Saturday, April 15, 2017

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium, #1)

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

My review comes from one who has seen the David Fincher adaptation first hence the lacking of any mentions of excitement that comes with knowing something new. Instead I will just mention what I find different and often richer.

Actually I wanted to skip buying the book and move on to its sequel The Girl who played with Fire to save money, but I reconsidered. Knowing the very first story as a movie and moving on as a book would be like switching drinks – if you are familiar with the analogy – and doing that gives me a headache. I bought the book, read it, and as it often happens, the book did not disappoint. It only adds to the fun of the story.

The writing style feels very systematic and linear, like reading from what Mikael is reading: Henrik’s Harriet files.

Mikael Blomkvist is actually more fun than the David Fincher version. He’s quite a ladies man. It’s not that he prowls the bars at night. Blomkvist is all business but when opportunity knocks in work, Hedestad, and yes Lisbeth. He gets them respectively.

In the book also he’s more a journalist. The Fincher version made him like he’s only Henrik Vanger’s hired investigator and nothing more. The book also goes in depth with his magazine and his relationships within the media.

Erika Berger always consults him about the troubles with Wennerström since even while in Hedestad, Mikael has never lost his eye on his true enemy. She holds her own managing a magazine in crisis. And she’s also the best depiction of friends with benefits I ever did come across even though she’s married. Her husband is aware and its all fine.

The only side of the Vangers seen in the movie is Henrik and his tired old uncle vibe of just wanting to find out what happened to his favorite niece. Since Mikael was ordered to investigate the family then the book did go into detail about the family. Fincher’s movie almost feels like, despite Mikael’s notes, that the picture was all there is to it.

Lisbeth Salander does not talk much in the movie but in book form her inner dialogue well laid out. There’s how she sees work and her boss Armansky. She’s loyal to the Milton Security. There is also an explanation on why Lisbeth is a ward of the state and how being such governs her actions. Her move to be Irene Nesser is more than love. She follows her own rules and she knows how to take care of herself.

The book gave names and traits to people who only had a face in the movie; those the Lisbeth deals with. They’re barely explored but it is room to grow considering the premise of book 2, which I will now read.