Now that I’ve Read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

These past two weeks I’ve been completely invested in catching up on the book series that everyone is talking about – Stieg Larsson’s The Millennium Trilogy. I have now read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and The Girl who Played with Fire. And I feel as though I am missing something. Aren’t these books were supposed to be good?

Countless people told me that the books were fantastic and the way that they have been endlessly praised made me more than eager to read them. While I did enjoy the premise and was completely sucked into the books, I repeatedly found myself wanting to throw the books against a wall. I was frustrated by the overall misogynist plot elements and the base characters. The plot teetered between boring and predictable to irritating and predictable.

I can not see how Mikael Blomkvist, the book’s journalist protagonist, had any redeemable qualities and is a lothario.  And is Lisbeth Salander really the book’s most redeeming character? I find that troubling. Even more so, the relationship that develops between Blomkvist and Salander was cringe-worthy.

So break it down for me. Am I completely off base with these books? What am I missing?

And for the record, I didn’t hate the movie. In fact, I don’t know how David Fincher can top it.

10 thoughts on “Now that I’ve Read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”

  1. I haven’t read the books, but I saw the movies and really liked them. I like the character Lisa Salamander a lot. I think she is just supposed to be an alternative kind of character, not your typical protoganist, which I can appreciate and though she is somewhat predictable, I still find her interesting. I do however agree, Blomquist is kind of blah but I guess they wanted some element of romance in there. I also hate that they are remaking them but I guess that’s Hollywood for you. I dunno, I guess the appeal is partially the action / mystery and then also partially the hype. I mean look at the hype around Twilight in relation to the quality of the books.

  2. sady doyle talks about her problems with this series here. And she identified something I hadn’t really been able to put my finger on in the girl with the dragon tattoo, why I hadn’t wanted to push on to the other two: there is so much horrific, sexual violence against women in this book that it turns the corner from “isn’t this horrible” to “looky looky” territory. Does that make sense? Like, Larsson is obviously very concerned about violence against women. But it happens so often, and to so very many women (the horrific rape by the awful social psychiatrist, the entire Vanger storyline) that I just kept thinking “methinks he doth protest too much.”

    1. That is something to take into consideration. Definitely. I find how everyone became fixated on these books completely fascinating. What you’re reading is all about horrific instances of violence towards women. Don’t people recognize that? I think because the men in the book responsible for the violence receive some sort of punishment, at the hands of the victim herself, makes it easier for readers to embrace what they are reading. As if, the moral code and justice had been served so what I am reading is okay in the long run.

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