I Want to Be the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

by Alisa Bowman on March 10, 2010

TATTOO_poster_webLisbeth Salander—the shy Goth girl in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo—is the new Lara Croft. You heard it first here folks.

You think I’m being sarcastic, don’t you? I’m not.

She’s the next female feminist role model, not to mention the female superhero for every Geek, Nerd, and Out-of-Place-Feeling Person in the entire world.

If you don’t believe me, just you wait and see.

In the event you have no idea what I’m talking about, let me back up a tad. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is the bestselling crime novel by Swedish author Stieg Larsson. I don’t normally read crime novels because I like to think of myself as above all of that. Thrillers, crime novels, mysteries and romance novels are to book snobs what box wine is to wine snobs. They are so easy to read that one feels as if one is cheating.

Therefore such books cannot be devoured in public.

That said, I also rarely read books by foreign authors because the long foreign sounding names and the varied cultural differences make them a tad, em, too hard to read.

Just being honest.

But I read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – which is both a crime novel and foreign—because my friend Julie Roads told me that I would love it.

And I trust Julie’s taste in books.

After about 100 pages, the long funny-sounding Swedish names stopped slowing me down. And then I got completely sucked in.

I’m not even going to attempt to summarize the plot for you because it would ruin everything. What I will say is this: this is not your typical crime novel. The hero and heroine are actually real characters who could exist in real life. The villains are real villains who could exist, too. As a result, the book is creepy, scary, and engrossing—because you completely bond with the main characters and you completely believe that the villains are right there in your living room about to torture you to death.

The movie debuted a few days ago in Florida and will play in most theaters starting March 19.

But it played in my living room last week.

That’s right. I got my hands on an advance copy DVD because this blog is part of a scavenger hunt designed to promote said movie. (See the end of the post for more about the hunt). And, yes, I’m bragging about it. I got to see a movie before anyone else got to see it! You must understand what an anomaly this is. I JUST saw Slum Dog Millionaire two weeks ago. I saw Million Dollar Baby earlier this year and Annie Hall not long before that.

And I still haven’t seen the Godfather.

Or Titanic.

See? That’s why I feel special, as I’m usually the last person on the planet to see anything.

But I was one of the first to see The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

And so was my husband. My husband usually only watches action, horror, and dumb guy (defined as anything with Will Ferrell and/or farting jokes) movies. When I told him that I wanted to watch a foreign film with subtitles, he told me that he was feeling sleepy and was thinking about going to bed. It was only 8 p.m.

But then he caught a glimpse of a lesbian sex scene. He sat right next to me for the rest of the movie. Unfortunately for him, there was only one lesbian sex scene to be had. But there were plenty of really scary parts.

But I’m not going to tell you about those because I don’t want to ruin it for you.

lisbethI’m just going to tell you about Lisbeth. She’s tiny. She dresses in black. She rides a moped. She has about 6 nose rings. And she can swing a golf club and hack into a computer like nobody’s business.

She also has a huge tattoo on her back.

Whether or not you think that her tattoo looks like a dragon might depend, in part, on whether you’ve read the book. Case in point: after the movie ended, my husband asked, “So who was the girl with the dragon tattoo?”

The makeup crew might want to do something about that before the second movie comes out.

Anyway, despite the fact that her tattoo doesn’t look like a dragon, Lisbeth (aka The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo!) is my new imaginary heroine. She’s mesmerizing.

She’s smart.

She’s strong.

She kicks ass.

She overcomes some major hardship.

She sticks it to a misogynist. And I mean that quite literally.

Just thinking about her makes me feel as if I can do anything.

She is the next Lara Croft, but better. She makes geek and nerd and misfit and small boobs seem ultimately cool.

Read the blog about the movie.

Learn more about the movie,including when it will be playing near you.

Join the Dragon Tattoo Blog HUNT - an Internet wide scavenger hunt tied to the feature film launch of bestselling book The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. Win great prizes – a NOOK!, free movie tickets, books, movie soundtrack, posters and more. To join the contest, start at the beginning of the HUNT by visiting www.dragontattoofilm.com/contest for full details and the first clue. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo is in theaters near you starting March 19th.

THE NEXT CLUE:

Like they say, it’s all in the family. In Dragon Tattoo, there are some good eggs and some really, really bad ones. This blogger, Mr. Eastman, kept his first genealogy database on 80-column punch cards, thankfully, he now has an online genealogy newsletter.

A professional journalist, Alisa Bowman is the author of Project: Happily Ever After, a memoir of how she saved her marriage, and coauthor of Pitch Perfect, a must-read if you've ever had a sense of dread tie up your insides before a speech, presentation, or conversation. If you enjoyed this post, you will no doubt love her updates on Facebook and Twitter.

{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

Alexandra March 10, 2010 at 9:56 am

Very impressed that your blog was chosen as part of the promotion. And, what a fascinating way to promote a book and film!

I have not read Stieg Larssen’s books. My Swedish husband liked the first two “quite a lot” but found them, in general, “quite naive” and has not read “Dragon Tattoo.” This being said, your post made me curious so I skimmed some of the blog and noted this statement by the main actress: “There’s certainly violence against women here, but it gets swept under the carpet. We have immigrants, but you don’t see them in the centre of Stockholm – a lot of people here don’t feel part of this society.” Sven gets extremely upset about the violence against immigrant women, especially the honor killings, and the increase in rape. This is not the Sweden I used to visit in the 1990s.

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Dustin | Engaged Marriage March 10, 2010 at 10:09 am

How cool, Alisa! I’m not a big movie guy either (I still haven’t seen Slum Dog Millionaire or Million Dollar Baby), but you’ve done a great job getting me interested in seeing this one.

Realistic characters, action, mystery….and a lesbian sex scene. :)
.-= Dustin | Engaged Marriage´s last blog ..Natural Family Planning: Our Journey from Cultural to Natural =-.

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Melanie March 10, 2010 at 12:45 pm

I’ve had this book on request for a while now- long queue! My time will come. But you really need to watch Godfather I & II. Seriously. Feel free to skip Titanic. By the end I was screaming (in my head) “Die, Leo, die!”
.-= Melanie´s last blog ..The Renaissance Soul or Are you more like Ben Franklin or Mozart? =-.

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Roxanne @ Champion of My Heart March 10, 2010 at 4:47 pm

I still haven’t quite caught up with the Twilight Saga. This makes me feel even more behind the times. :o)

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Marissa March 10, 2010 at 8:20 pm

i have to say that the first thing i thought about when i read the title of this post was a racy foreign movie with the same (or similar) title. It was a bout the girl with the tattoo that was running a private webcam of herself….

any ways. i mus tsay I am relieved that my first though here was incorrect. and Happy that my interest is still peaked although for different reasons..

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Marissa March 10, 2010 at 8:37 pm

and i did the Blog Hunt. amazing idea. I now have so much reading i want to do…. I’ll let you know if I won something. :)

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Glenda March 10, 2010 at 9:30 pm

I loved this book and the sequel. I didn’t know they were making a movie! Can’t wait to see it! And isn’t there a 3rd book in the series? Was so sad to hear the author had died, so there will be no more…

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SueBee March 10, 2010 at 9:40 pm

I just finished the book about two weeks ago and loved it! Like you said it took about 100 pages to get into it and past all the names but once I got that far I was hooked. I also loved Lisbeth and so wanted to be her. I really want to see the movie so if its not playing around here maybe we could schedule a move night?

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Kathy March 10, 2010 at 9:42 pm

Is the book scary like “Halloween” scary or just mysterious scary? I can’t do the “Halloween”-type scary. But I love a good mystery. And if it’s a girl that kicks ass and not scary, I’d like to read it.

Alisa, have you seen “A Long Kiss Goodnight”. Great movie that, in my opinion, empowers women.

You’ve got to check out more non-American writers. I wish I could remember the name of the author or the title of the book I read by an Irish author. I was hilarious and cathartic (I read the book for a friend going thru a divorce to see if it would be a good read for her – it was) and I just loved the book. But I can’t find anymore of her books, because I can’t remember her name or the title of the book. (I’m no longer friends with the gal I gave the book to.)

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Alisa March 10, 2010 at 11:05 pm

SueBee–we can definitely have a movie night. Great idea!

Kathy–it’s sort of Alfred Hitchcock scary, but a little gorier because it’s more modern. But definitely not Halloween. And the scary parts are contained to about three scenes. They don’t last the whole movie. But two of them take you pretty close to the edge. At least they did for me.

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Kari March 10, 2010 at 11:21 pm

What are you doing to me?! JK. I now have another book that I need to read, because you made it sound so good! I will now have to find a copy of this book too! Promoting a book/movie this way is a great idea. Thanks for the book selection.

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Jennifer Margulis March 11, 2010 at 12:47 am

Fun! But I don’t want to see the movie (though I love lesbian sex scenes) because I want to read the book first.

Have you really not seen the Godfather? How about You’ve Got Mail? (That’s a relationship movie with lots of Godfather quotes in it!)

I’m with Sandy (aka Alexandra), very very VERY cool that your blog was chosen… And that I know you (well in cyberspace anyway, but we’ll be meeting SOON in NYC…)

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Jennifer Margulis March 11, 2010 at 12:48 am

Oh, and I have no idea who Laura Croft is. That’s probably an indication of just how out of it I am…
.-= Jennifer Margulis´s last blog ..New Article on Swiss Travel Writer Ella Maillart =-.

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Elisa March 11, 2010 at 4:12 am

Alisa congrats on having first insight into the movie.!

when I saw the title I thought another Twilight saga? Harry Potter? (not my style of books) BUT crime, suspense I enjoy that genre. Reading your post made me go ,”hmmmm. if Alisa liked it, then it must be good”. So I will try to get a hold of this book and add it to my must read list!
.-= Elisa´s last blog ..Which language do I speak? =-.

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Alisa Bowman March 11, 2010 at 6:37 am

Jennifer: I haven’t seen You’ve Got Mail Either. I haven’t seen a lot of movies, so it’s a fun game to play: Can we guess which movies Alisa has actually seen.

Anyway, I have not seen any of the Tomb Raider movies either, but Laura Croft is the bad ass main character in those (played by Angelini Jolie–however she spells her name). Sort of like a female Indiana Jones, but on a more sexy level.
.-= Alisa Bowman´s last blog ..I Want to Be the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo =-.

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Steve March 11, 2010 at 7:20 am

Alisa:

WOW! I’m NOT a moviegoer AT ALL, but you’ve got me wanting to se this move when it opens.

The reason for the attraction to this film will be relative to the individual, of course, but there’s something (for me) about a tiny brunette with a tattoo and nose rings and earrings — and an attitude (loved the photo) that is spellbinding.

Nice post — I loved it!

Steve

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Teresa S. March 11, 2010 at 11:01 am

Alisa: woo hoo – I thought I was the ONLY person on the planet who has never seen Titanic! Best review I ever heard though, from a friend’s 10 yr old son: Too much kissing, not enough boat crashing…best part was when the guy drowned.

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kcl March 11, 2010 at 9:22 pm

“Dragon Tattoo” is definitely a slow-starter, but once I’d stuck with it long enough, I did like it. Didn’t love it enough to necessarily want to read the sequel, but it was certainly an interesting read. I though Lisbeth was a fascinating, unconventional character, but it kind of scares me that you’d want to BE her, Alisa, because she struck me as so very introverted and anti-social as to be on the autism spectrum. To each her own….

I agree that you can skip “Titanic,” BTW. Totally overhyped.

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OneHotTamale25 March 16, 2010 at 4:31 am

Another book series?! I have yet to read — well — any of them. I’m more of a watcher of books… It is likely I will see the movie as long as I can find someone to tag along with me.

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Marissa April 14, 2010 at 8:58 am

I won a mini poster from the contest !! yay for winning!!

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aguyreader May 4, 2010 at 11:51 am

I hear they are making an american version of this, but cannot fathom why that is necesary.

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Gennie Jukes June 6, 2010 at 10:43 pm

I just wish to say being a someone who did this prior to everyone deciding on getting inked wants to obtain a great, solid tattoo. Regrettably there are quite a few myths going around about acquiring trendy ink .For instance “I must get a layout that’s ‘in’, something everyone else is getting”. I think, this might be the worst mistake you are able to make. The most regrettable tattoos are occasionally the tattoos that at one point were regarded the most “popular” or even the “in design” to have. Girls used to acquire “lower back tattoos” and thought they have been cool. Today they are ridiculed and becoming called “tramp stamps”.

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marriage counselors June 11, 2010 at 2:35 am

Here’s the movie trailer from youtube Girl with the Dragon Tat

Someone’s interested…375,000 views.
.-= marriage counselors´s last blog ..Marriage Trouble =-.

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Joellen Grumbles August 12, 2010 at 11:41 pm

enjoyed this blog!

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Alphonso Kemmler September 16, 2010 at 7:03 pm

I like twilight! I may sit and watch all day long if I didn’t have school..or life to stay me from doing it! lol Superb Simply Wonderful!

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