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Finally! “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”

Saturday was gloriously free of obligations, so I spent much of the day finishing up “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” by Stieg Larsson. I’d begun to think that I was the only reader in America who hadn’t read it yet. (I’d felt the same way about “The Help” by Kathryn Stockett, which I also recently completed.)

Set in Sweden, it’s a suspenseful telling of a business reporter tracking down the secrets of a prominent industrial family, helped out by an unusual young woman who is remarkably adept at finding information. What they discover together includes some harrowing bits.

I enjoyed feeling myself in the hands of a master plotter. I tried to pay close attention to those characters who were just barely introduced, thinking that surely they will return later with a bigger role to play. Certain relationships seemed entirely predictable, others surprising.

I wish that I could say it was better written, perhaps some of the clumsiness was due to the translation.  I tend to believe that “it’s better to show than to say” in a novel. It seemed to me that often Larsson just got inside someone’s head and flat-out said what he or she was thinking instead of going to the work of showing us through that person’s actions and words.

Even so, like many others, I found myself compelled, reading for hours, looking forward to seeing the loose ends nicely tied–or horrifically tied, as the case may be. I appreciate its look at one of the world’s compelling questions–how do people overcome the remarkable evil done to them?

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