2.9 Reading Log #3

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo 

Written by Steig Larsson

Extended Text

This novel is a personal favourite of mine. I feel I can relate to many key features within this novel, such as some of the characters and their personalities, as well as having a passion for some of the ideas within the novel such as mysteries and highly intelligent persons. All of which made me very intrigued to read this book, and will too read the rest of the trilogy. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo focusses of two main characters, which very quickly in the novel, meet together. The book starts off talking about a journalist, Mikael Blomkvist. He is the co-founder of an economic and political magazine, Millennium, where he was forced to resign due to being convicted for defaming a financier named Hans-Erik Wennerstrom. While waiting for his small two-month imprisonment, he gets offered a job by Henrik Vanger, a retired CEO of the Vanger Cooperation. His job is to write about Vanger’s dysfunctional family as well as trying to solve an investigation, where Henrik’s 16-year-old niece had disappeared over 40 years ago, who is quite possibly dead. Mikael accepts this job and moves over to where Henrik lives in order to fully involve himself in the job. In the background of all this is another main character, Lisbeth Salander (The girl with the dragon tattoo), she works with Milton Security as an investigator. She is one of the best investigators thanks to her impressive computer hacking skills. One of her assignments was to do some background research on Blomkvist, thus why they eventually connect with eachother and together they solve the mysterious disappearance of Vanger’s Niece. Lisbeth had, however, a troubled background, therefore she was to be looked on by a guardianship, her last guardianship had passed away and the court gave her a new guardianship named Nils Bjurman. Who was a nasty man that brutally raped her, until however, she got her revenge. 

The genre of this novel is a mystery, crime thriller, because of this the gothic element of tone and mood were present throughout the novel. They are dark and disturbing at times, such moments was when Lisbeth was getting sexually harassed and raped, the details were short and simple in the novel, which built up the moment, making it more disturbing for the reader. Personally, I truly felt disgusted during these moments, it made me sad and angry that someone would do that to a person. In addition to that, another gothic element of foreshadowing was very briefly referred too. Blomkvist was threatened with a dead cat and his cabin was broken into, this foreshadowed violence of someone about to attack him, and possibly wanting to murder him. This becomes true when Martin Vanger (son of Henrik Vanger and new CEO after Henrik retired), captures Blomkvist and was about to kill him until Lisbeth comes and saves Blomkvist.

As I mentioned prior to explaining the novel and its elements within it, I did have a very great interest in this novel. I found it a great page-turner, and really recommend reading it (if you haven’t done so). However, I believe I enjoyed it so much was because I felt like I could relate myself to the two main characters. Both characters were protagonists throughout the novel, they were very different from each other, however. Blomkvist has great interest in the social-political area, and himself is a well-known man, very sociable in a professional way. Whereas Lisbeth is the anti-social investigator, she is not good with socialisation and because of this has unusual outbursts of emotion, usually anger. And these lead to abnormal acts, such acts was her revenge upon her rapist guardianship, she tied him down, did what he did to her, plus tattooed on his stomach “I AM A SADISTIC PIG, A PERVERT AND A RAPIST”. Yet however, personally, I feel what she did was perfect revenge, yet again, others would say that what she did, was too much. Either way, I found her super intriguing throughout the novel, I loved her attitude, to me she comes across as a ‘bad-ass’ and I love that and because of that, I can somewhat relate myself to her. I also could relate to her fashion, what she wore was exactly what I love to wear, I wear all black, pumped shoes occasionally, lots of piercings. It’s a great hobby of mine and when I was reading many people judged her and gave her looks of disgust, which at times I get the same response. Another reason why I love Lisbeth Salander as a whole. however, personally, I feel what she did was perfect revenge to what he did, yet others would say that what she did was too much. Either way, I found her super intriguing throughout the novel, I loved her attitude, to me she comes across as a ‘bad-ass’ and I love that and because of that, I can somewhat relate myself to her. I also could relate to her fashion, what she wore was exactly what I love to wear, I wear all black, pumped shoes occasionally, lots of piercings. It’s a great hobby of mine and when I was reading many people judged her and gave her looks of disgust, which at times I get the same response. Another reason why I love Lisbeth Salander as a whole.

An added thought that I noticed while reading this book was a major theme in this book is the violence towards women in the novel.  But what most interested me was that the author Steig Larsson is a male. It is not very common for a male to write about such a controversial theme. This was just an added thing I noticed personally.

In conclusion, this novel represented great aspects of gothic elements such as tone and mood, with dark being its most common ‘vibe’. Besides that, it was able to keep me intrigued and I was able to learn a few things and being able to relate to one of the main characters, Lisbeth. From this, I would highly recommend reading.

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