It has been a long time since I have been able to enjoy a book on my own. No required in-depth character reviews. No quizzes every few chapters. No more lectures.
They have already drilled those things into me. I don't know whether to shake my fist at all of my English teachers or rejoice. I'm rejoicing. I'm kind of thankful because using their techniques allows me to enjoy a book for more than its surface. I'd find myself jotting down notes in the margins, illustrating certain facial expressions, and pretending to be some of the characters. I honestly just want to go back and thank all of my teachers.
On with it, then!
I'll start with my decision to read it. I overheard a couple of my friends discussing it. One of their parents had seen the movie adaptation, and it was controversial. So I chose to read it.
Stieg Larsson is a talented writer. If I like a certain piece of literature, I often go to the author's Wikipedia page to see their background. Many people do that before they read their books. In this case, it worked out. I am now aware of his influences and can tie in certain aspects of the book with his life. I like it.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo deals with many mature themes. Sexual abuse,,sex in general, political scandals, economic terms that I admittedly shoved out of the way. The main character, Lisbeth Salander, is flawed yet wonderful. She is not really what I would look up to, but she is admirable. She dealt with her circumstances, and I am not a great judge of whether the decisions she made are correct.
It takes a while to build up. In the beginning, I struggled to see how two different stories could possibly link up. Again, going back to the political and economic references, it was confusing. I think it would be an easier read if I knew what exactly was meant, but it is understandable. It is possible to enjoy the book without knowing all of the things going on, but it is not recommended. I plan on going back when I have the time to decipher things. It will not be the same... I hope that makes sense.
I will also add that this book is the first book that has taken me over a week to read. I usually fly through books. When the Twilight series was in full bloom, I completed the first book in five hours, for I mean to see the movie the next day. I did not want the movie to cloud my judgement of the book. Well. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo took me about a month to complete. During the last half, I stayed up several hours with a few breaks in between to loosen my muscles. Yes, when it builds up, it gets you.
In my opinion, the characters are very well-developed. I'm still searching for the background on Lisbeth, but I suspect that is covered in the following books in the series. I'm glad that Larsson has a strong hold on my interest.
Alright, now the mature themes are something else. I would be calm on one page and my jaw would drop on the next, in some cases. You could have predicted some of the things would happen, but still. I guess that is part of the magic of thriller novels. I just can't describe it without giving it away.
I feel as though this review is incomplete. I would love to talk to someone who has already read it to know what they thought.
Yes, I do recommend it. I do so with a warning of the adult themes in it and a suggestion that you should expect to be shocked, somewhat confused without a basic knowledge of the business world, and an understanding that you will need a lengthy explanation for any wary parents. I am aware that many of your parents have already read this. My father has not, and he does not approve of manga. Basically, he is strict. Sorry, straying from the point.
Ahhhm. Hm. Alright then.