Monday, September 07, 2009

this is not a recommendation

I just finished reading Stieg Larsson's acclaimed The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. I wish I could recommend it. Larsson's book, the first of a trilogy, is currently enjoying a ride on the New York Times' bestsellers list. I love me a NYT book, but this one really should have come with a warning.

The book starts well. It's a Swedish novel, and I haven't read a lot of Swedish fiction. I was stoked to try something new. (I'm quite sure I butchered the street names in my head.) Also it's a brick of a book -- a good few inches that promised to sit and stay for a while. The story centers around a few main characters -- a financial journalist, a gifted hacker and the missing daughter of the esteemed Vanger empire. It could have been a fantastic story, it should have been a great story. But about a third of the way through the book the story takes a deeply disturbing turn.

For me, I was already invested enough into the book that I read through to the end. Perhaps I can save you from the same fate. There is nothing on the back cover that suggests what is lurking inside this book. It is dark and violent and I disagree with the author that it was necessary. I think he could have told the story without it and I so wish that he had. There are two more books in the series which I will, sadly, have to leave on the shelf at Chapters. If you're looking a great book to take you into the cooler days of Fall, I recommend that you keep looking. Sadly, the good in this book is far outweighed by the ewww.