Book Review: 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo'
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
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Steig Larson's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, like J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series, never intrigued me enough to commit to reading the story. Fortunately, I never had to actually read the Harry Potter books because my nephew Alex was always willing and able to be my dynamic, interactive Cliff Notes while I watched the movies.
He could not help me out with Larson's adult novel, so I was on my own until Audible.com came to babysit me with some very fine storytelling thanks to Simon Vance. Sixteen hours, 20 minutes, and 50 seconds later, I can say with satisfaction that I have experienced this story.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo--Lisbeth Salander--is my hero because she mashes her heel into the feet of mean and miserable giants in their handmade leather shoes and custom tailored suits and brings them to their knees, exposing them for what they are and quite severely—however justly--punishing them for it. I felt exhilarated when Swedish Goth Girl prevailed.
Salander is a hacker who works for and with Mikael Blomkvist, a financial journalist recently burned professionally after publishing an expose of a corrupt industrial don, who is trying to solve the mystery of a young girl's disappearance almost 40 years before this story opens. Together, Blomkvist and Salander’s passion for the truth and their basic human decency combine with their investigative skills to take them down some pretty dark roads and into the corrupt heart of a depraved man who enjoys hurting women because, as he says, it's easy.
Martin Venger captures, torments, and destroys women because he can and because he gets off on the feeling of godlike power over another human being. Even being caught thrills him. He enjoys having his talent recognized.
The passion for cruelty that drives Martin Venger is as unspeakable as it is ordinary. There are Martin Vengers the world over who toy with others’ desire to be accepted and loved, who derive a strange pleasure from inflicting pain in others. Those people who understand our basic human needs but turn them against us for their own amusement and aggrandizement are both despicable and ordinary. It's a dreadful fact.
There are also many Blomkvists and Salanders who hate cruelty, fight back, win, and carry on. We call it living. These are the characters who kept me listening. How will it end?
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