Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Our book club chose to read this book by Stieg Larsson a few months ago. We all were in agreement that it was an interesting story, but the book was a tedious read in some places. Although, what do you expect when a paper-back novel is over 800 pages? If we were to rate it out of five, I think we would have all given it 3-3.5.

When we saw the movie was coming out in a local theatre, we decided that it would make for a great book club outing. So, we all gathered with our popcorn and other treats, and watched the 800 page novel be condensed into a 2.5 hour movie in Swedish.

It was...fantastic. I think we all agreed that they glossed over the right (tedious) things while still staying relatively true to the story. They did change some minor things in the plot, but it worked. For some of us, it was more disturbing to watch than to read, as there are a few sexually violent scenes that were hard to stomach in either case. The original title of the book, Men Who Hate Women, gives a much better foreshadowing of the actions of some of the characters.

The director did an amazing job portraying the strong female lead character, who also stars in the other two books in the series (The Girl Who Played with Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest). I also think he managed to tell the story without it being confusing to people who haven't read the book. One of the book club members brought her husband along, and he had not read the book - I know she reads the blog, so hopefully she can tell us what he thought :)

I wasn't sure if I was interested enough in reading the other two books, but I think this movie has convinced me to at least read the next one. It would also be interesting if an American director creates a version of the movie.

In any case, I highly recommend both the book and the movie. But, if you just have time for one, the movie is an excellent, and much less time-consuming, choice. Be fair warned about the graphic content though.