Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Girl WIth The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson *DNF*

Well shoot, I really wanted to like this book. I finally picked up a copy the other day and read more than my customary 50 page allowance to hook me -in fact I gave it close to 200 pages because I so wanted to like it- but *ooof* reading it was like plodding through mud. I know it was translated into English from Swedish so I was looking forward to a European feel to the writing but I wasn't expecting this. It was halting, sterile, used odd word choices, weird run-on sentences and robotic dialogue. The translator could have summoned a little more charisma, I think.

For example, the characters don't arrive at a train station, they alight at the train station (huh? What are they, birds? in a poem?) Using the words alight and train station in the same sentence doesn't count for charisma. Then we have: He told her he felt as low as he had in life. (what? perhaps he meant, As low as he'd ever felt in his life)

Then we've got fifth-grade-grammar-book dry with, Isabella's neighbour was Cecilia Vanger, the daughter of Harald.


And what's with the constant use of brand names? And the excruciating detail of every article of clothing worn, or every food substance consumed, or every piece of furniture in a room and where it's placed. Who cares? Get on with the story already.

How about these sentences for bafflegab:

~Blomkvist spent the hour of the Disney special on Christmas Eve with his daughter Pernilla at the home of his ex-wife, Monica, and her new husband in Sollentuna.

~Salander had no difficulty understanding the agitated debate that had followed in the trade publication The Journalist, certain newspapers, and on the front pages and in the business sections of the daily papers.

~He painted a picture of the outcry that would result if a legal correspondent began uncritically reproducing the prosecutor's case as gospel in a murder trial, without consulting the defence (their spelling) arguments or interviewing the victim's family before forming an opinion of what was likely or unlikely.

Okay, enough. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo is clearly not working for me; it's going back on my shelf for (perhaps) another time.


Susan Abramson said...

Sorry to hear you didn't like this book - I too was looking forward to getting a copy. But now I might just wait for the movie. :(

Just finished 'Life Would be Perfect if I lived in That House' by Meghan Daum. Loved it - but it was like reading about my own crazy notions of what a house is - have you read it? If not and do, I would love to hear your commentary on it.

Susan :)

Trish said...

Well you can borrow my copy if you want to give it a try. I may pick it up again sometime but it just wasn't doing anything for me this time around.

I'll look out for that book you mentioned - I'm always curious about what other people are reading.

Susan Abramson said...

Reading The Help right now by Kathryn Stockett - loving it! Takes me a while to read as I can never sit for very long, but it's amazing.

Heather J. said...

Oh I agree! I did end up liking the book (or at least, not disliking it) but the translation really was horrendous.

Trish said...

@susan - ohhh The Help looks really good! I can't wait to start that one.

@heather - yes I really think I would like it too but *gah* that translation made me want to bang my head against a wall. But you never know . . . I may give it another try sometime.