The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo

When on holiday, I love nothing more than to bury my nose in a great book, and this week has been no exception. I've been hearing people sing Stieg Larssons praises from the rooftops for quite some time now, so when the girl with the dragon tattoo caught my eye from the bookshelf as I was packing my case, I thought it was about time I gave it a shot. It had found its way into my Christmas stocking a few years previously after 'Santa' had been unable to put the book down,  but I had just never got round to reading it. I tossed it into my suitcase without a second thought, and when I pulled it out to read by the pool one day, I could never of been prepared for what was in store for me.

There is only one way I can sum up this book. It is undoubtedly the best book I have read in a long, long time, if not ever, yet at times i absolutely hated reading it. There was even one moment when I felt so disturbed that I wanted to stop reading it all together and toss it into the pool. However, I couldn't escape the fact that I was still so desperate to know more, and I found myself once again turning the pages as if there was no tomorrow. I really struggled to put this book down, and in two days I had finished it. The author had lured me in, and even though the story made me feel sick to my stomach at times, there I was so desperate to find out the answers that i was unable to stop for lunch. 

If you have not read it then i wont spoil it, but I will give you a brief overview. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is a fast paced crime novel focusing on a 'locked room mystery,' written by the late Stieg Larsen. It is a dark tale with themes of Nazism, financial and moral corruptibility and what i found the most difficult to read, violence towards women. In a nutshell, the story is that of the Protagonist Blomkvists journalistic downfall which subsequently leads him to taking on the challenge of solving a mystery which had occurred 40 years previously. As the plot thickens, Salander, an antisocial punk haired, pierced, tattooed girl (yes the girl with the dragon tattoo) is brought in to assist Blomkvist in cracking the puzzle. However the truth is far worse than could ever have been imagined, and the tale seems to get darker and darker with each page turn.

The book is written in what I call a 'tangled' style. That is, a number of stories intertwined which all eventually weave together. A lot of my favorite books have been written in this way, and it leaves you desperate to discover the links! In this case, the novel follows the story of Salander and the story of Blomkvist. This is extremely clever, as though it was the murder mystery that Blomkvist was trying to crack that left me turning the pages at the speed of light, it was the tale of Salander that added that extra edge and fascination to the story. You cannot help being drawn in by this character, and i even found myself rooting for her and wanting her to succeed. Without this character, the book would quite frankly not be half as good! In other words, It would be like having a burger with no bun!

Following the success of the novel, a blockbuster film was made featuring none other than Daniel Craig. However, I don't think the film is ever something I want to see. At times the book painted such a graphic picture that it was impossible not to see the scenes clearly in your head. To me, seeing these scenes personified right in front of your face on the big screen would all be a bit too much, and besides, I have always thought that when a book becomes a film, something is taken away from you. All that you have imagined is changed, and you are left with another image which after all is just somebody else's depiction. A book lets everybody see a story in a different way, and to me that is the magic of reading. There really is no limits to your imagination, and this book certainly captured mine. 

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