girl with the dragon tattoo

i picked up the book by mr. steig larsson the other day because i’d heard from quite a few people that it was a great read. considering i have never really been into the crime genre i wasn’t sure what to expect. my only other foray into the genre was sharp objects by gillian flynn a book dealing with extreme cutting, munchausen by proxy, and small town idiosyncracies. i guess sharp objects isn’t crime fiction….it’s a thriller? apparently i don’t know the difference…

it was definitely a well written novel, i couldn’t put it down. there were several scenes in the novel that were down right sordid and i can’t talk about them without giving anything away, as they are key plot points in the story. images in my head that won’t be going anywhere anytime soon. *shudder* it appalls me that the events in this novel could easily have occured, and in cases not unlike the book… already have. 

the statistics that are listed at the beginning of each part of the novel were shocking. i had no idea there was such a high rate of violence/sexual assault against women in Sweden. the original swedish title “men who hate women” makes  more sense. i suppose the title had to have more “flair” or be enigmatic to sell here in america. then again, its true title cuts out the female population of the novel as being suspects which would have made figuring out what occurred much easier.

i realized that reading this book, means i am reading a translation from the original swedish to english.it makes me wonder if i am missing something. as i can’t read it in it’s proper language, how can i be sure i am reading the book as the author meant it to be?

i always wonder with books that are translated, such as love in the time of cholera or even epics like the ramayana. there are just certain words and phrases that just don’t  to translate well between languages. studies have shown that your first language effects how you understand your world. it’s the reason that we can never truly understand a person from another country, their actual thought structure and pattern is built by their language.

so in reading a translated novel, am i really reading what the author wrote? or am i reading what the translator felt was correct? (my guess is the translator was british, due to word choice and spelling. lots of s’s were z’s would be in american writing. aaaand my guess was completely incorrect, the translator is an american. he did a great job keeping the european feel for the novels though!)

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