It’s time once more for an update in my year of living (actually) reading fictionally. To recap, I’ve tackled everything from 19th-Century literature to a cat mystery novel, and each selection has given me few important ways to improve my writing. The fifth book in this year-long experiment was The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, by Swedish crime novelist Stieg Larsson. This was another attempt to read a mystery novel, but I never expected to be so compelled by the work that I could barely put it down. I won’t give away much of the amazingly and intricately detailed plot, but I will say that it’s is a taut psychological thriller that delves deep into societal themes such as violence against women, corporate illegality, hacking, investigative journalism, and family dynastic issues that turn horribly ugly. It was a fantastic read and it’s going to take some restraint not to jump immediately into the next book of the Millennium trilogy.
Now, to some of the major lessons I learned about writing from this work.
Overall I enjoyed reading this novel and at times struggled to put it down, so intensely interested was I in the mystery. I feel like I understand the genre even better after reading this book, and would definitely recommend it for people who like to be shocked or are interested in the more societal topics Larsson takes on within the work.
Up next will be the final book of the first half of this experiment, and one I’m embarrassed to say I’ve never read: Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451. Then I will tackle one book on writing, and return in the second half with a more recommendation-based list of titles which I’ll post at that time. Stay tuned for more updates on my year of living (actually reading) fictionally!
John Abraham is a published author and freelance journalist who lives in the Twin Cities with his wife Mary and their cats. He is writing a speculative dystopian novel and is seeking representation and a publisher.