Reading journal: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson, entry 1

I did say I was going to start journalling about Crime and Punishment, but as it happens I had to read this one first, because I was on a waiting list for it at the library and got it on “new book loan” which means I only have it for 2 weeks, so must finish it before then, whereas I can keep the other one for 2 months, and then get another copy if that isn’t enough. This is a long book, over 500 pages, so it lands itself well to journalling. I am reading the Icelandic translation.

So, here are some thoughts about the book so far:

The intro chapter is a very good hook which suggests that an intriguing mystery is about to unfold.

It’s good that of the two leading characters Carl Mikael Blomkvist is introduced first, because he is the more conventional and less interesting of the two. Even the attempt to make him slightly less conventional by having him be involved in a ménage à trois does not quite work. If he alone had been the leading character, I would have expected this to unfold like a pretty conventional murder mystery. As a matter of fact, where I am at in the book, it looks like it’s going to be a “locked room” type story, although in this case the “room” is actually an island that was pretty much closed off when the crime happened, apparently limiting the number of possible suspects.
I say ‘apparently’ because although no-one seems to have left the island while it was closed-off, someone could have left it by sea and come back, or someone could have arrived by sea, done the deed and left, taking the body with them.

To anyone who is a fan of Astrid Lindgren, the Kalle Blomkvist reference is going to be an obvious one. It will be interesting to see if it turns into anything more than a joke.

Lisbeth Salander, who, while she has not been much present so far, is clearly the book’s other protagonist. With her counter-culture appearance and apparently asocial personality, obvious extreme intelligence, history of problems and suggestion of vulnerability, I think she is likely to be the wildcard in the story, and am looking forward to reading about how she and Blomkvist meet and start working together. Although this has not happened yet, I know it will, because I have been unable to avoid reading about the book. Besides, it is stated in the blurb, so I know it’s going to happen. Just how, I’m not sure.

It already seems that the book is going to be teeming with suspects, but appearances can be deceiving, and I think a twist may be coming up. It certainly looks like Lisbeth is about to run into some serious problems with her creepy guardian, or whatever he is called.

One thing does annoy me about the book, and that is a technical problem. It seems as if it has not been proof-read by a human being. I have come across several errors that a spell-checking program would not catch but a good proof-reader would, such as correctly spelled but wrong words, and a couple of punctuation problems, including an annoying missing question mark.


Dorte H said…
Really interesting to see your thoughts while reading this!
I like your immediate reference to Kalle Blomkvist. Instead of reviewing the book, I wrote two posts about Mikael/Kalle Blomkvist and Salander/Longstocking, and enjoyed the discussion with British readers immensely. Most of them at least know of Pippi, but not many have read the Blomkvist trilogy.

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