What I'm Reading: Girl with the Dragon Tattoo


I'm pretty sure that I'm the last person on Earth to finally read The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo series, but better late than never, right? Right?

I, like everyone else who read them several years ago, was hooked almost instantly. The story revolves around the lives of Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomqvist, a hacker and a journalist, respectively. They both become entrenched in a murder mystery that brings them together to solve a complex string of crimes.

As the books progress, Lisbeth takes the more central role in trilogy. Her story is rife with injustices against her and men who have sought to make her life miserable. She escapes one harrowing problem, only to find herself entrenched in a deeper battle for her independence and freedom.

The book originally was released in Sweden under the title "Men Who Hate Women" which I think is the strong central theme of the books. Steig Larsson uses these fictitious characters to explore and critique Sweden's handling of violence against women and of racism, sexism, and perversions that go unchallenged and ignored by both the police and government. I was a little surprised that the books dealt so heavily with this just because when they came out they seemed to be a popular "beach read" type book phenomenon, and no one who recommended them to me ever described them as having a heavy feminist message. These books came to me at a time in my life when I've been grappling with these issues, so reading them became so much more poignant. 

As for the movies...I watched the Swedish versions (I love me some subtitles!), and while they weren't bad, the depth of the books just didn't quite translate to me. Everything felt too crammed together, too rushed. All the nuance and inner thoughts of the characters was lost, I think to the detriment of the story as a whole. I probably will not watch the American versions - not that I was planning to, I haven't heard anything positive about them!

Have you read these books? What did you think? I would love to discuss the themes with someone!

Have a lovely day!

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