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Män som hatar kvinnor Alternate Cover Edition ISBN 0307269752 ISBN13 9780307269751 An international publishing sensation, Stieg Larsson s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo combines murder mystery, family saga, love story, and financial intrigue into one satisfyingly complex and entertainingly atmospheric novel.Harriet Vanger, a scion of one of Sweden s wealthiest families disappeared over forty years ago All these years later, her aged uncle continues to seek the truth He hires Mikael Blomkvist, a crusading journalist recently trapped by a libel conviction, to investigate He is aided by the pierced and tattooed punk prodigy Lisbeth Salander Together they tap into a vein of unfathomable iniquity and astonishing corruption. I HATED this book I don t understand all of the good reviews that are coming in on it I hated the characters, the plot was thin ugh I can t believe I read the whole thing. Swedish people are nuts I realize that s a bit of a broad generalization and it sounds a bit rude, but I don t care Because often than not, I m nuts too.I was born and raised in Minnesota, and if you know our state history, you re already aware that we were predominantly settled and populated by Swedish and Norwegian immigrants So not only are many Minnesota residents of Scandinavian descent, myself included, a lot of our quirky mannerisms and even our accents are commonly attributed to this influence I attended a Swedish Lutheran college which attracted a lot of Swedish exchange students And one of my oldest and dearest friends is an American by birth but was raised in Sweden and didn t return to live full time in the U.S until she was 18 She s always found Minnesotans to be a very interesting form of science experiment what happens when you mix Swedish and American culture anyway Taking what I know firsthand of Minnesota culture into consideration, I can only assume that Sweden, aka the motherland, is also a twisted place of dark, dry humor Some mainstream examples that support this claim would include Fargo, Drop Dead Gorgeous, A Prairie Home Companion and yes, even Mr Purple Rain himself, who even though he s genetically a bit exotic than a plain old Swede, definitely displays some of the oddball but typical Minnesota traits in his own special way The point being, the characters in this book felt oddly familiar to me, quirks and all I m actually a bit surprised I loved the book as much as I did because I normally criticize authors for trying to jam too much into one story and this book had a lot going on shady business dealings corporate fraud murder religious fanaticism extramarital affairs Nazis casual sex creepy pervs violence against women money laundering sexual sadism political proselytizing dysfunctional family secretsAnd that s just scraping the surface Because once Larsson got into it and started digging deeper into the plot and revealing details, my head started spinning and I had smoke coming out of my ears I wasn t expecting to be sucked in so quickly by the plot and am still reeling over the fact that this brick like book my copy has nearly 600 pages went as quickly as it did I just reserved the sequel from the library and am also excited at the prospects of a third I m also sad that Mr Larsson passed away What a talented author not many could tie so much crazy shit into one story and still have it make sense AND be entertaining Although I think whoever decided to change the title when they released this book in English is nuts too The original Swedish title, Men Who Hate Women, is much fitting. I ve heard and read many complaints about Stieg Larsson s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo 1 It s misogynistic 2 It s packed with clich.3 It s too convoluted 4 It s too disturbing.5 Lisbeth wasn t autistic enough or was foolishly autistic.6 There were too many red herrings, and the damn Nazi red herring didn t have the usual payoff.7 Too Two many plots 8 Too hard on Leviticus I will answer these in a moment, but first I must declare that I am an unrepentant fan of this book This is one of the rare times when I long for goodreads to have half grades, because I would love to give this 4.5 I can t give it a full 5, though, because I sense Mr Larsson s series is going to grow in his last two books And nowback to the top eight complaints 1 Perhaps, but how can a book whose original Swedish title is Men Who Hate Women avoid misogyny It can t But at least the misogyny present is a comment on misogyny Larsson isn t being misogynist He s attacking misogyny Moreover, our hero, Mikael Blomkvist, is not one of the men who hate women He is a pretty good guy, actually in fact, he s one of the rare guys I would actually categorize as a good guy in most modern literature Surehe s a bad Dad Surehe has a failed marriage and many sexual relationships Surehe makes some decisions that challenge his ethics But he remains a good guy He tries to do well in an ugly world He never succumbs to cynicism And he genuinely cares about all the people in his life Male and female And it s not like Berger and Salander are weak women far from it There may be misogyny in Men Who Hate Women, but it is wholly the characters misogyny those who have it and not the author s.2 With apologies to my friend who s first name starts with T Clich , smich Yes there s some clich maybe plenty of clich but who cares Seriously We re not talking about Proust here We re talking about a mystery novel, a serial killer who dunnit Complaining about clich in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is like complaining about pinko sympathies in The Communist Manifesto.There s communism in Marx Really You think 3 7 Yep There s a couple of distinct plots here, but there s a level of verisimilitude to that Have even our banal lives ever had anything important happen without something else important occurring at the same time Not mine, and to have multiple incidents happening simultaneously makes sense to me The search for Harriet Vanger wasn t hampered at all by the Wennerstr m drama, and vice versa And to be honest, I loved having a pair of mysteries solved in the same novel 4 Too disturbing compared to what It s nowhere near as disturbing as American Psycho, and it s about average as far as the serial killer genre goes Plus, I think there is a power in the graphic moments of this novel, particularly Lisbeth s vengeance on her guardian I am not on her side when it comes to this vengeance, but I understand it, and the drive to take vengeance in such a way such a human way fascinates me Who d have thought, besides maybe my friend Manny, that the Swedes have it in them 5 Perhaps this is true, but at this point I have only read one of the trilogy, and the only person who suggested that Lisbeth was autistic was Mikael, and while he thought she was suffering from Asberger s his guess was only in passing I can cut the book some slack here suspend my disbelief, suspend my disbelief.6 I was stoked that, for once, the Nazis were a red herring rather than the ultimate, degenerated evil We all expect the Nazis to be the worst of the worst, so it is refreshing to see them as a deflection instead 8 Can anyone really be too hard on Leviticus Ummmmmnope.Now, I admit that I might love this novel simply because it is set in Sweden After all, I do love ABBA, Fredrik Ljungberg, IKEA my apologies , gl gg, Stellan Skarsg rd, Max von Sydow, Ingmar Bergman, and Mats Sundin I looked into emigrating to Sweden but had no excuse, being a resident of Canada with no skills the Swedes were looking for, and I am a fan of Norse Mythology, but I do love Sweden, and I was jazzed by the setting of Larsson s book All that aside, however, I think The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was a compelling, entertaining and unabashedly thrilling read.If you can overlook the eight complaints, or consider them in a different light, you ll like this book too I promise. I really don t understand the critical orgasms over this book pushed it on me for weeks, and the minute I stepped into Borders an employee ran over and recommended it Thinking, this really better be the best book I ve ever read, I took it up to the checkstand, where the register guy asked Did one of our employees recommend this Um, yeah And , too So of course I asked him why Oh, he replied, we ve been told to recommend it this week That should have tipped me off right there recommendations handed down by management Pfft I hesitate to suggest a conspiracy, but did someone end up with too many of these in a warehouse in Duluth Did Oprah make a bet with someone that she could pull strings and make the most boring book in the world a best seller But I am suckered in by numerous good reviews and a fairly interesting book jacket description, so I buy it and take it with me on a trip camping with my family Of course it totally sucks I m kicking myself because I feel like I really should have known But the reviews ALL the reviews are absolutely positive from generally reliable sources, so I just DO NOT UNDERSTAND.Here s why I don t like it I am about a third of the way into it, and literally hundreds of characters have been introduced NOT ONE of them has done anything interesting, so I am finding it nearly impossible to keep them straight I am the type that will be or less satisfied reading the back of a cereal box, but this is BAD I mean bad The mystery is dull The who done it is like a who cares The two primary characters are so far not very likable at all in fact, the review descriptions are interesting than the book descriptions of them I m betting part of the problem is the translation, presumably but god, there is just some boring writing in here, too He went to the store He bought milk He was cold He went home BOR RING I am not really exaggerating, either Actual content He put on a pot of coffee and made himself two sandwiches He had not eaten a proper meal all day, but he was strangely uninterested in food he offered the cat a piece of sausage and some liverwurst After drinking the coffee, he took the cigarettes out of his jacket pocket and opened the pack Again, I m willing to give the author the benefit of the doubt with the translating, but I wouldn t have gotten out of high school writing with that kind of boring and utterly pointless description It sets the tone of lonely dude being lonely but really two sandwiches why two sausage and liverwurst fascinating.That s really just a page I opened to randomly there is much worse I am truly bitterly resentful of every minute I am stuck on the side of this mountain without a good book to read I m ready to browse the mini mart down the way and read the real estate magazines instead Why have all the reviewers and steered me SO WRONG I am not trying to insult anyone s taste so please don t get mad about my opinion But if you love this book, please tell me WHY What am I missing

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