It seems everyone in the world has read Stieg Larsson’s “Millennium Trilogy.” Everyone, that is, but me.
“The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo,” and “The Girl Who Played With Fire,” the first two volumes, are currently on The New York Times paperback fiction best sellers list. The third book, “The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest,” is sitting at number two on this week’s hardback fiction list.
The series has made Larsson the second best-selling author of all time, behind Khaled Hosseini (“The Kite Runner” and “A Thousand Splendid Suns”), selling more than 27 million copies in more than 40 countries.
Larsson (Aug. 15, 1954-Nov. 9, 2004) was a Swedish journalist and political activist who wrote the three books in his spare time. He died of a massive heart attack at age 50.
I gave “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” (originally titled “Men Who Hate Women”) my best shot, but I fell short. All I managed to finish was the first third and the last third of this depressing, bleak story.
In the book, Swedish investigative journalist Carl Mikael Blomkvist has been found guilty of slander and is facing jail time and a hefty fine.
Corporate investigator and computer hacker Lisbeth Salander, dubbed a goth Pippi Longstocking with Asperger’s Syndrome, teams up with Blomkvist to find a Swedish heiress gone missing some 36 years ago.
I found the story depressing and the characters, save the missing heiress, too flawed to be interesting.
Nothing is truly resolved at the end of “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.” The guilty go unpunished. The greed goes on unabated. The characters don’t grow from their experiences. Nothing in the book compelled me to waste my precious free time with the second or third volumes.
If I want sordid stories of incest, twisted violence against women and corporate corruption, I’ll just turn on the nightly news.
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