Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Book Review: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

If any of you remember, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo was THE popular book a few years ago. It really was everywhere for a short time there. I don't think it left the NY Times Bestseller list for weeks. And there's probably a good reason for this. Well, I worked in a book store at the height of it's popularity and I avoided it like the plague. I mean, all these housewife-y moms with their brat children running around would ask for the book and overly make-upped grandmothers would also come in looking for it and NO ONE would be able to find it, despite being displayed prominently on the Bestsellers wall right at the front of the store. It was practically the first thing you would see when you walked in, that is, if you paid attention to what you were doing and where you were going, rather than lumbering into the store and heading straight for the first person wearing a name tag. That brings back memories. And is precisely the reason I never read the book until now.

A books core audience tends to influence my opinion and willingness to read the book itself. I know, that's probably the wrong way to look at something that has great potential that I personally know nothing about. But we all do it. With clothes, with music, with stores in the mall. If you do not like the people that shop there, you will not shop there. And I did NOT like the people coming in to find this book.

But, almost three years later, I found a copy of the book at a used book store for a dollar. And I'm not one to leave a dollar book behind, no matter how much I disliked it's buyers from my book store days.

So I gave it a chance.

It starts out slow. The characters feel a little flat and misguided. But I can see how bored housewives would find this book compelling. The story is full of twists and turns and reminds me just a little bit of The Westing Game. It takes about a hundred pages to really get its story-teeth into you and by that point, it's more of an effort to put the book down than to keep reading.

I did not dislike the book, but I would never rank it as one of my favorites. I doubt it would even make my top ten list. But the story was compelling. And forgiving all the gratuitous sex (there isn't much, just enough to feel unnecessary) I will probably read the sequels. As soon as I find them for a dollar.

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