November 15 10

On Friday, I wrote a post that had a lot of people all up in arms that I have never eaten at Taco Bell. Yes, it’s true. I haven’t. And yes, I know, I require other ways to keep myself, um, regular. But, here’s the interesting thing. There were 30 comments on that post (OMG, I haven’t gotten 30 comments on a post since 2007, you know, back when people still commented on blogs. Also, you know, back when people called them blogs and that word wasn’t cringe-worthy yet) and not one of them was about my distaste for a certain yellow-covered, uber-famous Swedish book. Not one. Does that mean that you, like I, didn’t really like it all that much? Or does it mean that this was a total dealbreaker and we can’t be friends because, holy cow, it’s your most favorite book that you have ever read in your entire life?

So, here is something you should know about me. I am a reader. I love to read. Since the tender age of 4, I have been reading just about everything I have been able to get my hands on. Magazines, books, newspapers. I mean, heck, I enjoy reading the backs of cereal boxes (except the ones in Canada, because they are half French and I don’t speak a lick of that language). At any current time, I am reading no less than three books. There’s always one in the master bathroom, one by my nightstand, one in the family room, maybe one in the car, one on the Kobo….Up until yesterday, I was immersed in several books – The Postmistress by Sarah Blake. The White Queen by Philippa Gregory. In the Time of Butterflies by Julia Alvarez.

And The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

Now this last one has been on the currently reading list for a very long time. I mean, we are talking mid-June. It’s just that, well, the book is about 900 pages long. Okay, fine, it’s only 575 or some such crazy large number and the first 350? Total shit. I swear, I’m not kidding. I stuck it out, however, because of THE HYPE. Oh my god, you guys. The hype. Every single person I know is reading this trilogy. You can’t ride the subway without running into at least 3 different people reading one of Stieg Larsson’s bestsellers. You can’t mention books without it coming up in conversation. But, I swear to you, I could have summed up the first 350 pages in about EIGHT.

There is a girl. She has a dragon tattoo.

There is a man. He does not.

He is involved in some problems at work and goes out to the country to investigate the possibly murder of this old dude’s relative.

He meets 8 billion Swedish different relatives who turn out to be COMPLETELY UNIMPORTANT TO THE STORY AT ALL OMG.

There you have it. 350 pages of nothing.

Oh wait. No. The man has some sex.

And he drinks coffee and eats a hell of a lot of sandwiches.

That’s it.

Pages 350-450 were good. Very good, actually. They were interesting and fast-paced. There’s some more sex. But there are also some surprises! Some drama! Some action! Some Da Vinci Code-like code solving! Some badass detective work! Serial Killers!

But then…the last 100 pages? BACK TO BORING AS HELL.

So, I stuck it out. And forced myself to finish.

And now I cannot even bring myself to read the other two.

Because with three other books on my plate…who has the time to be bored to death?

Please note: I did write about this on Aiming Low a while ago, and the opinions were surprisingly mixed. Haters, Lovers, and in-betweeners. What about you? What are you?

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  1. I enjoyed it. I mean, yes, it took FOREVER to get into it, but once I did, I liked it.

    I really liked the Girl Who Plays With Fire (the next book) a hell of a lot more. It was more action-packed from the beginning. Also, you didn’t have to remember 47 people of the Vanger family.

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    Comment by Kristabella on November 15, 2010
  2. I read the trilogy this summer, one after the other straight through. I do not think they are great literature, I don’t even think the writing was especially great but that could be the fault of the translation.

    BUT I thought they were highly entertaining in a Law and Order SVU kinda way, and perfect for summer beach reading.

    I think you were a TAD simplistic in your description of the plot. The girl is HIGHLY important to the whole plot, and her background makes all the pieces fit together quite well. If you don’t read all 3, you’re missing out on about 2/3 of the plot. Just sayin.

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    Comment by margalit on November 15, 2010
  3. I loved the second book so much. I watched the movie last night, I like the books better.

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    Comment by Tammi Marie on November 15, 2010
  4. LOVER.

    Then again I HATED Twilight, which seems to be popular opinion, so I guess I can relate…I GUESS. I’m still not happy about this, Martell!

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    Comment by Camels & Chocolate on November 15, 2010
  5. Also, I’m with the other Kristin: The next two books were a lot better. Well, the second one specifically. The third was good, but a lot of in-action as well.

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    Comment by Camels & Chocolate on November 15, 2010
  6. I didn’t like the book either. Maybe someday I will try the others in the trilogy just so I can say I read them. Plus everyone says the second book is better.
    I LOVE Taco Bell though :)

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    Comment by Candi on November 15, 2010
  7. I can’t remember too much of it, other than the chick is (spoiler alert!) still alive.

    I’ve been reading Anna Karenina for over 6 years and have about 4 books I’ve been rotating through for a couple weeks. “World Without End”… just finished it and enjoyed it even though it was over 1000 pages. Then again, I am a massochist. Also long? I read the 1000+ page “The Passage” just to get to the end and have a WTF?!? moment.

    I am a book whore.

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    Comment by loren on November 15, 2010
  8. Every person whose opinion matters to me has tried those books and found them to be utter shit and that you have to force yourself to get through them, but that there are good parts. I’m still torn on whether or not I want to waste the time on them.

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    Comment by Avitable on November 15, 2010
  9. I liked the first book. I’m half way into the second and I’m really, really loving it. Though, have you seen this? http://www.newyorker.com/humor.....uts_ephron

    Hilarious.

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    Comment by Rhi on November 15, 2010
  10. I bought it, but between your review and the poor reviews by others, I haven’t cracked it.

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    Comment by Angella on November 15, 2010
  11. I’ve read the first two–and I really wish they came with Cliffs Notes or something. He’s not a terrific writer, although he has a decent plot. It just takes FOREVER to get to the point. I’m gearing up for the 3rd book, it may take me another few months to actually crack the thing open.

    xox

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    Comment by heidikins on November 15, 2010
  12. I read the first book on vacation this summer. It’s totally not my genre-I prefer the great American novel.

    I didn’t love the ending-it ties up too nicely for me-it wasn’t that believable.

    I started the second book, but haven’t touched it since. I’m not going to beat myself up about not finishing it…this series may just not be for me.

    Have you watched the movies? I saw the Swedish version of the first book and liked it. I may stick to watching the films! :)

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    Comment by ashmastandrea on November 15, 2010
  13. Heh. Margalit. OF COURSE I was a tad simplistic while describing the plot and Salander’s importance to the novel. But who has four hours to sit and read about this? It’s a blog post…it was supposed to be funny.

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    Comment by ali on November 15, 2010
  14. I COMPLETELY agree with you. I did enjoy it overall, but the ending was dry and OMG how are you supposed to remember how all those characters relate to eachother!? I just watched the movie lastnight, and I was impressed with how closely it follows the book. It was pretty explicit, as you could imagine, but the girl who plays Lisbeth does an INCREDIBLE job, in my opinion. SPOILER: The rape scene with her and her guardian (can’t remember his name at the moment) was SO real, I could barely watch it. It nearly brought me to tears. I’m reading the second one now, and it’s much easier to get into, so I’m sticking with it!

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    Comment by Shelly on November 15, 2010
  15. Shelly…I totally feel like I’d like the movie better than the book. It probably takes out all the excessive and crappy parts and just focuses on the stuff I actually care about.

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    Comment by ali on November 15, 2010
  16. I think this is one time that I’m going to skip it – I’ve tried three times – and see the movies instead! I did just read Room over the weekend…SO GOOD!

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    Comment by Sara on November 15, 2010
  17. I am also a lover of books. But, oh my gah. Hated that book SO VERY MUCH.
    I will be looking into the other books you listed. Always love a good book recommendation! :)

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    Comment by Jackie on November 15, 2010
  18. Ooooooh The White Queen. I really liked that book. I’ll be interested to hear what you think.

    HM

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    Comment by Hamlet's Mistress on November 15, 2010
  19. It’s sitting on my night table. Has been for weeks. Can’t bring myself to start it. Not sure I will.

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    Comment by Katy on November 15, 2010
  20. I’m with you, lady – and thanks for post – now I won’t feel bad about not reading it. I have less that ZERO interest. And the last time I got conned into reading a series, it was that whole Twilight fiasco, and I was forced to read them all. (Twice.) So yeah, I’m not doing that ever again.

    PS – I’ve never eaten at Taco Smell either…

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    Comment by Grumble Girl on November 15, 2010
  21. I loved all three books, but I’m still with you on the potatoes.

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    Comment by Mac & Cheese on November 15, 2010
  22. Reading this post I laughed just as hard today as I did when I read it on Aiming Low. I completely agree with you! I am a sucker for punishment though and started reading the second book: so far, I’m pleasantly surprised.

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    Comment by Denleigh on November 15, 2010
  23. I’m an avid reader too and totally felt like I had to jump on the bandwagon. I did actually enjoy the first one…after the first 100 pages, that is. The second? Notsomuch.
    I’m skeered to even attempt the third. Maybe when it’s in paperback…

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    Comment by Sarahviz on November 15, 2010
  24. I have had this book on my might table for months. Since I read your previous review, I just can’t bring myself to start reading. I think I’ll put it away now.
    I, too, have never eaten at Taco Bell, yuck!

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    Comment by Dina on November 15, 2010
  25. I hate this book. Hate it. I sort of hate myself for then reading the second book, thinking I was just not ‘getting it’ the way everyone else was. Nope. Hated that, too. I’m not even going to read the jacket of the third one. My mom recently brought this book home from the library last weekend and I told her to take it right back, don’t even crack it. Blech. Hate. It.

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    Comment by fadkog on November 15, 2010
  26. I hated the first book. I loved the movie though. I read the 2nd and 3rd book and loved them but I agree- the first book -was boring – I was able to guess the ending pretty quickly.

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    Comment by Rachel on November 15, 2010
  27. In the Time of Butterflies by Julia Alvarez is one of my favorite books ever. I read it in HS, in a woman’s Lit class. Loved it.

    Oh wait, what was the question again? Yeah, no. I’ve picked it up literally a dozen times and set it right back down. For some reason it just doesn’t interest me.

    It’s not even, me being a giant spazzy Taurus and not reading it because too many people told me I had too. (Which happens from time to time. Ahem.) I just honestly am not interested.

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    Comment by Issa on November 15, 2010
  28. I liked it, but I was forewarned that it was slow to get into. The second was good, but the third… Oh geez, I did have a time just FINISHING it. It was basically over by the middle and yet I still had another 100 or so pages left when I KNEW nothing was going to be happening.

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    Comment by Home Sweet Sarah on November 15, 2010
  29. I loved the trilogy. It took a long time for me to get into the first but I loved the second and third books.

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    Comment by hillary on November 15, 2010
  30. I felt exactly the same way. I didn’t hate it I just didn’t understand why everyone was so excited about it. I keep walking past the second book at the store, thinking I should give the series a second chance but I always go with something else. Now I see I’m not alone…

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    Comment by rkmama on November 15, 2010
  31. Well, I bought that book mid-summer as well because of all the hype. I am currently a sahm. My child goes to school. I’m still on page 20. Could not get into it AT ALL. And you’ve made it clear that I may never .. or, maybe I should just skip along the page 350. Might just do that .. tonight!

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    Comment by sarah on November 15, 2010
  32. I read 30 pages and could not take it anymore.

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    Comment by slynnro on November 15, 2010
  33. I’ve started it three times and clicked to something else in my Kindle because I’m bored. I don’t really get the hype. Are people saying that they love the trilogy because everyone ELSE loves the books and they don’t want to sound like they’re not with it? This post validates my decision to move the book to “archived items” and never revisit it.

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    Comment by Mama Bub on November 15, 2010
  34. We had this as our last book club read and we all liked in in general, but agreed that it was about 200 pages too long. I mean, after the main question was answered, who cared about the first issue?
    Another hyped book that I’ve strated is Freedom by Franzen. I’m having a difficult time of sticking with it – maybe it’s because of the font and I need bifocals. Yeah, that’s the ticket.

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    Comment by Karen MEG on November 15, 2010
  35. I also love to read. I have been known to stay up very very late to finish books. This one, I can’t get into. It’s been on my bedside table to months, I think I’m on page 50. I don’t know, should I keep trying?

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    Comment by Taryn on November 16, 2010
  36. I am reading Dragon Tattoo now and am enjoying it. I’d love to hear what you think of the 3 books you’re currently reading AND… how about the names of a few books you’ve read recently and loved? Thanks!

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    Comment by Jessie on November 16, 2010
  37. I totally read it and the second one. I haven’t read the third, because it isn’t on paperback and I forgot to get on the waiting list at my seriously small library. I am not super crazy about them either, though I do think they are interesting…Of course I HAVE to read the third eventually because I have this thing about completing a series.

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    Comment by Edie Kate on November 16, 2010
  38. Ok, I haven’t had 30 comments on a post since 2008, so now I know the trick. Off to bash Eat, Pray, Love once more!
    I hate the hype, yet still want to read it. I am such a masochist.

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    Comment by karengreeners on February 15, 2011
  39. [...] And don’t even get me started on how I felt about The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo. [...]

    Pingback by » What Do You Mean You Don’t Like Everything *I* Like? Cheaper Than Therapy on May 10, 2011
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