Tattoo Addiction

I thought I had enough of suspense thriller but I was wrong.

After having book and clothing shopping abstinence for two months, I decided to pay a visit in National Book Store. I had a book in mind but I made a split-second decision by picking The Girl with the  Dragon Tattoo. The book cover spoke to me it was a “sexy thriller. ” And without having second thoughts, I took my cash out and consoled myself it was cheaper than the protein shake I had in Manila Peninsula.

At first, I did not plan to read the book because I was intimidated by its length. Plus, it had too many names, and some said it was just “fairly good”. I was expecting to finish reading the book within a month but lo, and behold, I finished the book within nine days. It was definitely a page-turner that I could not put the book down. I was rapidly flipping the pages as if I were a bank robber in a hurry to steal and escape.

Just a short preview: The story revolves around the two characters. Mikael Blomkvist, is a financial journalist who is facing libel charges. Lisbeth Salander is a highly skillful researcher who is considered mentally incompetent. They are tasked to solve a murder case dated forty years ago. The event of discovering the truth behind the murder leads them to discover more secrets.

Reading The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is like reading a tabloid. It tackles on violence, murder, rape, incest, corruption, corporate crime, ethics, and some moral issues. I bought the idea “it was a sexy thriller”. I find out that there is no sexiness in it but it has a lot of disturbing scenes. If you are reading the book, you will be glad that you are seeing these scenes only though your imagination. If you are watching the movie, you will be glad that it is only happening on screen. If you are asking for romance, categorically speaking, there is none. But within my paradigm, there is. It is something you wish to happen even after you read the book.

 The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo stands out among other crime stories probably because of the plot’s complexity. It’s like there are two stories to follow, two crimes to understand. Its plot is cleverly done and satisfying as well.

In terms of writing style, I like how Steig Larsson for that. (Though you have to note that it was originally written in Swedish then was translated by Reg Keeland in English) You can tell Steig Larsson is a journalist by the way he wrote the novel. The sentence structures are simple. The descriptions are not very intricate but vivid enough to haunt you. The language is very accessible that a fifth grader can read the novel, given that the kid can grasp adult concepts. I like the way he chops the scenes in the book. Each section leaves you a conclusion which you later find out it is just a mere suspicion.

I read a review in Good Reads that the lead characters are not “likable.” Indeed, they are not likable but they have traits that you will want to have. Michael Blookmvist is very detail-oriented, very systematic. Salander is mentally incapacitated but her memory and analytical skills are above the average. Well, we always like intelligent characters.

What I also like about the book is that it deals with ethical and moral dilemmas. For instance, will you do what is proper with the risk of doing greater harm to a person who is in good faith? When I was reading the book, I was reminded by the Impeachment trial of Chief Justice Corona though it was entirely a different thing. I remember that one of prosecution lawyers said something like this “ if an evidence is obtained illegally, it doesn’t mean it cannot be used and that it is invalid. Thus, can it be said that the end justifies the means?  Blomkvist is a man of principle but as what one of the characters said, “You had to choose between your  role as a journalist and your role as a human being.”

While I took a pause from reading, I found a scratch in my elbow. I got it from Sweden while I was tracking a criminal with Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist. After I read, I browsed the pages of Financial Times. I realized I took my free subscription for granted. I watched the movie. Now, I’m excited to read The Girl who Played with Fire.

Too bad the author died before his novels became phenomenal.

P.S. If by any chance, read the book before watching the movie. The movie is faithful to the book but the reading experience is much better.

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13 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. PM
    Apr 25, 2012 @ 01:36:58

    i’ve seen blog friends enjoy this book too. too bad i cannot read it!

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  2. cestlavie22
    Apr 14, 2012 @ 00:32:08

    I actually started reading this book- got distracted and started reading something else and really havent gone back to it. I think you have inspired me to pick it back up 🙂

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  3. Write, Wrong, and InBetween Reviews
    Apr 12, 2012 @ 23:14:12

    Lisbeth, for me, was not an ‘unlikeable’ character. She merely possesses unfamiliar/uncommon traits. Tho these are explainable (I think…a I haven’t read book 2). Due to physical/mental/pyschological trauma as a young child has thus resulted in a girl with her walls and guards up so high, for fear of any thread of vulnerabiltiy to seep through. In essence, I see her pesonality was created almost as if out of necessity for survival. Like you, I’m eager to start the second book. Without her in it, I’m not sure I’d be interested in seeing the additional books in the series.

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  4. lapiskamay
    Apr 11, 2012 @ 13:02:04

    Larsson: The Man Who Left Too Early.
    way to go Jackie, kala ko di mo type basahin ang book. hehe I’m happy you love the book..even got addicted.
    Yes I agree the characters are not likeable but they are complex and fascinating to follow.
    the title itself is the one unfaithful thing in the book. Froken Salander was only a supporting character that compliments Blomqvist (sa bagay first book pa naman). hehe.

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    • Jacklyn Belo
      Apr 12, 2012 @ 00:19:10

      nakakadiscourage kasi when people say it’s too long parang nakakatamad basahin hehe…..well, it’s just like reading Sydney Sheldon’s book… it’s just longer and more complicated… and most of all, it has depth….. i read somewhere that the original title of the book is The Men who hate women then they changed it. i think I like the title The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.. It’s not a giveaway 🙂

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  5. Jacklyn Belo
    Apr 11, 2012 @ 04:09:43

    i felt the same way… i did not want to stop reading the book. It makes me sad thinking that we have nothing more to expect from Larsson other than his three books 😦

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  6. zezil
    Apr 10, 2012 @ 16:10:44

    best investigative-thriller book ever! I havent read the 3rd book though. I was virtually “untouchable” when I was reading the book! I was just immersed in my own world. one blogger told me there are supposed to be ten of those, of which, 3 completed and 2 , just drafts. too bad he died early.= /

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