[By Nic Lindh on Tuesday, 23 September 2008]
A book I read in the original Swedish this summer has just been released in the US: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson.
If you like your crime fiction rough and gritty, this novel is for you. It utterly consumed me when I read it. Basically, it’s about an old crime and new crimes—terrible, terrible crimes—uncovered by the search for closure of the old crime, with the story taking place in what at first seems like a pastoral modern Sweden. The original Swedish title, Män som hatar kvinnor translates into Men who hate women, which should give you an idea of what is happening.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is actually the first part of a trilogy, so if you do buy it and enjoy it, there’s plenty more goodness to come.
Unfortunately, Larsson passed away right after completing the trilogy, so we will never get any more of his work. This is sad, but if you can leave something as compelling as this trilogy behind, you did something right with your life.
Note that I haven’t read the English translation, so I can’t vouch for it, but with the marketing muscle the publisher seems to be putting behind The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, I can’t imagine it being subpar.
If you read it, please comment or email me to let me know what you think—there’s an odd frisson to having the dark psychotic offshoots of the culture where you grew up exposed to the world.