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Review: Uomini che odiano le donne (The girl with the dragon tattoo)

The first time I saw this book on a bookstore, I was in Italy. The title is the exact translation of the original one, “Men who hate women”. So, I didn’t even turn it around to read the discription. I judged a book not only by its cover (a semi-naked woman on a purple satin night gown, lying on what appears to be on a pool of blood, with a scarlet backround) but also by its title. I thought it would be one of those romance books, where all the men are stupid and the women lose hope and then the ehite prince arrives, etc etc.
And then, I got back home (to Greece) and I started hearing about a book called “The girl with the dragon tattoo”. And I thought it was my type of book and I should read it sometime. After two years, I realized that my mother had bought that stupid italian book about the men who hate women and that it was actually the girl with the dragon tattoo! And she told me it was a great read. So after a year or so, I decided to read it.
Deciding to read a book for me, means that I don’t read any reviews or interviews, don’t listen to any comments and, of course, don’t watch any film or trailer of the film related to the book. Yes, books are very sacred to me, in so many ways. So, I managed to read it having read only the backcover of the book and knowing from a comment my mother made that it talks about woman abuse in Sweden. Here’s what I thought.

What I liked about this book It addresses, among others, a very sensitive subject and one that, unfortunately, is not addressed enough. Of course, I ‘m talking about the abuse of women. Throughout the book, there are several cases mentioned and it’s difficult not to think about it in real life (because these things do happen in real life, as hard as it is to believe). As a woman, it got me thinking about all the women that live around me and suffer this kind of things, but no one notices and even if they do, hardly anyone does something, because “it is not their business to meddle”.
But it got me thinking about other stuff too. It is so easy for someone to find any kind of information about anyone, if they invest in it.We live in a new era, the era of information and the internet is all around us. It’s almost impossible to live without it, for some people. It made our lives much easier, in so man aspects and so many ways. But, how safe is it? How safe are all the secure e-banking pages? I always mock my father for not trusting the internet much. He always makes hotel reservations on the phone, never via the booking site. He prefers going to the bank, rather than making an easy transaction on the internet. And I keep telling him how easier his life will be if he just did all this on line. Well, this book got me thinking about that too. The internet can be a deadly weapon on the wrong hands.
And it got me thinking about another subject that I often think and talk about with close friends. Relationships. How can a relationship like Mikael’s and Erika’s work? Could I make something like that work? What does the society think about that? And how does it affect the relationship? And is there a society openminded enough to accept that kind of relationships? I like to think I’m open-minded, but at the end of the book, I couldn’t but understand Lisbeth when she saw Mikael leaving with Erika…

What I didn’t like about this book.I found that there was too much talking about economy and bad journalism. At some point, towards the end of the book, I skipped paragraphes, because I didn’t really care about the analysis of why the economy of Sweden got so bad, or why Wennerstrom was such a bad influence on the economy. Or the interview of Mikael with the tv reporter and how he nailed with is answers about all that stuff. It could have been less extended.
I had also a problem with the names, though that was probably not the author’s fault. Though, he didn’t stick with the first or the last name of a character and used either one or the other on different parts and that could be confusing. So, I had trouble keeping track of all the names.
Another thing was that I was almost at the middle of the book and was thinking “ok, it’s interesting enough to keep me going, but when will the story start?” Too much story telling and too much coffee making and too much description. And too much of the Cecilia affair.

Some other comments. I found Lisbeth very interesting and I liked her. But I was surprised to find out that many people presented the book and the story as the story of Lisbeth. It clearly is not the story of Lisbeth. If anything, it gives a hint of the story of Lisbeth, which, as I understand, reveals itself on the second book.
I didn’t mind the raw description of violence. I mean, it did affect me in a negative way (i told my sister I wanted to throw up at some points) but I am not against it. How else could the readers be shaken about this subject?

So, overall, if it wasn’t about such a serious subject, I wouldn’t have given it four stars. Three or maybe even two. But I liked it and I reccomend it. It’s a good book. Not the best one, but definitely a good one.

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