14 April 2011

Post 372: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson. ISBN: 9780307272119 (eBook).

So I watched the movie (Swedish version) and read the book because I wanted to compare the storytelling technique. I'm going with the movie on this one, and most of that probably has to do with the translation.

In some ways I kind of liked the stilted language of the translation because it read much like I imagine a report from Salander would read. Unfortunately, there was a huge disconnect for me between the characters actually being people rather than being long dead subjects in a case report. It felt like everything had already happened, so it was nearly impossible to get invested in the characters. On the other hand... this made it much easier to read about all of the violence that happened to Salander. Seeing it happen on screen... was traumatic. Far more traumatic than I was expecting it to be, and some of that had to do with the accelerated plot and the ability to actually connect with the characters.

But then, the movie I think actually softened Salander's character a bit. Not that I think this is a bad thing to do. In some ways it made her feel stronger to actually see her in pain, as opposed to the narrator doing the text version of a monotone play-by-play report of her pain. I'm not sure if the text could really be stronger than the movie at this point. I don't know how powerful the language is in the original language, but it takes so long to get invested in the plot, much less what the characters are actually doing.

By the end of the novel I was definitely invested in what was going on in the Vanger family, but mostly in the "Jerry Springer" train wreck kind of way. So I don't think I'll be continuing the rest of the series via book. This is one of those times I'm definitely going with the movie over the book. Are there movies that you think are better than books? Do you agree with me on this assessment?

Also, sorry this was review-ish, but... I had nothing on this. All of these people are pretty damaged and I've already talked about how I feel about open relationships.

A good review can be found over at Age 30+... A Lifetime of Books. I liked it, but probably not enough to continue the series.
LibsNote: Library copy via Overdrive Media.

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