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Description

Product Description

Murder mystery, family saga, love story, and financial intrigue combine into one satisfyingly complex and entertainingly atmospheric novel, the first in Stieg Larsson''s thrilling Millenium series featuring Lisbeth Salander.

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

"Wildly suspenseful...an intelligent, ingeniously plotted, utterly engrossing thriller." — The Washington Post

"Combine the chilly Swedish backdrop and moody psychodrama of a Bergman movie with the grisly pyrotechnics of a serial-killer thriller, then add an angry punk heroine and a down-on-his-luck investigative journalist, and you have the ingredients of Stieg Larsson''s first novel." — The New York Times

"Unique and fascinating.... It''s like a blast of cold, fresh air to read The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo." — Chicago Tribune

"A whip-smart heroine and a hunky guy who needs her help? This sexy, addictive thriller is everything you never knew you could get from a crime novel." — Glamour

About the Author

Stieg Larsson, who lived in Sweden, was the editor in chief of the magazine Expo and a leading expert on antidemocratic right-wing extremist and Nazi organizations. He died in 2004, shortly after delivering the manuscripts for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire, and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet''s Nest.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

A Friday in November

It happened every year, was almost a ritual. And this was his eighty-second birthday. When, as usual, the flower was delivered, he took off the wrapping paper and then picked up the telephone to call Detective Superintendent Morell who, when he retired, had moved to Lake Siljan in Dalarna. They were not only the same age, they had been born on the same day–which was something of an irony under the circumstances. The old policeman was sitting with his coffee, waiting, expecting the call.

“It arrived.”

“What is it this year?”

“I don’t know what kind it is. I’ll have to get someone to tell me what it is. It’s white.”

“No letter, I suppose.”

“Just the flower. The frame is the same kind as last year. One of those do-it-yourself ones.”

“Postmark?”

“Stockholm.”

“Handwriting?”

“Same as always, all in capitals. Upright, neat lettering.”

With that, the subject was exhausted, and not another word was exchanged for almost a minute. The retired policeman leaned back in his kitchen chair and drew on his pipe. He knew he was no longer expected to come up with a pithy comment or any sharp question which would shed a new light on the case. Those days had long since passed, and the exchange between the two men seemed like a ritual attaching to a mystery which no-one else in the whole world had the least interest in unravelling.


The Latin name was Leptospermum (Myrtaceae) rubinette. It was a plant about ten centimetres high with small, heather-like foliage and a white flower with five petals about two centimetres across.

The plant was native to the Australian bush and uplands, where it was to be found among tussocks of grass. There it was called Desert Snow. Someone at the botanical gardens in Uppsala would later confirm that it was a plant seldom cultivated in Sweden. The botanist wrote in her report that it was related to the tea tree and that it was sometimes confused with its more common cousin Leptospermum scoparium, which grew in abundance in New Zealand. What distinguished them, she pointed out, was that rubinette had a small number of microscopic pink dots at the tips of the petals, giving the flower a faint pinkish tinge.

Rubinette
was altogether an unpretentious flower. It had no known medicinal properties, and it could not induce hallucinatory experiences. It was neither edible, nor had a use in the manufacture of plant dyes. On the other hand, the aboriginal people of Australia regarded as sacred the region and the flora around Ayers Rock.

The botanist said that she herself had never seen one before, but after consulting her colleagues she was to report that attempts had been made to introduce the plant at a nursery in Göteborg, and that it might, of course, be cultivated by amateur botanists. It was difficult to grow in Sweden because it thrived in a dry climate and had to remain indoors half of the year. It would not thrive in calcareous soil and it had to be watered from below. It needed pampering.


The fact of its being so rare a flower ought to have made it easier to trace the source of this particular specimen, but in practice it was an impossible task. There was no registry to look it up in, no licences to explore. Anywhere from a handful to a few hundred enthusiasts could have had access to seeds or plants. And those could have changed hands between friends or been bought by mail order from anywhere in Europe, anywhere in the Antipodes.

But it was only one in the series of mystifying flowers that each year arrived by post on the first day of November. They were always beautiful and for the most part rare flowers, always pressed, mounted on watercolour paper in a simple frame measuring six inches by eleven inches.

The strange story of the flowers had never been reported in the press; only a very few people knew of it. Thirty years ago the regular arrival of the flower was the object of much scrutiny–at the National Forensic Laboratory, among fingerprint experts, graphologists, criminal investigators, and one or two relatives and friends of the recipient. Now the actors in the drama were but three: the elderly birthday boy, the retired police detective, and the person who had posted the flower. The first two at least had reached such an age that the group of interested parties would soon be further diminished.

The policeman was a hardened veteran. He would never forget his first case, in which he had had to take into custody a violent and appallingly drunk worker at an electrical substation before he caused others harm. During his career he had brought in poachers, wife beaters, con men, car thieves, and drunk drivers. He had dealt with burglars, drug dealers, rapists, and one deranged bomber. He had been involved in nine murder or manslaughter cases. In five of these the murderer had called the police himself and, full of remorse, confessed to having killed his wife or brother or some other relative. Two others were solved within a few days. Another required the assistance of the National Criminal Police and took two years.

The ninth case was solved to the police’s satisfaction, which is to say that they knew who the murderer was, but because the evidence was so insubstantial the public prosecutor decided not to proceed with the case. To the detective superintendent’s dismay, the statute of limitations eventually put an end to the matter. But all in all he could look back on an impressive career.

He was anything but pleased.

For the detective, the “Case of the Pressed Flowers” had been nagging at him for years–his last, unsolved and frustrating case. The situation was doubly absurd because after spending literally thousands of hours brooding, on duty and off, he could not say beyond doubt that a crime had indeed been committed.

The two men knew that whoever had mounted the flowers would have worn gloves, that there would be no fingerprints on the frame or the glass. The frame could have been bought in camera shops or stationery stores the world over. There was, quite simply, no lead to follow. Most often the parcel was posted in Stockholm, but three times from London, twice from Paris, twice from Copenhagen, once from Madrid, once from Bonn, and once from Pensacola, Florida. The detective superintendent had had to look it up in an atlas.

After putting down the telephone the eighty-two-year-old birthday boy sat for a long time looking at the pretty but meaningless flower whose name he did not yet know. Then he looked up at the wall above his desk. There hung forty-three pressed flowers in their frames. Four rows of ten, and one at the bottom with four. In the top row one was missing from the ninth slot. Desert Snow would be number forty-four.

Without warning he began to weep. He surprised himself with this sudden burst of emotion after almost forty years.

PART 1
Incentive
December 20-January 3
Eighteen percent of the women in Sweden have at one time been threatened by a man.

Chapter 1
Friday, December 20  


The trial was irretrievably over; everything that could be said had been said, but he had never doubted that he would lose. The written verdict was handed down at 10:00 on Friday morning, and all that remained was a summing up from the reporters waiting in the corridor outside the district court.  

"Carl" Mikael Blomkvist saw them through the doorway and slowed his step. He had no wish to discuss the verdict, but questions were unavoidable, and he—of all people—knew that they had to be asked and answered. This is how it is to be a criminal, he thought. On the other side of the microphone. He straightened up and tried to smile. The reporters gave him friendly, almost embarrassed greetings.  

"Let''s see . . . Aftonbladet, Expressen, TT wire service, TV4, and . . . where are you from? . . . ah yes, Dagens Nyheter. I must be a celebrity," Blomkvist said.  

"Give us a sound bite, Kalle Blomkvist." It was a reporter from one of the evening papers.  

Blomkvist, hearing the nickname, forced himself as always not to roll his eyes. Once, when he was twenty-three and had just started his first summer job as a journalist, Blomkvist had chanced upon a gang which had pulled off five bank robberies over the past two years. There was no doubt that it was the same gang in every instance. Their trademark was to hold up two banks at a time with military precision. They wore masks from Disney World, so inevitably police logic dubbed them the Donald Duck Gang. The newspapers renamed them the Bear Gang, which sounded more sinister, more appropriate to the fact that on two occasions they had recklessly fired warning shots and threatened curious passersby.  

Their sixth outing was at a bank in Östergötland at the height of the holiday season. A reporter from the local radio station happened to be in the bank at the time. As soon as the robbers were gone he went to a public telephone and dictated his story for live broadcast.  

Blomkvist was spending several days with a girlfriend at her parents'' summer cabin near Katrineholm. Exactly why he made the connection he could not explain, even to the police, but as he was listening to the news report he remembered a group of four men in a summer cabin a few hundred feet down the road. He had seen them playing badminton out in the yard: four blond, athletic types in shorts with their shirts off. They were obviously bodybuilders, and there had been something about them that had made him look twice—maybe it was because the game was being played in blazing sunshine with what he recognised as intensely focused energy.  

There had been no good reason to suspect them of being the bank robbers, but nevertheless he had gone to a hill overlooking their cabin. It seemed empty. It was about forty minutes before a Volvo drove up and parked in the yard. The young men got out, in a hurry, and were each carrying a sports bag, so they might have been doing nothing more than coming back from a swim. But one of them returned to the car and took out from the boot something which he hurriedly covered with his jacket. Even from Blomkvist''s relatively distant observation post he could tell that it was a good old AK4, the rifle that had been his constant companion for the year of his military service.  

He called the police and that was the start of a three-day siege of the cabin, blanket coverage by the media, with Blomkvist in a front-row seat and collecting a gratifyingly large fee from an evening paper. The police set up their headquarters in a caravan in the garden of the cabin where Blomkvist was staying.  

The fall of the Bear Gang gave him the star billing that launched him as a young journalist. The downside of his celebrity was that the other evening newspaper could not resist using the headline " Kalle Blomkvist solves the case." The tongue-in-cheek story was written by an older female columnist and contained references to the young detective in Astrid Lindgren''s books for children. To make matters worse, the paper had run the story with a grainy photograph of Blomkvist with his mouth half open even as he raised an index finger to point.  

It made no difference that Blomkvist had never in life used the name Carl. From that moment on, to his dismay, he was nicknamed Kalle Blomkvist by his peers—an epithet employed with taunting provocation, not unfriendly but not really friendly either. In spite of his respect for Astrid Lindgren—whose books he loved—he detested the nickname. It took him several years and far weightier journalistic successes before the nickname began to fade, but he still cringed if ever the name was used in his hearing.  

Right now he achieved a placid smile and said to the reporter from the evening paper: "Oh come on, think of something yourself. You usually do."  

His tone was not unpleasant. They all knew each other, more or less, and Blomkvist''s most vicious critics had not come that morning. One of the journalists there had at one time worked with him. And at a party some years ago he had nearly succeeded in picking up one of the reporters—the woman from She on TV4.  

"You took a real hit in there today," said the one from Dagens Nyheter, clearly a young part-timer. "How does it feel?"  

Despite the seriousness of the situation, neither Blomkvist nor the older journalists could help smiling. He exchanged glances with TV4. How does it feel? The half-witted sports reporter shoves his microphone in the face of the Breathless Athlete on the finishing line.   "I can only regret that the court did not come to a different conclusion," he said a bit stuffily.  

"Three months in gaol and 150,000 kronor damages. That''s pretty severe," said She from TV4.  

"I''ll survive." 

 "Are you going to apologise to Wennerström? Shake his hand?"  

"I think not."  

"So you still would say that he''s a crook?" Dagens Nyheter.  

The court had just ruled that Blomkvist had libelled and defamed the financier Hans-Erik Wennerström. The trial was over and he had no plans to appeal. So what would happen if he repeated his claim on the courthouse steps? Blomkvist decided that he did not want to find out.  

"I thought I had good reason to publish the information that was in my possession. The court has ruled otherwise, and I must accept that the judicial process has taken its course. Those of us on the editorial staff will have to discuss the judgement before we decide what we''re going to do. I have no more to add." 

"But how did you come to forget that journalists actually have to back up their assertions?" She from TV4. Her expression was neutral, but Blomkvist thought he saw a hint of disappointed repudiation in her eyes.  

The reporters on site, apart from the boy from Dagens Nyheter, were all veterans in the business. For them the answer to that question was beyond the conceivable. "I have nothing to add," he repeated, but when the others had accepted this TV4 stood him against the doors to the courthouse and asked her questions in front of the camera. She was kinder than he deserved, and there were enough clear answers to satisfy all the reporters still standing behind her. The story would be in the headlines but he reminded himself that they were not dealing with the media event of the year here. The reporters had what they needed and headed back to their respective newsrooms.

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Franklin the Mouse
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
The Odd Couple
Reviewed in the United States on May 14, 2020
When ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’ was first released in the United States it seemed to me that anyone with a heartbeat was reading or had read the thing. The 2005 Swedish book was released in 2008 in the United States and I bought a copy but only opened it in 2020. I... See more
When ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’ was first released in the United States it seemed to me that anyone with a heartbeat was reading or had read the thing. The 2005 Swedish book was released in 2008 in the United States and I bought a copy but only opened it in 2020. I never saw either the Swedish or American movie versions of the novel. The closest I come to sporting a tattoo are the nascent brown liver spots on my aging body. This book review is from the perspective of a near-sixty-year-old, pasty-white, bald unhip old turnip.

The two main protagonists are Mikael Blomkvist, a 42-year-old reporter whose professional reputation has imploded, and Lisbeth Salander, a 24-year-old who’s an understandably troubled gifted computer hacker. The author describes Salander as “an information junkie with a delinquent child’s take on morals and ethics.” She is the most interesting eccentric character in the novel, but the mystery also has a handful of other compelling people. The stories about Blomkvist and Salander move along on independent lines until they meet a little more than half way through the book. Part of what kept me interested was curiosity in how these two unalike people would eventually get together. The mystery revolves around the disappearance of a 17-year-old female named Harriet Vanger which happen nearly forty-years ago. The novel has some unsettling scenes, especially involving sexual assault. Speaking as an American with New England sensibilities, I don’t know if it’s a cultural thing or unique to this Swedish storyline but the characters in the book have a very casual attitude about hooking up with sexual partners. Outside of the sexual assaults the hook-ups are not graphic in detail. There is a healthy dose of profanity in the book. The book also includes two maps and a Vanger family-tree breakdown which were very helpful.

At no point did I become bored with ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.’ There is also another plot line that is set aside until the conclusion of the mystery. I especially liked how Mr. Larsson includes the difficulties of having to make moral compromises and living with the consequences. It was an engaging mystery with a handful of disturbing scenes. If you find any of the deranged episodes a turn-on, maybe you should look into having a lobotomy. The novel ties up the two main storylines but leaves the social dynamics between Blomkvist and Salander somewhat up in the air in an effort to get the reader to read the next installment ‘The Girl Who Played with Fire.’ I sure will.
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Kiley
2.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
the swedish names bother me so much
Reviewed in the United States on November 30, 2020
Im an american girl, and I could not get past the swedish names in the book. Every freaking page has so many swedish names, names of people, places etc. Its so annoying to try to read a book and every time you get to a word you dont know how to pronounce you sit there and... See more
Im an american girl, and I could not get past the swedish names in the book. Every freaking page has so many swedish names, names of people, places etc. Its so annoying to try to read a book and every time you get to a word you dont know how to pronounce you sit there and try to say it in your head. I had to stop and get frustrated on every page and the names werent memorable because I didnt know what the heck they were. sooo i didnt know who was who as was so frustrated i just stopped reading it altogether. This is the first time in my life that I stopped reading a book for that reason. I know i probably sound crazy but I really just couldnt get past it.
8 people found this helpful
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Bill Dolworth
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
It''s Okay But Overall Not Very Compelling
Reviewed in the United States on August 9, 2019
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is mostly boring. The dialog is sometimes stilted. It consists of too many speeches whose primary purpose is to advance the exposition. The lead characters, in the face of an imminent danger, do dumb things. Incredulously, the male lead gets... See more
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is mostly boring. The dialog is sometimes stilted. It consists of too many speeches whose primary purpose is to advance the exposition. The lead characters, in the face of an imminent danger, do dumb things. Incredulously, the male lead gets more action than James Bond. Young, middle-aged, and married woman throw themselves at him. Even another male has the hots for him.

The young female lead is a loner, who is mad at the world and has a general distrust of men. She is a psychologically damaged person and although it’s never delved into, she may have some form of autism. Her talents as a computer hacker and private investigator so immense that she does not seem like a person operating in real life. Her character would be more appropriate in a story set in a superhero universe.

A large portion of the Larrson’s book is about the crooked dealings a Swedish financier. These passages come off as flat because he is never a fully developed as a character. He is more of a bogey man.

The main story is about the investigation of the whereabouts of a girl from a wealthy family, who mysteriously disappeared in the 1960s. The plot meanders because it’s bogged down with way too many potential suspects who are mostly from her old-money family. The resolution of this story feels like it should be the ending of the book. However, there are multiple chapters that follow that seem more like an epilogue and are a chore to get through.
11 people found this helpful
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AP
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Mediocre
Reviewed in the United States on July 16, 2019
The problem with the books is that they are more about Blomkvist than lisbeth salander. She always comes late in the novels. supposedly she is the main character and therefore she should be an active from the very beginning, which makes the book more about investigation... See more
The problem with the books is that they are more about Blomkvist than lisbeth salander. She always comes late in the novels. supposedly she is the main character and therefore she should be an active from the very beginning, which makes the book more about investigation that than action, which wouldn’t be bad if she was more involved.
I also find that there is too many characters, in my opinion a lot of unnecessary characters, and their names are so complicated and very much alike That is difficult to follow up, I understand it is a Swedish book but Simplicity is very valuable. I wish both Lisbeth and Blomkvist worked more closely together as it is they barely communicate and is mostly from a few computer frases.
As they are the books are very complicated, a little boring and so much is unnecessary.
13 people found this helpful
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Victor the Reader
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (My Kindle Review)
Reviewed in the United States on October 21, 2020
While I’ve read the later three books of the Millennium series, I’ve been wanting to read the first three since high school and the first welcomes you into something so twisted. It centers on Mikael Blomkvist, a journalist and publisher of his Millennium magazine and... See more
While I’ve read the later three books of the Millennium series, I’ve been wanting to read the first three since high school and the first welcomes you into something so twisted. It centers on Mikael Blomkvist, a journalist and publisher of his Millennium magazine and Lisbeth Salander, a punk genius computer hacker. They both become tied together on an investigation that centers on a women, belonging to a wealthy Swedish family, who vanished decades ago. During their investigation, they both tangle with their own personal troubled lives as well as their relationship that might turn into something else. It’s a very different type of mystery that will surely grab your attention, thanks to its two protagonists. While it’s plot has its surprising twists and turns, the moments between Blomkvist and Salander grabbed me the most as riveting. Slithering, sneaky and satisfying. <b>A (100%/Outstanding)</b>
5 people found this helpful
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Bo
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
SO GOOD!
Reviewed in the United States on February 28, 2021
I''m not done reading this book yet, but here''s my feelings so far about it. There are plenty of sweedish words I don''t understand, but I skip over them and can still understand what they are referring to easily. The first 7 chapters are a bit difficult to understand because... See more
I''m not done reading this book yet, but here''s my feelings so far about it. There are plenty of sweedish words I don''t understand, but I skip over them and can still understand what they are referring to easily. The first 7 chapters are a bit difficult to understand because they are setting the scene for the bigger plot but there are two maps and a family tree included for reference. Once you get to chapter 8 things get interesting and exciting. This book is extremely well written with interesting characters, subplots, and relationships. It has little swearing so far (some big swears) and no blatantly sexual scenes yet. The characters sleep around but that''s to be expected with family intruge and murder. It never goes into detail. It started out as an industrial mystery but quickly turned into more of a domestic mystery which made me happy. I prefer family drama compared to corporate drama. Nazis, drugs, and social services are mentioned along with darker subjects that add grit to the story and believability. I''ll let you know how it goes later on. :)

Halfway: I''m through half of the book and I can''t bear to put it down. This is so well written and suspensful. I can''t believe how much I''m enjoying this book. There were some graphic sexual scenes but nothing terribly horrific and it was all necessary to the plot. Anyways, such a good read so far and the plot is picking up fast! Absolutely worth my time and money so far!

Finished: I have to say I''m a little torn with this book. I wish the main plot had ended differently. The sub plot was ok but not as interesting. The ending was still really good and wrapped everything up well. The main mystery was scary, thrilling, and serious. I loved reading the entire book and at no point was bored or disinterested. This author truly is amazingly good at writing thrillers.
Note: the second and third book SUCK. Too mush blantent sex, lesbian sex, no plot, super slow, too many details, doesn''t feel like this authors writing. The entire beginning doesn''t matter to the rest of the book. I would stop at the first book or the characters will be ruined for you.
One person found this helpful
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C Orr
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
I couldn’t put this one down!
Reviewed in the United States on March 12, 2021
The book, originally written in Swedish under the title Män som hatar kvinnor (lit. ‘Men Who Hate Women’), is a psychological thriller that tells of a journalist named Mikael Blomkvist who is hired by a wealthy businessman named Henrik Vanger to solve the decades-old murder... See more
The book, originally written in Swedish under the title Män som hatar kvinnor (lit. ‘Men Who Hate Women’), is a psychological thriller that tells of a journalist named Mikael Blomkvist who is hired by a wealthy businessman named Henrik Vanger to solve the decades-old murder of his niece. The story alternates between Mikael’s point of view and that of Lisbeth Salander, a young, troubled woman who is a ward of the state and also a brilliant freelance researcher and computer hacker. Their stories eventually intertwine as Mikael discovers that Lisbeth has investigated him and dug into his personal life.

The book makes a lot of commentary on issues in Sweden, including residual Nazism, violence against women, ethics in journalism, and the question of the extent to which a person’s upbringing affects their responsibility for their actions. I feel like the author succeeded in bringing these issues to the forefront in the novel. At the same time, the novel contains a “locked-room mystery” that is engaging and kept me thinking of the book throughout the day and wanting to read more. The book is rather lengthy, but I never felt like any of it was superfluous. There are some graphic sexual and violent scenes in the book, so if that bothers you, you might want to pass on this one. Otherwise, if you like psychological thrillers and mysteries, this is an extremely well-written, and, as far as I can tell, well-translated novel that I highly recommend.
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Teddie S.
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
What a great read!
Reviewed in the United States on September 21, 2015
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo is an intriguing book title. It''s also an intriguing description of the female protagonist in this story. She is a 24 year old computer hacker with a photographic memory, a screwed up personal life, and a big chip on her shoulder. The male... See more
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo is an intriguing book title. It''s also an intriguing description of the female protagonist in this story. She is a 24 year old computer hacker with a photographic memory, a screwed up personal life, and a big chip on her shoulder. The male protagonist is a disgraced financial journalist who has been found guilty of libel, and whose business magazine he is part owner of is on the verge of shutting down. The two are hired by the elderly head of a wealthy family to find out what happened to his beloved niece who disappeared 40 years prior.

I loved this book in spite of the graphic sadistic violence and the unfamiliar Swedish names and words sprinkled through the book. The plot was suspenseful and kept me interested right to the end. I am definitely looking forward to reading the other two books in the series.
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Jonathan Fryer
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A gripping page-turner full of shocks and surprises
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 2, 2017
I watched the film of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (the original Swedish version, directed by Niels Arden Oplev) late at night, sitting on the top deck of a cruise ship that was traveling from Accra to Cape Town. The film was projected onto a screen under a star-spangled...See more
I watched the film of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (the original Swedish version, directed by Niels Arden Oplev) late at night, sitting on the top deck of a cruise ship that was traveling from Accra to Cape Town. The film was projected onto a screen under a star-spangled sky and there was only one other person present, a lady of a certain age, who got up and left hurriedly when the Lisbeth Salander (the girl of the title) launched a particularly calculated and sadistic attack on her sexually exploitative guardian. The film was so brilliant that I was nervous of reading the book, but now I have I acknowledge that it is even richer, more complex, more troubling. It would be the first of what author Stieg Larsson intended to be a whole series of novels, though he died prematurely after completing only three, published posthumously. So he never knew what critical acclaim he would receive -- deservedly so, on the basis of this gripping page-turner, where shocks and surprises abound. So of course now I can''t wait to read the other two.
17 people found this helpful
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Bookman Pete
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
In the beginning
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 23, 2017
Re-reading the trilogy and the secret with this book is that its a prologue to the real story, with its own plot and conclusion, to introduce the characters with a few slight hints to what follows, but you really need to read The Girl That Played With Fire and a the Hornets...See more
Re-reading the trilogy and the secret with this book is that its a prologue to the real story, with its own plot and conclusion, to introduce the characters with a few slight hints to what follows, but you really need to read The Girl That Played With Fire and a the Hornets Nest to discover the real story. The 2 subsequent books, by a different author are just bandwagon books. If you want to watch the films, the original Swedish films are the best, a film of each of the three books. The Hollywood travesty with Daniel Craig isn''t worth the effort.
11 people found this helpful
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Liam J Madden
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Nordic Noir At It''s Best...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 8, 2020
This is with little doubt a brilliant exploration of ''Nordic Noir''. As a book that manages to convey both brilliance and extremely a well thought out story, there''s very few books that live up to the hype and ''The Girl With The Dragon Tatoo'' is definitely one of them. It''s...See more
This is with little doubt a brilliant exploration of ''Nordic Noir''. As a book that manages to convey both brilliance and extremely a well thought out story, there''s very few books that live up to the hype and ''The Girl With The Dragon Tatoo'' is definitely one of them. It''s brilliant on many levels. Although there is sadness in the passing of Stieg Larsson, the three books that he wrote in the ''Millenium Series'' manage to ''break the mould'' when it comes to massively improving the thriller genre. Just about every word in this first novel is masterful and even the dialogue has to be admired. Lisbeth Salander and Mikale Blomkvist are the two strongest characters that manage to take the novel up to dizzying heights. Apart from them, the various characters throughout the book are expertly thought out and it is little wonder why this genus piece of writing managed to become such a success. Although concentration is required for the first chapter, the rest of the story is beautifully written and although shocking in parts, it''s a book that makes it''s points very well and extremely carefully. Salander stops the book becoming trash as her strength holds the believability of the work together. Highly recommended.
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Reviewer19
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Good Book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 29, 2019
Good Book, read in just under two weeks. Content is unnecessary and very graphic in places so won''t be reading the next two. Parts about journalism and business/finance is very good, pity it isn''t about this more. If you found this review useful, please mark it as helpful.See more
Good Book, read in just under two weeks. Content is unnecessary and very graphic in places so won''t be reading the next two. Parts about journalism and business/finance is very good, pity it isn''t about this more. If you found this review useful, please mark it as helpful.
6 people found this helpful
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Elk2011
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Very Slow to Start but Absolutely Worth Sticking With
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 5, 2012
If you, like me are a Patrica Cornwall and/or James Patterson fan who has in recent years found yourself wondering "Didn''t I read this already?" about their new releases, then this is the way to go. It''s something completely different and yet strangely similar which will...See more
If you, like me are a Patrica Cornwall and/or James Patterson fan who has in recent years found yourself wondering "Didn''t I read this already?" about their new releases, then this is the way to go. It''s something completely different and yet strangely similar which will have you feeling like you''ve just started reading crime fiction all over again. I had to start this book twice before I finally managed to read it through. The pace for the first half of the book is very, very slow. This combined with an unusually "choppy" writing style, which I assume may be down to translation can make breaking the barrier on this book quite challenging, so much so that you will no doubt be tempted to give it up and be left wondering what all the hype was about but this would be a mistake in my opinion. Once the book "got going" it engaged me fully, I found myself wanting to read on and on. Perhaps the most striking difference between this novel and those I usually read is the unpredictability of the characters. Stieg Larsson manages to create characters which SHOULD be dislikeable e.g. Michael is a man who sleeps around and believes any woman, married or not is fair game and Lisbeth is an anti-social misfit with no little emotional intelligence, but nonetheless you do like them and you want to read on to see what happens with each of them next. The background of the book being set in Sweden adds an unusual backdrop to the novel, and whereas I''ve historically found anything set outside of the US or UK difficult to get involved in, this wasn''t the case here - probably due to the very descriptive nature of Larsson''s writing, which I admit at times can be a little TOO much but ultimately I as grateful for as it allowed me to get a much better "feel" for the surroundings of the characters and made the read on the whole, much richer. The story itself is about a disgraced journalist (Michael Blomkvist) who winds up conducting an investigation into a cold case missing person investigation for a wealthy, old media tycoon. During his investigation he crosses paths with Lisbeth Salander, a private investigator who has been declared mentally incompetent by the state but is infact a computer genius with very little social savvy. When the two characters finally meet and team up to solve the mystery, the real "chemistry" happens and you''ll stop wondering what the hype was about and start wondering when you should download/buy the second book. In short, this is one of the best novels and certainly one of the most unique (along with the next two books) I''ve read in several years. Don''t be put off by the unusual writing style or the slow start as if this turns out to be a novel you love or hate, you''ll at least be able to say you''ve read one of the most popular "cult" authors of this century as Larsson has undeniably become.
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