WARNING: Major, MAJOR spoilers ahead for The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. At least the book. I have no idea what the movie is like.
I am not going to spoil the central mystery of the book, by the way. I actually enjoyed that part enough that it’s what actually got me to finish the thing. No, my problem with The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo begins and ends, like all things in that book, in Mikael Blomkvist’s shorts.
Which is to say, I’m talking about his penis. Or more specifically, his penis and the inability of every female character in the book under the age of 50 to not immediately latch on to said organ and take it for a joy ride.
I’m not a prude. I swear. I read Laurel K. Hamilton, for gods’ sake, at least until the killing stuff to sex ratio slipped into values of less than one. I don’t have a problem with characters getting it on… as long as it actually makes sense and doesn’t interfere with the story.
So it made sense when Blomkvist was banging his female friend/coworker/lady he was having an affair with that caused his divorce. Sure. I can dig that. She’s a pretty cool character, actually.
Then he goes to the island, and one of the Vangers immediately squirms into his pants. Because she’s apparently wanted to do that since she clapped eyes on him. Which I think is kind of a dumb reason to bang some guy you barely know, but hey, people do it all the time.
Then Blomkvist hooks up with Lisbeth, and that’s about where I went WHAT THE FUCKING FUCK and just put my foot down. For starters, the sudden hop into Blomkvist’s bed made absolutely no sense from the character Lisbeth had been built to be – at least in my opinion. Moreso, because in the beginning of the book she’d been the target of a very violent sexual assault, and that’s something that didn’t seem to even cross her mind once she encountered Blomkvist. Some very thin reasoning was given as to why she decided to ride his baloney pony, but frankly, I still think it’s total crap.
Add to that the fact that as Blomkvist is described, he’s not really anything all that remarkable in looks, is maybe a bit above average in the intelligence department, and it becomes more of a puzzle. If Blomkvist’s beauty were at least described in creepy, cooing detail like that of D in the Vampire Hunter D Novels, I could at least buy everyone around wanting to bang him. Since hey, it apparently works that way if you’re a half-vampire. Which Blomkvist manifestly isn’t.
So, all I can conclude is that there’s some sort of inescapable gravity well centered around Mikael Blomkvist’s penis, and as soon as a woman gets within about two feet of him, she goes tumbling past the event horizon and can’t escape.
And I further concluded this morning that if, during my fanfiction days, I had wrote anything remotely like a male character with a black hole in his shorts, the fan community would have cut me to shreds. And they wouldn’t even have paused to sharpen their knives first, because sharpenin’ is too good for dirty, lowdown scoundrels that write Mary Sue fanfiction.
The hell of it is, I really liked Lisbeth Salander as a character up until she started working with Blomkvist and slipped past the foreskin event horizon. And then to add insult to injury, not only does she bang him for no discernible reason, but she then decides that she’s in love with him, for the thinnest of thin reasons. I almost threw the book across the room, except that it’s not my book and my mommy raised me better than that.
I rather think the author’s fallen into the gravity well, himself.
Also, the book once again continued the sad pattern that occurs in almost every action novel – if there’s a small, cute animal, such as a cat, the evil killer will do something awful to it, just to show how awful and evil he is. Kind of like the way all psychopaths in the movies and on television are also avid scrapbookers.
I wanted to like the book, but considering the plot is caught between a horribly dead cat and a penis black hole, I just can’t bring myself to recommend it.