite large vocabulary, which seems like a surprise to me because translated book normally have long sentences and a bit boring. The book was translated from Swedish and although the book retains some foreign word, it never disturbs the reading nor does the translation feel unfinished. Kudos to the translator, Reg Keeland.

Although the book is not explicit but it does have adult scenes and without giving out the story, let me say the book deals with crime so you should expect some violence. This is not a warning, only a reminder to the faint-hearted. Altogether combined with the slightly challenging language of the book, I would probably not recommend this to young teens, though the story and knowledge that could be gain would be very useful.

Anyway the story involves three totally different main characters, Bloomkvist, Vanger  and Salander. Vanger is a millionaire obsessed with the lost of her grand-niece and decided to hire Bloomkvist to look into the 30 years old mystery. Through various circumstances, Salander were pulled to help Bloomkvist solve the mystery, which like all thrillers/mysteries, unravels in the end. However unlike normal crime/mystery books, the story is told with a slight different where they are told with less drama and seems more plausible, almost how it would happen in real life. What I like about it is the realism. I do however find the story could have ‘spiced’ up some parts where the characters discovers something but that would then be less realistic. I guess it depends on how you want to look at it.
The story is told in 3rd person view yet the characters are deep that I could sometimes think their dialogue before even reading them. That may be an exaggeration but the characters do develop. What I said earlier about similarities with the Godfather is the way the characters are introduced.
I give you a made up example;
 Ahmad looks at the  clock near his bed. He pulls the chair he is sitting on towards the desk, puts the newly brewed cup of tea on the armchair and swivels himself towards the screen. He pushed the power button on the monitor and the machine began to whir into life. The monitor blinks before he pushes the buttons on the keyboard, when the login screen disappears as he can finally read his email.
The above is an example I wrote up, where the character just wanted to read his e-mail but the descriptions that leads to it are so elaborate that they make the character sounds real that it entrenches into the story. This is the quality that I'm referring to in this book and the Godfather. Of course my example is merely an example and nothing to be compared to them. Personally I think the Godfather is better in this aspect than this book but I have to read the other two books of the Millenium first to really judge it.

Yes, this book is a trilogy, which is a positive I think. If you like the first one, you’ll probably like the rest of the series. No hassles for you to find new interesting writers. On the other case that you don’t like them, you’ll have two more books out of the gazillion in the world to be crossed out of your reading list, just like what I did with the twilight series. Thus I encourage you to read this book, better before the films comes out.
“Why read when you can watch the film?” someone would ask.
Why do you go and eat at mamak, when you can tapau and eat in the car?

Haha, nonsenses aside, this is a good read.

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