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Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

I don't know if I've ever read such an intriguing "who done it" as The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson. It's no wonder that this book, originally written in Swedish, is an international best seller. The twists and turns of the complex cast of characters have kept me up way past my bedtime too many nights in the last week.

The main storyline centers on a teenage girl and her mysterious disappearance more than 40 years ago. She was once the member of a wealthy and influential Swedish family, and almost everyone in the extended family has been a suspect at some point. A middle-aged, hardcore journalist and young, troubled computer hacker become unlikely partners in determining the truth. And the sub-storylines...oh, the drama!

That being said, I was more disturbed by the book than I was entertained. For starters, the violence is horrific. Of course, this is the opinion of someone who can't even sit through five minutes of Law & Order. But truly, many scenes in the are book absolutely appalling.

Second, I was quite uncomfortable with author's casual approach to sex...even though I've known for years that sexual promiscuity is "normal" behavior in Sweden. Nonetheless, the actions and attitudes of the characters in the book are very different from what I believe to be moral. Call me a prude...I don't care...but I still believe in monogamous intimate relationships that begin only after a man and woman are married. (But that may be a completely different blog topic for another time.)

Third, the language. Quite simply, it was offensive.

So despite all of the rave reviews, I have chosen not to read the other two books in the trilogy. Sadly, I'm left hanging with so many questions to storylines left unanswered. But I just can't justify the entertainment value when it comes plagued with such intense violent and sexual content.

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