Sunday, September 4, 2011

A Book That Let Me Down- Part 1

I had two experiences this summer where I was very disappointed by a book. The first was The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.

I'd heard a lot of praise for this book and series from several people whose reading opinions I respect. It was one of the first books I purchased on my Kindle and I felt sure that I would enjoy it. A murder mystery in Sweden with intriguingly dark characters- what's not to love? But by the time I had read about ten percent of the book (for those of you who don't have Kindles, that's what you see instead of page numbers) I was frustrated. I wasn't getting why everyone loved it so much. I tried again and again to keep on reading, and I finally got to around thirty percent before I gave up.

It took me awhile to figure out what wasn't grabbing me. It wasn't the technical jargon or the slight awkwardness to the language. It was the fact that I honestly did not care what happened to these characters. Stieg Larsson certainly made them complex. They all had dimension and desire, and they all felt very real. I just didn't find any part of them endearing or interesting or relatable. That's no criticism of Larsson, whom I admire, and no criticism of his many fans. It just wasn't for me, and I found that disappointing after all the rave reviews.

If anyone read the book and loved it, I'd be interested to hear your take. It's still stored in my Kindle and I'm willing to make another attempt if convinced. It's certainly possible that if I tried to finish it, I would change my mind. But I ask you, if you're not enjoying a book after thirty percent, if you have to force yourself to read it, wouldn't you stop reading too?

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