The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium Trilogy)

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - Stieg Larsson One word of warning before I begin my review: this book is not for the faint of heart and should be taken as a mature content read. There are graphic depictions of rape, torture and violence in this book, so be forewarned. That said, on my own personal preferences, there were some scenes that bothered me in this book, but I was able to take the narrative for what it had to offer collectively.That said, I did have mixed feelings about "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo." On one hand, it's a brilliant murder mystery novel with protagonists that are both flawed and easy to follow throughout the story. Sure, a primary complaint I have about the novel is that the narrative can be a bit chunky and clumsy in reading (it may be a matter of the translation, or just that it doesn't quite hit the stride until a good measure into the book). I think the first chapter is the first hurdle the reader has to go through - if you are not into finances (particularly of the Swedish term), it will probably take a while for you to get through it, but later it's necessary information because of the job that Mikel Blomkvich undertakes. I should also note that it took me a while to get through this book - I usually read books within a matter of days. This book took me a few weeks to read. Once I hit the point where Blomkvich and Lisbeth Salander met for the first time and started delving into the mystery, I was sold. I wish it came a little sooner in the book, though I appreciated how well the author dug into the pasts of the characters and explored what made them the way they were. Lisbeth's past might be slightly indulgent at times, but I realize that she's a flawed character. I didn't particularly love her character, but I did grow to know her and like how intuitive she was in spurts. Her construction borders on common cliches at times, but is supplemented with her backstory to keep it from being completely in that vein.I think the title is slightly misleading because the book really doesn't focus on Lisbeth Salander (The girl of the title's namesake) so much that she is the focus of the book. It's more or less Blomkvist who carries the book through his investigation and uncoverings, but Lisbeth plays a very vital role in the scheme of events. I understood more of why the book was called, in the Swedish translation "Men Who Hate Women" - because there were a lot of references and depictions of violence against women, some of which did make me uncomfortable. I don't know if the book necessarily glorified it, but it really didn't show consequence that much, and that in and of itself made me wonder why the author didn't explore that, because it would've made it far more realistic. Lisbeth is often described as a bit of a freak, but I think she still had emotions that could've been handled better and fleshed out. Blomkvist, I have to admit, also had his share of flaws, but while some were fleshed, others just weren't (including some of his sexual relationships and how they came about). Overall, I realized that my impressions of the story were more positive than negative because of how the story carried along in the latter half of the book, but it didn't really make up for how sluggish it began. I do take it for what it has to offer and feel it was one of the better books I've read this year in the murder mystery category, though with caveats. Overall score: 3.5/5N.B. I saw the movie and while they changed quite a bit of the story progressive aspects to make it sync to film, I thought it was a decent adaptation.