book thoughts: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson (2008)

It’s very rare that I pick up an adult book, but I had heard rumblings about this book for awhile so I decided to give it a try.  All of the print copies were checked out of the library at the time, but the audiobook was available, so I took that.

I’m so glad I did.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson is an involved mystery with a huge cast of characters.  The two main characters are Mikael Blomkvist – a journalist who has been found guilty of libel against a multimillionaire – and Lisbeth Salander – a slightly unstable young woman with a knack for finding information, even if it means breaking a few laws.  We spend about half of the book waiting to see what twist of fate will bring these two people together.  And once they team up, we spend the rest of the book wondering how they will solve this 40 year old crime.

I’ll re-emphasize that this is an adult novel.  It’s complex and has some very disturbing scenes and themes (let me put it this way – the original title in Swedish translates to “Men Who Hate Women”).  The book is well written.  The characters full formed.  The story engrossing. 

Simon Vance reads the audiobook and I was blown away by his performance.  This book has a cast of probably 20 some characters and Vance manages to give them all their own unique voice.  Blomkvist sounds like a British Sam Spade; Lisbeth manages to sound like a girl and a bad ass at the same time; Henrik Vanger sounds like Richard Harris…I never found myself confused about who was speaking and my mind never wandered as I was sucked into this story of a reporter, a rich family, a delinquent woman, and a missing girl. 

5 out of 5 for the audiobook version – Fantastic story, AMAZING performance.

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