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Discussion of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Members of the forum choose and read a new book every month together, and then discuss it. Each book of the month get's it's own whole subforum in this forum. Click here to nominate books for book of the month.

The Girl with the Dragon Tatttoo

Post Number:#16  Postby Career Novelist » 22 Sep 2010, 20:00

Lisbeth Salander really was the standout character in this book. As a writer, I hold fast to the notion that character is plot, and in the case of Larsson's first novel, the book was strong in characterization and plot. The thing that makes Salander such an intriguing character is the various layers Larsson gives her. She is "mentally unbalanced," "unfit for society," under the care of the State and smart as hell. She has a foul mouth, believes in getting even and does not hesitate when it's time to give worse than she got. Too often writers of commercial fiction play it safe to gratify the PG-13 audience and this leaves guys like me aching for the gritty side of people, and an author who makes no apologies for pulling no punches. Although the book could lose about 25 - 50 pages of description and fluff, I really enjoyed the read and would recommend it to others.
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Post Number:#17  Postby PaGuy » 27 Sep 2010, 18:50

Although I would not add this book to my list of favorites, it was good enough to peak my interest and I plan on reading the other 2 books that are part of the trilogy. I found the first half of the book to be slow moving but the 2nd half was a page turner. Some of the events were a bit contrived and hard to swallow. For example, there is a brief mention early on that Mikael has a daughter. She eventually shows up half way through the book to visit her father, provides a solution to an unresolved perplexing clue, and then disappears - never to be mentioned in the book again!

Lisbeth Salander is by far my favorite character. She is complex, very competent and conflicted in her emotions. I do look forward to seeing how her character continues to develop in the remaining stories of the trilogy.
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Post Number:#18  Postby Fran » 28 Sep 2010, 05:56

I would go along with you in most of your assessment PaGuy but I disagree that Lisabeth is conflicted .... IMO she is extremly clear sighted, unencumbered by emotion or sentimentality & there is a logic behind all her actions.
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Post Number:#19  Postby catamoto » 28 Sep 2010, 13:52

I wouldn't have read the book if it hadn't been chosen for October, but I'm not sorry that I did. It was interesting (when it wasn't about the Millenium magazine), I used every spare moment to read it, and I kind of liked Lisbeth. I can't say I had any favorite characters (like someone else here, I agree the best one was Lisbeth's first guardian, the kind one), but I found myself wanting to know more about Lisbeth. I thought the author only hinted and what she could be, and only sketched her in this book, enough to get the reader curious enough to read the other volumes in the trilogy. If I ever read the other two books, it would be to find out more about why Lisbeth was the why she was.
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Post Number:#20  Postby Fran » 28 Sep 2010, 14:37

catamoto wrote:I wouldn't have read the book if it hadn't been chosen for October, but I'm not sorry that I did. It was interesting (when it wasn't about the Millenium magazine), I used every spare moment to read it, and I kind of liked Lisbeth. I can't say I had any favorite characters (like someone else here, I agree the best one was Lisbeth's first guardian, the kind one), but I found myself wanting to know more about Lisbeth. I thought the author only hinted and what she could be, and only sketched her in this book, enough to get the reader curious enough to read the other volumes in the trilogy. If I ever read the other two books, it would be to find out more about why Lisbeth was the why she was.


Exactly catamoto ... I too needed to find out why she was the person she was and why she reacted as she did. IMO when you read the other 2 books, especially the 3rd one, you get an understanding of Lisbeth and see her behavior as perfectly logical and if anything extremely moralistic.

Along with many others I too regret that we won't read any more of Lisbeth.
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Post Number:#21  Postby StephenKingman » 28 Sep 2010, 14:49

Fran wrote:I would go along with you in most of your assessment PaGuy but I disagree that Lisabeth is conflicted .... IMO she is extremly clear sighted, unencumbered by emotion or sentimentality & there is a logic behind all her actions.


Now i would disagree with you there. In my opinion, Lisbeth, although certainly cold, logical and capable when it comes to work and solving complex mysteries, is visibly encumbered by emotion and distress when it comes to love and attraction; witness her clumsy and inexperienced manner when she is falling for Blomkvist, both in the book and movie. She is torn between closing herself off from everyone around her as a result of her traumatic childhood and accepting her normal feelings of attraction, lust and even love that everyone experiences.

This juxtaposition in Salander between her logical brain and her unexplored and (for her) scary heart formed one the most intriguing and gripping plot tangents of the three books.
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Post Number:#22  Postby catamoto » 29 Sep 2010, 08:24

Fran wrote:Exactly catamoto ... I too needed to find out why she was the person she was and why she reacted as she did. IMO when you read the other 2 books, especially the 3rd one, you get an understanding of Lisbeth and see her behavior as perfectly logical and if anything extremely moralistic.

Along with many others I too regret that we won't read any more of Lisbeth.


Fran, you just convinced me to read the next two books.
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Post Number:#23  Postby Fran » 29 Sep 2010, 10:11

catamoto wrote:
Fran wrote:Exactly catamoto ... I too needed to find out why she was the person she was and why she reacted as she did. IMO when you read the other 2 books, especially the 3rd one, you get an understanding of Lisbeth and see her behavior as perfectly logical and if anything extremely moralistic.

Along with many others I too regret that we won't read any more of Lisbeth.


Fran, you just convinced me to read the next two books.


Super catamoto ... looking forward to reading your posts
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Post Number:#24  Postby Snoots » 27 Oct 2010, 15:56

Having read all three of the trilogy, my opinion is biased because the second and third are even better than the first. I agree that 'Tattoo' gets off to a slow start and that the author occasionally sank wheels into muddy tangentential side roads. Larsson also seemed hyper sensitive about women's issues to the point that they seemed to be a preoccupation bordering on strange. But Larsson powered a plot around a circle of interesting characters around Lisbeth Salander who is masterfully developed into a flawed, lovable adult version of Harry Potter possessing almost magical powers. Tattoo is a wonderful read that sparkles in every way. The best news is that after 'Tattoo, author Larsson flies Lisbeth through two even more suspenseful sagas.
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Post Number:#25  Postby StephenKingman » 28 Oct 2010, 03:24

Snoots wrote:Having read all three of the trilogy, my opinion is biased because the second and third are even better than the first. I agree that 'Tattoo' gets off to a slow start and that the author occasionally sank wheels into muddy tangentential side roads. Larsson also seemed hyper sensitive about women's issues to the point that they seemed to be a preoccupation bordering on strange. But Larsson powered a plot around a circle of interesting characters around Lisbeth Salander who is masterfully developed into a flawed, lovable adult version of Harry Potter possessing almost magical powers. Tattoo is a wonderful read that sparkles in every way. The best news is that after 'Tattoo, author Larsson flies Lisbeth through two even more suspenseful sagas.


Nice post, i agree with you about the trilogy, he starts slowly (enough to sadly put off a lot of readers) but then shifts gears to deliver another 2 excellent and thrilling books. His references to women and abuse are quite numerous, i can only assume that during his tenure as a journalist in Sweeden, he came across many cases of domestic violence and prostitution etc that affected him enough to tie in some factual references around his fictional characters. His main theme in the books seems to be female empowerment and rising up against the male-oppressed society; certainly Salander can represent the ultimate feminist, whilst remaining an appealing character. :D
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The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo

Post Number:#26  Postby nursemom77 » 28 Oct 2010, 07:32

I just finished The Girl With the Dragon Tatoo, and I was impressed with the book. I agree with some of the other posts, in that the book was slow to start. I was thinking of returning the book to the library, unfinished, however when I past the first 120 or so pages, I really got into the story. I guess one of the things that made it difficult for me to relate to, was the fact that it was obviously not first written in English, and I am unfamiliar with the foreign setting of this book. That said, I found myself very intrigued by this "locked room mystery" once I gave it a chance, and found it to be a very satisfying read. I do plan to read the other books in this series.
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Post Number:#27  Postby Donk1005 » 29 Oct 2010, 13:23

I too wouldn't have read this book if it hadn't been the book of the month but was very glad that I did. In fact, I liked the book so much that I read the next 2 books in the series. Personally I liked 'The Girl Who Played with Fire' and 'The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest' even better than the first book. The '...Hornet's Nest' is the best yet in the series, in my opinion. We finally find out more about Lisbeth's past and many of her reasons for the way she is. I wish there was going to be a fourth book in the series, sadly that is not possible.
Can't wait to find out what the November book is going to be........
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'The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

Post Number:#28  Postby Mynxe L. Silles » 18 Nov 2010, 09:02

Admittedly, this book took time for me to get into, but was addictive reading once I got to a certain point in it. After that, I was hooked. The character of Lisbeth was so original and so inspiringly fresh and vulnerable, yet, tough as nails - so to speak- TGWtDT was impossible to put down. I completely enjoyed the whole series. It's a shame that Stieg Larrson died. His books captivated millions. I would have loved to see more of Lisbeth, too.

I wrote a more complete review of Larrson's books on my myspace blog, which hopefully, in the future I can share. I also did a review of another amazing author's books, a great friend of mine, (Moe Allen). :)

BTW ~ am a newbie here. I'm feeling my way around, but it seems like a wonderful forum for book-lovers. :)
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Re: 'The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

Post Number:#29  Postby Fran » 18 Nov 2010, 15:26

Mynxe L. Silles wrote:Admittedly, this book took time for me to get into, but was addictive reading once I got to a certain point in it. After that, I was hooked. The character of Lisbeth was so original and so inspiringly fresh and vulnerable, yet, tough as nails - so to speak- TGWtDT was impossible to put down. I completely enjoyed the whole series. It's a shame that Stieg Larrson died. His books captivated millions. I would have loved to see more of Lisbeth, too.

I wrote a more complete review of Larrson's books on my myspace blog, which hopefully, in the future I can share. I also did a review of another amazing author's books, a great friend of mine, (Moe Allen). :)

BTW ~ am a newbie here. I'm feeling my way around, but it seems like a wonderful forum for book-lovers. :)


Loved the books too .. have you heard of Johan Theorin? I've been told he writes on similar lines to Larsson ... he's on my list but I haven't read anything of his yet.
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TGWtDT ~

Post Number:#30  Postby Mynxe L. Silles » 19 Nov 2010, 14:58

Fran ~ I'll have to check out Theorin, then. Thank you. :)

Donk~ I, too, was more intrigued as the series went along. I agree the books just got better and better.

nursemom ~ Yes, me, too. :) It took me a little bit to get into TGWtDT for those same reasons, but once I did, was surely hooked. :) It's truly a shame to lose an author of Larrson's talent and potential reading material. I do believe Larrson ultimately said what he needed to say, though.
:)
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