The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is part one of a three part trilogy called the Millennium Trilogy. The novel was written in Sweden in 2005, by Stieg Larsson. The book sold millions across the world and has been translated into several different languages, including English in 2008. It also has two films, one filmed in 2009, and the most recent one in 2011. I believe the novel The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson is one of the best crime novels on the shelves because of the twisting plot lines of the story, the dynamics of the characters, and the style of writing that Stieg Larsson uses.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo has unpredictable plot lines that keeps readers craving for more. The readers cannot put the book down, simply because just when they think that they have figured out the book, Stieg Larsson throws at the readers another plot twist. The interesting thing that Larsson does is he creates not just one plot line but several plot lines all over the book. The main plot for this novel is” who has done it” unknown disappearance of Harriet Vanger sets in the small town of Hebey, but also included a secondary plot of the relationship between the two main characters of the book, Mikael Blomkvist and Lisbeth Salander.
While Larsson not only creates the two main plot lines, he has also combined in smaller plot lines throughout the book that have certain twists to it, such as murder, sex, lies, and computer hacking. Towards the end of the book, the smaller plot lines connect everything together to make this one of the most creative crime novels. While the plot line is full of excitement, some readers may find that the story already ended with solving the disappearance of Harriet Vanger, yet Larsson continued the story more than what was actually needed.
Alex Berenson of the New York Times, had said this about The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, “But the real disappointment in ‘Girl comes in its final section, after mystery of Harriet’s disappearances has been solved. Without any warning, ‘Girl metamorphoses into a boring account of Blomkvist’s efforts to take down the executive. ” (Berenson). Since the book is translate it is very hard to be able to tell if the edging is because of the translator or Larsson himself.
Along with the plot thickening of the book, Larsson creates some very interesting directions of the characters in the novel. There are the two main characters, except with those two main characters, Larsson has created several secondary characters that also are as important as the three main characters. The two main characters being Mikael Blomkvist and Lisbeth Salander who are complete opposites of each other, which is often pointed out throughout the story.
Mikael Blomkvist, who is a journalist for a leading financial magazine in his mid 40s. Blomkvist is very professional, mostly about business and is a suit and tie kind of guy. The other main character in the novel is Lisbeth Salander, she is a damsel in distress in her mid 20s. Salander has had a lousy childhood and now has become interested in a guardian to make all of her decisions in her best interest and keep track of her finances. Together, they search for the answers behind the murder of Harriet Vanger.
She is also a main character even though the reader is not sure of what happens to her until the end of the book. Harriet disappears in the 1960s at a family event, and slowly the reader begins to piece together the kind of life the young girl Harriet had. After the three main characters, there are a few more smaller characters. There is the Vanger family, in which Larsson creates a story for each family member (the book provides a Vanger family tree to help readers keep track of who is who).
Apart from the Vanger family, there is also a number of characters to keep track of throughout the book. The readers will also have a bit of trouble with the names in the novel. Patrick Anderson of, The New York Times, states this about The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, “It’s hard to find fault with The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. [However,] One must struggle with bewildering Swedish names. ” (Berenson) The reason for that is because originally the novel was written in Swedish and then translated into English.
The writing style that Stieg Larsson uses overall in the book of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo helps make it one of the best novels on the book shelves. Since his style of writing is in such great details, he has been able to keep readers on the edge of their seats and craving for more. Not only does he describe everything in such detail that the reader can almost picture Stockholm and the characters that are involved in the story, but also the details that he uses are not the common like “he was wearing a suit and tie” but breaks those detail down even further.
A good example of this is how he describes Salander:, “Armansky’s star researcher was a pale, anorexic young woman who had hair as short as fuse, and a pierced nose and eyebrows. She looked as though she had just emerged from a week-long orgy with a gang of hard rockers” (Larsson p 41). Another example would be, “It was right next to a jetty, with the water three paces from the door. It was only fifteen by eighteen feet but it had such a high ceiling that there was space for a sleeping loft.
She could stand up straight there, just. ” (Larsson p 586) The way that Larsson even breaks up the chapters in the book and how he chooses what to put into those chapters is very creative. Larsson creates something suspenseful between each chapter so the reader has to keep reading in order to figure out what is going to happen next. He also splits the book up into parts, in which he drops hints as to what is going to happen in that part of the book, using the title of the parts.
He creates this suspense that the reader thinks that they know what is going to happen next and then finds a way to twist it into something that they could not have thought of. Larsson has some actual examples about Sweden, and how it treats abused people and how much the country goes crazy for money. Larsson uses the main characters, Salander and Blomkvist, to prove these things. He uses Salander to show how the abused are treated in Sweden throughout their entire life and then he uses Blomkvist to show how important money is to Sweden.
He also includes different facts about Sweden, when the novel goes to a new part, which deals with what is being talked about in that chapter. Which could bore some readers, but most people look past that in order to read the novel for what it is. Since it is a true crime story with several different twists that really makes the reader think what will happen next and if the problem will be solved in the end. With plot twists, character dynamics, and Larsson’s style of writing, it is hard not to imagine why The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is one of the bestselling novels on the shelves in stores.
While some reader might argue that the plot is boring, and that there are too many characters or the Swedish names are confusing, there are many readers out there that will come to defend this book, and label it as one of the best crime novels in years. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo will continue to climb bestseller lists. The only shame of this is that Stieg Larsson did not live long enough to see the success of his first crime novel, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.