by Stephen Tall on March 15, 2011
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Stieg Larsson
Some books become almost compulsory to read — that said, I’m a sucker for page-turning crime novels, so it was hardly a chore to start the late Larsson’s trilogy. After all, I loved The Da Vinci Code, devoured it in a day. But TGWADT was a disappointment.
There are (’tis true) pacy, gripping, spine-tingling moments — especially when Lisbeth Salander confronts her predatory guardian, humiliating and literally branding him a rapist.
But the prose is blandly pedestrian, including some bizarrely clunky Apple fetishism (“she set her sights on … the new Apple PowerBook G4/1.0 GHz in an aluminium case with a PowerP.C. 7451 processor with an AltiVec Velocity Engine, 960 megs of R.A.M. and a sixty-gig hard-drive. It had BlueTooth and built-in C.D. and D.V.D. burners.”)
There’s an ultimate test for the quality of a trilogy: will I read the next two books? Sorry, but there are too many way better books.