Once again, I am way behind everybody else. Recently I finished Stieg Larsson's mega-bestseller THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO. Not only am I behind everyone else, I'm apparently at odds with their judgment.
I thought it was a perfectly competent mystery novel. The character of Lisbeth, so geeky and socially alienated and reserved that most people think she is mentally challenged rather than brilliant, was interesting. So was the setting, Scandanavia in winter.
However [SPOILER ALERT] the serial-killer-of-women villain was two-dimensional, and hardly fresh. The murders were described in such grisly detail that it became not just graphic but unnecessarily sensationalistic. A major aspect of the plot, the Biblical tie-ins to the murders, was introduced with much fanfare and then just dropped. Other plot aspects seemed merely distracting, such as Lisbeth's mother's never-revealed "secrets." Finally, the story is cluttered with much backstory about family history, going back to the fifteenth century, that has little bearing on the present and introduces -- literally -- at least a hundred names who never appear again.
So I'm left wondering -- why this book? Why this novel at this time to become such a hit? I don't know. I never know. Publishing is mysterious, but not nearly as mysterious as readers' responses to it.
Or maybe it's just me.