For this Weeks Book to Movie Monday were comparing The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. I actually saw the movie first (Norwegian version 2009) and remember just being completely absorbed by everything on screen. After reading comments about it on IMDB I decided to search out the book. The Movie alone was great but the book was outstanding! Please note: This Book is definitely for those 18+ So read on with caution.
First let's discuss the Book. Below is the Cover
Now for a little backstory in case some of you aren't familiar with the Novel. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo is by the late Author and Journalist Stieg Larrson. It was originally published in Swedish under the title Män som hatar kvinnor translation Men Who Hate Women. Stieg Larrson died in 2004 and never saw his Book become the bestseller it is now known as today. It's been reported that He wrote the book after being traumatized watching his "friends" gang rape a girl when he was 14-15 years old. Having always carried the burden of never reporting it. The Book is part 1 of a trilogy, The Girl who played with Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest being the others in the series. First published in English in 2009.
Let's look at some of the Characters. Their are way to many to list them all so I'm going to focus on the main players.
Lisbeth Salander- The Survivor of a Traumatic childhood she is described as deeply introverted, asocial with a tough ability to make friends and form relationships. Lisbeth is a world class computer hacker who under her code name "Wasp" becomes a prominent figure in the Hacker community worldwide. Pale, skinny,tattooed and pierced she presents a very off putting image to those around her. Which is just how she likes it. She works at Milton Security and is given the task of investigating disgraced journalist Mikael Blomkvist at the behest of a wealthy businessman, named Henrik Vanger. Upon realizing that Salander hacked his computer, Blomkvist hires her to assist him in investigating the disappearance of Vanger's grandniece, Harriet. Salander using her research skills uncovers a string of murders dating back decades that are all tied to Harriet's disappearance.
Mikael Blomkvist- A journalist and co-owner of the Magazine Millennium, he meets Lisbeth Salander after she hacks into his computer. Having just lost a libel case against the powerful billionaire Hans-Erik Wennerström he takes a freelance job offered to him by Henrik Vanger, the former CEO of Vanger Enterprises and patriarch of the wealthy Vanger family. Blomkvist is divorced and has an on again off again relationship with Lisbeth.
Other Notable Characters
Holgar Palmgrem- One of the only people in the world Lisbeth trusts. Due to being claimed incompetent as a child he manages Lisbeth financial/personal affairs. After suffering a stroke he loses guardianship.
Henrik Vagner- Former CEO of Vanger Enterprises and patriarch of the wealthy Vanger family. He is searching for his Grand Niece who disappeared 40 years earlier. He hires Mikael Blomkvist to solve the case for him. He owns most of Hedeby Island and spends much of his time at his estate there.
Nils Bjurman- Sadistic, cruel he becomes Lisbeths Guardian after Holgar Palmgrem suffers a stroke. He forces Lisbeth to perform sexual favors in exchange to grant access to her trust fund. After one such incident Lisbeth starts taping their meetings. She later uses this against him and forces his hand in giving her complete control over her affairs. She also tattoos I am a sadistic pig on his stomach as a reminder of his misdeeds.
Major differences between the Book and the Movie.
In the Book Mikael Blomkvist plays just as pivotal a role as Lisbeth. In the Movie version it's all about Lisbeth's point of view.
In the Book you meet a bunch of Minor Characters including groups on Lisbeths non hacker friends. In the movie they are removed. Most likely to really drive home her isolation and loneliness.
In the Book it takes chapters to reveal clues. In the Movies these happen in pretty quick succession. Definitely nice at times but in other cases you really do miss some good plot.
In the Book Blomkvist is referred to the nickname Kalle. In the movie this is never mentioned.
In the Book Lisbeth visits her mother and they have a discussion about her sister. In the Movie she is never shown.
In the Book Lisbeth handcuffs Bjurman to his bed. She shoves a butt plug in his ass then forces him to watch the full 90 minute video of her rape. She then tattoos in red and blue ink, "I AM A SADISTIC PIG, A PERVERT, AND A RAPIST" on his body. She leaves him a key to the handcuffs when she leaves. In the Movie Lisbeth zipties him to the base of the bed. She shows him a clip of the video and then shoves a dildo into his ass further causing more pain by kicking it several times. She then uses black ink to tattoo "I AM A RAPIST PIG" on him. She leaves him wire cutters when she leaves.
One of the biggest differences *spoiler* is...
In the Book Harriet is alive and well living in Australia. She has a husband and two sons. In the Movie Anita lives in London alone.
While I really Love Both the Book and the Movie I do think the Movie tends to be better because it does cut back on several unnecessary character jaunts. I have yet to see the Americanized remake but I've heard that it's pretty good. That wraps up this weeks Book to Movie Monday. I'll post both trailers down below in case your curious. Leave a Comment telling me which you liked better and why. Have a recommend for an upcoming Book to Movie Monday let me know below as well.