The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Or, if translated directly from the Swedish, “Men who Hate Women” – by Stieg Larsson.

This is an out of the ordinary mystery/suspense novel. It should, however, please readers who do not normally read that genre, as well as those who do. It is very well developed, the characters have a great depth and originality, and it is certainly not one-dimensional.

The mystery is set in a village in Sweden. While the main action takes place in 2K, the plot stretches back into the the 20th century, centering around Harriet Vanger’s disappearance in 1966. That’s about all of the plot I’m willing to give away … suffice it to say that there is no shortage of surprises, intrigue, and probing into the human psyche. Do not, however, expect a thrill ride from the very beginning. The story is allowed to simmer slowly, making the ending all the more delicious!

I did have issues with the translation at times. I found the English awkward far too frequently for a truly great translation. As a native Scandinavian speaker, it was easy for me to see where the translation had been much too literal and word for word – often taking the easy way out instead of searching for a better English phrasing. And it really annoys me when titles are changed to the degree that they are in this one. The original Swedish title is a direct quote from the novel … and the English language title shifts the emphasis of the novel completely.

That being said, I loved it, and towards the end I definitely couldn’t put it down. I’m looking forward to reading the second in the series.

Comments (5)

  1. Lisa

    I’ve been seeing this book pop up on several blogs and have been curious about it. Your review was great – didn’t give too much away, but gave me a great deal of insight. I’m reading ‘Out Stealing Horses’ by a Norweigan author and I’m having trouble with the translation too. I’m almost done with the book, but it’s definitely a slow read. I’m anxious to move on from it. (is that terrible?) 🙂

  2. Marg

    I am planning to read this soon. It is always a question that I have when reading a translation. How different would the book have been had I read it in the native language?

  3. slife (Post author)

    It can really make a huge difference. I am bilingual, and the languages (Norwegian and English) are so different and have such a different feel, that i actually feel like quite a different person in each language.

  4. Ladytink_534

    I saw this at the bookstore tonight. They didn’t seem to have too many copies left!

  5. Pingback: What’s on Your Nightstand? | Strumpetslife

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