Most helpful critical review
61 of 68 people found the following review helpful
A decent enough book
on 19 July 2010
I was unsure about this, as I was keen to learn if the many millions of sales meant it was indeed a good book, or just lots of band-wagon jumping, followed by even more just seeing if it's worth the fuss (like me). So I asked a friend who had just finished reading it, who told me it was one of her favourite books and a must-read! So I bought it and saw for myself.
I learned two things having taken that decision. Firstly, that sales figures are not directly proportional to quality (ok so I should have got that from the Da Vinci Code), and secondly, that my friend has pretty poor taste in books.
Perhaps that is a little harsh because, as you can see from the 3 star rating, it's not *that* bad. It's just not that great either. I'm just surprised anyone could think of this as one of their favourite books. There's nothing intrinsically wrong with it, save for some utterly pointless detail about the model and spec of a laptop, and totally unnecessary info on the great shareware the main character uses. It's just a little weak overall. For example some pretty far fetched story telling and pretty unbelievable "twists". The characterisation is decent, but far too many points are drilled home (yes, she's a tough girl despite being tiny, we get it!). The closed room mystery works until the reveal, when it just really doesn't add up given what we've already been told. And there are a few too many sections where you just feel a little bored. I've read that Larsson's widow didn't want it edited at all - she wanted it released exactly as he wrote it. Completely understandable, but a definite error.
In brief, if like me you find it impossible to resist making your own mind up about this book, the huge array of ratings will likely encourage rather than dissuade you against this, and certainly nothing I can say would do so. But if you do want my advice (as opposed to any given in the other 500+ reviews) I don't think it's really worth it. It will no doubt sound harsh, but if Larsson was alive, and if a billion other people hadn't already read it, I'm pretty sure you wouldn't either. I know I wouldn't have.