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Share Your Thoughts

Share your thoughts and insight on the books we’re reading!

Last week: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Schaffer and Annie Barrows

This week: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. csjt000 permalink
    May 2, 2010 7:23 pm

    My first posted comment on “The Guernsey…”…sincerely captivating. This will be a very quick read…even for me

  2. May 11, 2010 12:00 pm

    I would like to start off by saying that I really enjoyed the book. ‘Guernsey..’ was a mini-vacation for me when I read it. It was never a chore to read, in fact I wish it were longer, since I finished it in two sittings! It also gave me the raging urge to travel to Guernsey myself!

    If I were to rate it out of five stars I would give it four stars. I thought the story-line was smooth and endearing. The only thing I wish it did differently was the length. They should have fleshed out the ending, and not left it so choppy and rushed. I felt a little jipped, I’m not going to lie.

    Also, something I wish they mixed up a bit more were the letters. Maybe if they went from letters to character narratives, back to letters, it would have helped a bit more. What the letters do is give a neat and different way of interpreting the story, but what they leave out are observations. A lot of which no one would write down in a letter but keep privately in their head. I would have really liked to see exactly what either Juliet or Dawsey were thinking. At least in some instances, not all, or else it would have ruined the ending or rendered it predictable.

    Overall, it was a beautiful tale of an island in disarray soon gathering it’s strength to start anew. The characters on the island are all beautiful examples of people. They are kind, some quirky, funny, and honorable. I found myself (after finishing the novel) wanting to go read more, until I realized I had already read it all. Word to the wise, read it slowly.

    -S

  3. csjt000 permalink
    May 14, 2010 7:45 am

    I would probably give this book 4 stars as well. Extremely accurate in details reflecting occurrences of cruelty at the hands of men. Hard to imagine. “Does it ever give thee pause, that men used to have a soul–“. NEVER AGAIN. I particularly liked the letter format and heard from another reader that they found themselves skipping ahead to catch the responses from one writer to another…
    Another quote that caused me to reflect was from Amelia to Juliet after her son Ian died and visitors offered their condolences…”Life goes on.” What nonsense, I thought of course it doesn’t. It’s death that goes on.”
    I’m looking forward to finishing the book today…would love to hear from other readers.

  4. blitz52 permalink
    May 15, 2010 8:01 pm

    What a delight this book is! Thank you so much for introducing me to it! I was a little uncertain how I would enjoy the letter format but have found it to be a successful device for both setting mood and advancing the narrative. It has become a book I will recommend to many. I have slowed my reading pace as I get toward the end…not ready to have it finish yet. (I did this with Eat Pray Love too). I have fallen in love with the characters and feel like the people of Guernsey have become my friends as they became Juliet’s. In some ways the use of letter-writing drew me into the characters’ lives more deeply because I felt privy to private thoughts and feelings shared between confidants. One of my favorite lines is from Amelia to Juliet: “My worries travel about my head on their well-worn path, and it is a relief to put them on paper.”
    Well, I think I’m ready to get back to reading. Thank you again.

  5. blitz52 permalink
    May 15, 2010 11:16 pm

    Just finished. The last bit from Isola’s detection notes did not quite seem to fit. It definitely changed the rhythm of the storytelling and almost seemed like a poor attempt at “comic relief”. That’s an overstatement but I guess it disappointed me after the body of the work was so special. Isola could have written of her suspicions and plans in a letter to Sidney. A few more letters could have been written. This way it seemed suddenly rushed to a finish.
    Other than that, though, still a truly magical book. The characters will live with me for some time. I definitely wish I could continue to share in their lives. Maybe there’s a stash of letters that will turn up one day…..

  6. bjm12260 permalink
    May 21, 2010 8:51 pm

    I found that reading this book in letter formation both creative and refreshing. The characters’ personalities came alive through the letters they wrote. Elizabeth and Dawsey were my favorite characters, Elizabeth with her outspoken bravery and Dawsey with his silent strength. I felt Juliet was meant to take Elizabeth’s place, a sort of reincarnation. The island represented to me a simple, peaceful life whose inhabitants became a tight-knit family because of the German Occupation. It was nice to know that humanity and compassion existed in at least a few of the enemy soilders. It brought relief from the cruelty of other soilders. My absolute favorite part of the book was the story behind the title of the book. I found the story ingenius and resourceful. A great read!!!!

  7. May 26, 2010 5:15 pm

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    Comment below this line for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

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  8. May 26, 2010 5:31 pm

    The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – Review/Thoughts

    This book, although long and extensive, took me two sittings and several hours to complete. I usually cannot read for long periods of time unless I am enthralled, I was enthralled. The beginning(200 pages or so..) was rather slow but also intriguing. Some novels can start out slow and boringgg..

    Like I said, the first 200 pages or so were basically setting up the reader. It gave details about our main characters Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist while slowly intertwining their lives. When it really got interesting was after these basic introductions.

    Lisbeth Salander, for me personally, really aroused my interests. She was small and skinny, smart and withdrawn. Everything about her made me like her and made me want to know more. Her brain, smarts, and especially her past gave the reader a different type of heroine.

    Mikael Blomkvist was a refreshing character. He was refreshing in every way mostly because he was so ethical, but also he didn’t seem to have many ‘secrets’. With all the corrupted, egotistical, and mentally disturbed men in the novel, Blomkvist stands out as the man who isn’t morally bankrupt.

    Truthfully, it was shocking how graphic the novel was at times. I was not expecting to come up against the sort of sexual dramas Salander came up against. I knew the novel was in the mystery genre but didn’t realize how explicit it would be. If anyone was offended by the choice, I apologize and hopefully we can choose a lighter, “beach-read” for our third book.

    Over all, the writing was extraordinary, thoroughly edited and plotted, the characters were vividly written and it is no wonder it has been on the best seller’s lists for many weeks all over the world. The story has stayed with me since I first read it, and I recommend it to anyone with a strong mind and STOMACH who likes mysteries or dramas! It kept you guessing until the very last page. The epitome of a “page-turner”!

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