Publisher: Quercus Books (Hachette)
The concept of this story completely drew me in. It starts with disgraced financial journalist Mikael Blomkvist and his journey to clear his name. Now this book has a lot going on, so of course in order to clear his name he has to first spend a year researching a mysterious disappearance that has remained unsolved for nearly four decades. In the course of his investigation he enlists the help of Lisbeth Salander, a misunderstood genius and researcher extraordinaire.
Does he solve the disappearance? Will he clear his name? Will he ever eat anything other than a sandwich?
Things I learned about Sweden from this book:
Swedish people only eat sandwiches. Throughout the book the characters eat sandwiches for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Sometimes even as a snack. It’s gotten to the point where I don’t want to look at a sandwich. I wish the author had included some authentic Swedish food in the food as a filler as opposed to all the different sandwiches one can eat.
Swedish people also like their coffee. I have never read about so much coffee drinking in one book in my life! All those giant Tea manufacturing multinational companies out there, Sweden is an untapped market!
You might think that if my biggest problem with this book is the food they eat, then the book isn’t doing too bad a job. And it wasn’t. Until I got to the relationship between Blomkvist and Berger and of course all the shrugging off of rape.
Perhaps Blomkvist and Berger’s relationship won’t be an issue for a lot of people, but to me it just seems in the same realm as unicorns and nymphs.
I loved Salander as a character personally. It’s hard not to fall in love with a genius antisocial minx, but I managed. I adore how she refuses to be a victim and is a genuinely strong female character. Maybe I am not supposed to agree with how she acted out against her guardian, but I think she was being far too nice. I thought the story as a whole was interesting and yes I am a fan of stories that have neat little endings in theory, if not in practice.
I know this book is a translation, and I don’t particularly care for translated books because the writing comes off as too stilted and awkward. And I know that a lot of readers thought that the language in this book was stilted and awkward, but trust me, when you read a truly badly translated book, you will be willing to forgive a lot! I speak from experience. So I was a bit wary of this but really for me it has turned out to be quite well written.
There are a lot of different story threads in this book, something that a majority of people did not like but personally I loved. It kept me engaged and interested throughout.
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Reviewed for MCT by Celeste M.