I am someone who gets scared pretty easily. I cannot stand anything horror, and that’s why when I hear about a dark book, it intrigues me. That’s the only way I can compensate for staying away from horror.
Who is The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo?
And honestly, one of the scariest books I have ever read has to be Stieg Larsson‘s “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.” Mind you, I have read a lot of gothic books, and yet I would say Stieg Larsson managed to scare me in ways I didn’t even know I could be scared. I think one of the major reasons for this book being so scary is the fact that the story has no supernatural element to it. The characters, their background, their stories are very close to reality. And that’s why this book makes you afraid in the most real sense possible.
Especially if you are a woman reading this book, I feel you are going to feel so many different emotions. It will not only scare you but will also manage to get into your bones and chill the life out of you. Yes, that’s how powerful this book is, and all credit goes to the author. Well, I would say after reading this book, the image of Sweden has gotten pretty tainted in my eyes. Larsson does not present a very pleasant landscape of Sweden and Swedish people, especially Swedish men. I mean, of course, Larsson chose to take the darker route for his book’s premise, but he keeps mentioning statistics of violence against women in Sweden, which just makes everything so frightening and dark. After a certain point, you are pretty much convinced that Swedish men hate women. I think part of this is also connected with the fact that Stieg Larsson was a journalist himself, and he must have devoted a lot of his time in covering stories of women being persecuted by men.
Although the book starts dreadfully slow, but once it takes off, it proves to be a page-turner. The book begins with a mystery where Mikael Blomkvist, who is a journalist, is hired by Henrik Vanger, an Octogenarian industrialist, to investigate and solve the case of the disappearance of his great-niece Harriet. Now, obviously, Blomkvist doesn’t really want to get into such a long-forgotten mystery of Harriet’s disappearance, but since he lost a libel case that caused him financially drain, he chooses to go for the investigation, only and only for the sake of money. (Henrik Vanger offers Blomkvist 2.4 million kronor for the job that he will complete in a year.)
So, who is the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo then? Well, if you are wondering, it’s Harriet, then you are absolutely wrong at guessing. Because the story only gets better once Lisbeth Salander enters the plot. Salander is the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, who you see on the cover of the book. I think Lisbeth Salander is one of the most intriguing and finest characters I have ever read. The way Larsson created her character, it’s just perfect. Salander is a 24-year-old girl with a terrific photographic memory. She is also a computer hacker, and there is no such information that she cannot fetch. She is a brilliant hacker. It’s pretty easy to comprehend that Salander is extremely intelligent. And this intrigues and impresses Blomkvist. He grows a soft corner for her even though she has some pretty serious intimacy issues.
I feel there are very few authors who’ve created a character as balanced yet inexplicably unique as Salander. She is one of the most intelligent book characters I have ever come across. But it’s her intimacy issue that makes her stand differently from other characters. Salander has gone through a lot of traumatic experiences in her life that have led her to be rather reserved, cut off, and isolated. In the beginning, she comes across as a badass who doesn’t care about anything. But as the story advances, we get to see Salander up close. Her traumatic history speaks up for her bizarreness.
With Salander entering the premise of the book, the story takes a detour. We get to see Salander’s storyline with a lawyer that, in itself, is very scary. That pretty much explains why Salander chooses to be mute and reserved. When she joins Blomkvist for his investigative project, we get to see their friendship, which is almost a byproduct and yet so important. Although the story revolves around a mystery, it’s the relationship between Blomkvist and Salander that keeps the reader warm and connected with the book. At times, with Blomkvist, Salander chooses to be off-guard, and we get to see a much-unexplored version of her. I would say I have completely cherished their friendship throughout the book. So, even though the story of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is haunting and will keep you awake at night, it definitely gave me some heart-warming moments as well. I feel this is a must-read book. One should read this book at least once in their lifetime; because, honestly, you will not be able to forget it until forever.