Girl With the Dragon Tattoo: Pop Lit Fail

About a year ago I read a book called Why We Read What We Read: A Delightfully Opinionated Journey Through Bestselling Books. I found the analysis interesting, but even more interesting was the fact that I had read almost none of them. Sure, as an English major you’re not allowed to read anything popular within the last one hundred years, but considering my career path and the amount I read, you’d think I would be more familiar with these titles. Sure, I’ve read Harry Potter and Twilight, but I’ve never read a single James Patterson novel. This may be why I’m kind of grasping at straws with this:

Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

Clearly I’m way out of touch with the American reading public, because I cannot see the appeal. Granted, I’m only about 80 pages in. So far, it has been painstakingly slow, and mostly about Swedish finances. I don’t really like any of the characters, but I don’t really hate them either. I don’t have emotions about them, but that’s okay because they seem to rarely have emotions themselves. About anything. Someone JUST mentioned a murder, so I’m still debating keeping going. I’m not sure even a possible murder could save this from unrelenting boredom. Everyone tells me it gets good half-way through, but I’m not sure I’m willing to make the effort to get that far.

Which really surprises me. Maybe I’m losing patience with everything else that’s going on, but it surprises me that so many people enjoyed this book when it takes so long to get interesting. From my years reading terrible, over-described literature, I’m keenly aware how to read an incredibly boring book to get through it, and consider myself somewhat good at it, but maybe everyone else is way better at it than I am, because I literally have been procrastinating reading this book by doing work for grad school and that’s an awful sign.

Maybe I will keep trying this weekend. After I clean the apartment. And do all of my work for next week. And there are no other books in the house.

4 responses to “Girl With the Dragon Tattoo: Pop Lit Fail”

  1. Andrea Jean says:

    Hey, just started following your blog. I had the same experience with Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I previewed the first chapter on my Kindle, found it pretty boring, and chose not to pursue the rest of the book. I’ve heard people say that it gets good after a while, but like you I am super surprised that a book that takes “a while” to get interesting is so darn popular!

  2. Why exactly was it banned again? Maybe the sales were inflated by the free publicity resulting from people protesting it or something.

  3. Darn. I was kind of hoping that it was something ridiculous like a book about Japanese gangsters that was challenged by parents who think that glorifying organized crime is AN UNPARDONABLE MORAL AFFRONT

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