Albert Glenn Hudson-The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

Author of Book: Stieg Larsson
Date Read: July 25, 2023

Book Report

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo is a crime fiction thriller! Usually, these types of books don’t jump on my novel reading radar.

So why did I decide to read this book?

I chose to read this book to stretch myself on expanding outside my normal genres of autobiographies, and non-fiction books which I love to devour. It would also stretch me on my commitment to finish it, because it was the largest, smallest print book I’ve read in my life, containing over 600 pages. Lastly, I thought it would stretch me with expanding my vocabulary and creative thinking.

What I learned from this book?

I learned the value of being able to tell a good story. Throughout the book, I found myself trying to dive into the mind of author Stieg Larsson and understand how he created such fascinating characters. The book only had a small insert describing his life. He lived in Sweden until he died in 2004. He was an editor-in-chief of a magazine there and was an expert journalist in political extremist organizations. He died after submitting his manuscripts for this book, along with two others that followed in this series.

Being a writer, I really enjoyed and tracked well with his writing style. The book was translated into English from Swedish language, so the dialect and word structure was different and stretched the way I read and comprehended the story. I learned creative ways to use words that were new to my vocabulary. Anytime I came across a word I didn’t know, I would make a quick mark, then bend the bottom corner of the page backward so I would remember to go back, look up the word in my dictionary, and write out the way he used it in his sentence inside my journal log for future use.

In summary, the crime fiction story is about a Swedish family that runs their hundred-year-old company called The Vanger Corporation. The family business stretches across a variety of textiles and other commodities in Sweden. Over 30 years ago, the now aging CEO Henrik Vanger’s life was tormented by the disappearance of his then 16-year-old niece Harriett Vanger whom he adored. He gained custody of her from his brother and his wife because their life was a complete mess.

The family corporation although still financially prominent, had taken a slow downward spiral over decades as the uncle had tried to solve the mystery of his missing niece Harriett. He always felt it was a crime of murder committed by someone in his family, although he did not have proof of his claims. However, the way in which she disappeared, he always felt it had to be someone close to him that would have had access to even have the opportunity to pull this off.

At his old age, he discovers a unique journalist named Mikael Blomkvist, who has a knack for being a scrupulous journalist who sort of has a hairy past. Mikael is the chief editor, and part owner of Millennium Magazine, which is a niche magazine that publishes articles on corrupt financial companies that exploit the public’s trust through illegal activities. Mikael published an article exposing a large corporation’s corruption, but in court, his accusations were deemed false. Because of the extent of his allegations, and the damage it caused the company, Mikael was charged with falsifying information, and sentenced to prison for the crime.

What appeared to ruin his company, his life, and his reputation, ended up being the biggest opportunity of his life. I always remember that people are paid based on the value they bring to the table. The uncle, who was then CEO of The Vanger Foundation was a fan of the in-depth journaling work of Mikael Blomkvist, and he inherently knew the article published that sent him to prison and meant to ruin his career, actually had merit. Mr. Vanger knew the documentation was presented wrong at trial, and Mikael’s lawyer didn’t know how to properly defend his client.

Knowing he was going to be sent to prison, the uncle invited him to a meeting and offered him the biggest opportunity of his life, in helping him to uncover what happened to his missing niece. This job offer had to be discreet due to the family business was being entirely run by the Vanger family.

Mikael hires a very unique assistant whose nickname is “The Wasp”. Lisbeth Salander is 4″9″, with tattoos and piercings all over her body, from her childhood has a photographic memory, is deemed a social outcast, and is a legendary internet hacker that can find out anything about anyone, but can also fight with her hands, and she’s highly skilled with weapons. When the chemistry between her and Mikael unite, there’s nothing that cannot be discovered.

To hide the journalists’ real reason for being there, the uncle told the family he was hiring Mr. Blomkvist to write an autobiography of the Vanger Corporation before he died. He wanted to chronologically do an in-depth dive into all the family members for a chronicle that would be left for generations to come. The uncle knew this approach would allow Mikael to have a reason to interview and be around everyone in the family.

I will not spoil the book for anyone that chooses to read it, but after one year of intense research, and almost losing his life, the answers he finds, and what was behind the disappearance of the then 16-year-old niece, not even I could have predicted what happened. It’s a dynamic twist of suspense, action, and a jaw-dropping page-turner that gives and then keeps on giving you the afterburner effect days after finishing.

Although the book is fiction, many parts paralleled my life. I have a business doing what I love just like the character in the book. I was sentenced to prison for a crime during a time of my career where things were going very well similar to the character in the book. While Mikael was serving his prison sentence, he wrote the family chronicle for the uncle, but he also received insight as to what led to the disappearance of the missing girl.

What I pulled from this book that will help me upon my release?

In thinking of what I pulled from this book that will help me upon my release, rewinds back to the beginning on why I chose this book. Authentic power is not attained without us being stretched. This book expanded my reading genres, evolved my vocabulary, increased my neuropathways of creativity, and also inspired me to continue writing the books I’ve set my mind on from when I first surrendered in federal prison.

The main character in the book being sent to prison was a perceived setback, but in the end, it allowed him time in solitude to produce his best masterpiece writing that ultimately saved his company’s magazine, and repaired his reputation.

While I was in Beaumont’s prison camp, I completed 2 book manuscripts that I feel were my best writing for the sport of boxing that I love. I have plans to complete 3 additional book manuscripts while I finish my sentence at Texarkana’s prison camp. My books will evolve the sport of boxing, enrich the lives it touches, and it will work toward rebuilding my reputation that took a hit when I became a man impacted by the justice system.

Prison for me was a perceived setback, but in the end, my solitude confined away from my family and friends has not been in vain. I had no idea before reading this book that the main characters’ life and my life would mirror each other. In prison, he discovered answers for the job he was hired to do, and he discovered his true purpose for living. We are aligned as I have discovered the same things.