Rummanah Aasi
  In the fall of 2012, DC Comics/Vertigo announced that they will publish the official graphic novel adaptation of Stieg Larsson's Millennium Trilogy, starting with The Girl with Dragon Tattoo, which has also been adapted into Swedish and American films. The publishers will adapt each book in the Millennium Trilogy in two hardcover graphic novel volumes. I was lucky enough to get a sneak peak at the graphic novel before it was published, courtesy of DC Comics/Vertigo and Netgalley.

Description (from the book): Harriet Vanger, a scion of one of Sweden's wealthiest families disappeared over forty years ago. All these years later, her aged uncle continues to seek the truth. He hires Mikael Blomkvist, a crusading journalist recently trapped by a libel conviction, to investigate. He is aided by the pierced and tattooed punk prodigy Lisbeth Salander. Together they tap into a vein of unfathomable iniquity and astonishing corruption.

Review: I'm not a very big fan of the Millennium Trilogy, but I did enjoy the books. I've yet to see the movie not because I'm afraid the movies will ruin my reading experience, but rather I really don't want to subject myself through the grueling and graphic violence featured in the books. I can distance myself enough from reading those scenes but seeing them acted out on screen is a bit too much for me.
  I know several people who tried the series because it was popular and they wanted to know what all the hype was about, but they were unable to finish it due to the long, dense first half of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (and to give you an idea, that long dense first half is about the first 150 pages of a 460 pages book). For these readers, I think the graphic novel will definitely work better for them. The dense subplot filled with Swedish finance corruption is completely stripped away and we are immediately introduced to the mystery that lies in the heart of the book.
  The story and characters have been altered in order to convey emotion and urgency on the page. The plot moves at a steady pace and is separated with two plot lines that weave and will eventually meet in the second novel. One plot line introduces the star of the series, Lisbeth Salander while the other shows how Blomkvist's own troubles and his involvement with the mystery. Major plot points are present and some are explicitly shown such as Lisbeth's boss openly flirting with her and how she is raped and beaten by her 'guardian.'
  I wasn't overly fond of the drawings in this adaptation with the exception of Lisbeth. I found her to be incredibly striking looking. In my head I pictured her more like Noomi Rapace does in the movie. I liked how her physical features allowed her to display her wide emotions raging within her. Just from looking at her eyes you can only imagine all the horrors she has experienced. I wasn't a big of Blomkvist at all in the books and more so in this graphic novel. Unlike Lisbeth, his personality doesn't really come through besides his opinion on an open marriage and his attempt to clear his name from corruption. His depictions are inconsistent from panel to panel and sometimes I had a hard time identifying him with other characters around. There is lots of shading and shadowing in panels that give the book its dark and ominous feel to it.
 Overall, I thought the adaptation was pretty good. It gives readers who are unfamiliar with the story a taste of the series and characters. I'm not sure if I will continue reading the graphic novel series though as I'm a bit over the series all together.
Rating: 3 stars

Words of Caution: There are extremely graphic rape scene that lasts for several panels. There is strong violence and sex scenes. Recommended for mature teens and adults only.

If you like this book try: The Girl Who Played with Fire by Steig Larsson or  Into the Woods by Tana French
4 Responses
  1. I saw the movie the foreign edition while I was pregnant in 2010 and I found the movie to be very dark and very distrubing and perhaps because I was pregnant and way more sensitive at the time, I have no desire to read the books. I appreciate your honest analysis of this and I am going to stick by my intial reactions. There are too many other books out there and dark disturbing rape scenes and murder are not something I want to read.

  2. Candace Says:

    I have been a little curious about the books but I'm quite sure I don't have the patience. Still I'm very curious. One day...
    I'm not into graphic novels at all, even when its from a book I love.

  3. Hmm, Swedish finance corruption. Doesn't sound the least bit appealing to me. I was interested in the movie because of the actress, how independent she seemed. But, think I'll beg off on all of these. I find graphic novels hard to follow if I don't know the story.


  4. BookCupid Says:

    Read the book, but not the graphic version yet. I hope this one was a lot shorter,as the first 150 pages of the original novel didn't really get to the point.

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