Book Review: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

From publisher site:

and from Youtube:

Yes, I know you're wondering wow, can't believe Annette read this book. My sister talked me into it. She's read the trilogy, plus watched the three movies made in Sweden with English subtitles, plus watched the American made movie with Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara.

Yes, it is a tough book. Not tough as far as the ability to read and understand. But tough characters with even tougher themes.

I've read other reviews on this book. The 2 main problems some reader's have about the book, followed by my opinion :
1. The first 1/2 of book is boring.
I would not state the first 1/2 of book is boring (my definition of boring is uninteresting,) but I would say it did get redundant with descriptive monologue and details of the characters. I understood why. The author was laying the ground work so to speak for the Vander family, as well as all the characters, especially Mikael and Lisbeth. This information would be needed so the reader would understand the last 1/2 of book, as well as the other books in the trilogy. The last 1/2 of the book moves at a fast speed, no time to reiterate with detailed information because of what had been brought forth in the first 1/2.
2. The sadistic/abusive/revengeful----parts of the book.
This bothered me as well. Probably because I'm pretty sheltered in my lack of exposure to more of this in books and television and movies. I like it that way. When I got to the scenes in the book that I did not like, I skimmed quickly past that. I moved right along to the next part.

Now, what I liked about the book. 
1.The character Lisbeth Salander is a phenomenally striking character. She is definitely not the norm for book characters. She is above and beyond being different. She is part goth/part biker. She is described in the book to be: age 24, anorexic, pale, several piercings and tattoos, raven black short hair, and fine limbed. Her personality is described as aloof, anti-social, half-witted, crazy in the head. She is the ultimate figure of a anti-heroine. The polar opposite of what would be considered to be a heroine. And this is exactly why I like her, and probably why she is such a sensation to other readers. This book has sold mega millions of copies in at least 41 countries.
From the beginning of my introduction to her in the book I saw beyond all that "stuff" she displays on her body, and instead saw a troubled soul. Since I've not read book 2 in the trilogy all her background that she is seemingly hiding has not completely come out yet. But, I suspect she has suffered much.
2. The character Mikael. He is a brilliant journalist, I would even go as far to say he is a brilliant investigative journalist. He is described as being age 42, divorced, has 1 teenage daughter. He has a best-friend.........with benefits named Erika Berger. It seems to work for them, this relationship that they are not even sure what else to call it but that they are best-friends. Both of them co-own, her the principle interest in a magazine named, Millennium. Early in the book Mikael is asked to solve the mystery of the disappearance of Harriet Vander. She disappeared in 1966. Her uncle Henrik Vander, wants to hire Mikael to find out what happened to her. During the course of his work on the disappearance of Harriet Vander, Lisbeth joins him. Mikael as brilliant as he is in his job. He is lacking in relationship skills. He at times in the book seems to be clueless as far as women are concerned. It's as if he is just, "along for the ride." Or as if he does not have the ability to say no, not today.
3. There is more than 1 story. The missing Vander girl is 1 story, but others are either hidden to an opportune moment in the book, or still waiting to come out from behind a shadow even as the book ends.
4. The setting is in Sweden. I know very little about Sweden. Now I feel a little more acclimated to this northern European country. 
Over-all I liked this book enough to read the other 2 books. But, have not decided if I'll watch the movies, we'll see.

Published by Vintage Crime/Black Lizard 2009
600 pages

The official website for Stieg Larsson:
Paperback $10.85
Kindle $9.99