12/13/11

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Stieg Larsson, Narrator Simon Vance



The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo         
Author: Stieg Larsson
Narrator: Simon Vance
16 hrs. 20 mins.
Books on Tape







Author Stieg Larsson 

Simon Vance Narrator







Simon Vance has a wonderful reading voice, like smooth silk caressing you all over. There is no book that Vance narrates that doesn't sound great. Vance has good pacing, knows when to pause and when to emphasize a word or phrase. You never have to consider if a book will be good or not, if judging by the title or author, if Simon Vance is the narrator, it will be good because his voice is outstanding and will always make any book enjoyable. Mellow and soothing, with just a hint of an accent.

Book Review of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

The prologue could easily have been left off and never been missed. It just seems to sit there, unrelated to what comes in the chapters to follow, until much further into the story when the scenario is repeated and by this time I'd completely forgotten about the prologue. I think it would have been much better if it had started with chapter two, when we meet twenty four year old Lisabeth Salander. Petite, slender, Lisabeth with her tats and piercings, seems vulnerable and defenseless. She appears unfriendly to mainstream society. Lisabeth keeps herself to herself and doesn't make friends with anyone.

She is shunted off onto Dragan Armansky to work in his security company, as a Jill of all trades, she is quickly relegated to mundane, boring, tasks, people see her as not very bright and incompetent, before long she is not coming in on a regular work schedule and not getting along with his other employees. After about a month, Armansky calls her into his office with the intention of firing her, she takes his litany of her failings calmly and informs him that he's wasting her talents having her make copies and sorting mail. She proceeds to inform him about his private investigator's failings. At first Armansky is taken back by her boldness, then intrigued with what she says. He tells her to prove it, he gives her three days, in three days she turns in a report that has him agape. It's one of the finest most thorough reports he's ever had. She has more than proven herself and they come to an understanding and he hires her on as a freelance investigator.

Mikael Blomkvist, a well known journalist specializing in corporate crime and money mismanagement has been accused of libel and faces financial ruin and a short jail time. While Blomkvist a complicated man, tries to sort out how his careful analysis of a financiers crimes has been shot down and now he is made to look like the villain. Henrik Vanger sends his attorney to Amarnsky's to get a background report on Blomkvist with the intention of luring him to spend a year at his home. Vanger, tormented for forty years over the disappearance of Harriet, a relatives child that Vanger had taken in and was raising. Just a teenager when she vanished with no trace, no body and not a single clue as to what happened to her. Vanger's feels he has to give it one last try to unravel the mystery before he dies. In his eighties and with frail health, he implores Blomkvist to take on the project. Blomkvist thinks it's futile after forty years, and all that could be done has been done. Vanger offers him a huge sum of money and persuades Blomkvist to take it on anyway.

Blomkvist makes a half- hearted effort at it under the guise of writing a biography of the Vanger dynasty. Blomkvist finds a list of names and numbers written by Harriet, and he can't unravel their meaning. He needs a research assistant and through Vanger's attorney he learns that Vanger had a background check done on him, and he reads it and see's it very good and that the researcher had to have hacked his computer to get some of the information. He tracks down Salander and hires her, between them they unravel the mystery of what happened to Harriet and uncover an even more sadist and cruel stream of unimaginable crimes. This book was very long, I had some trouble keeping track of the characters because of the way the story introduces them and the foreign names. The names would have been less of a problem if I had been reading the book, but listening to it made it a little difficult to comprehend.

There was too much sex and perverted sex for my taste, much of it seemed thrown in for good measure to tempt readers who enjoy that sort of thing. I was glad it was not to detailed or explicit in some parts of the book or I might not have been able to finish it. Simon Vance has such a soothing and sweet flowing voice that it ameliorated it to a degree. This book could have been edited down by half and still been an interesting and compelling read.

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