The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larsson
I'm always a little wary of tremendously popular books.
Perhaps this is because the hype often snowballs way beyond what any ordinary novel could deliver. I never was one for peer pressure, spent my high school years railing against the popular kids with their banal yet popular tastes. So it came as no surprise that "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" disappointed me.
Don't get me wrong, I was thoroughly engrossed in the mystery of Harriet Vanger's disappearance. I page-turned with the best of them. I liked the characters, especially the girl with the dragon tattoo, who is fresh and interesting and very real.
But by the time I finished GWTDT, I felt like I'd involved myself in an overly long, Swedish version of "Law and Order: Special Victims Unit". Exactly like that. The novel has enough tawdriness and sex crimes to fill a whole season of SVU and the financial wheelings and dealings (the other big plot point) are rather dry and uninteresting.
Mostly, I guess I felt manipulated by this book, and a bit like I did in high school when everybody and his brother thought Journey was the best thing going.