An international publishing sensation, Stieg Larssons The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo combines murder mystery, family saga, love story, and financial intrigue into one satisfyingly complex and entertainingly atmospheric novel. Harriet Vanger, a scion of one of Swedens 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. From the Trade Paperback edition.
A part of the 50 Reader Store Essentials list.
With its rich characterizations and intriguing plot, the first book of the late Stieg Larsson's completed trilogy, involving disgraced Swedish journalist-publisher Mikael Blomkvist and the eponymous, pierced and tattooed, emotionally troubled young hacker-investigator Lisbeth Salander, clearly deserves the acclaim it's received overseas. Martin Wenner's almost indifferent, British-accented narration would seem an odd choice for a novel filled with passion, sex and violence, but as the oddly coupled Blomkvist and Salander probe the four-decade-old disappearance of Harriet Vanger, heiress to one of Sweden's wealthiest clans, the objective approach actually accentuates the extreme behavior of both and the strange subjects of their investigation. Wenner's calm, controlled manner aids the listener in keeping track of the numerous members of the Vanger family, a task that the printed book simplifies with a reference page. A Knopf hardcover (Reviews, July 14). (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 11/24/2008
Showing 21-30 of the 83 most recent reviews
21 . Fantastic
Posted December 04, 2010 by Brocks , TorontoLOVED IT. Everything about it was riveting once you get past the first 200 pages. So if you are struggling keep going it is worth the venture.
22 . What is all the hoopla about?
Posted December 02, 2010 by Ro , LodiEveryone kept telling me to "stick with it; that if you get passed the first 100 pages it will completely captivate you." Well I'm still waiting. Too many words/names that are too hard to remember & after awhile I really didn't even care to. Very disappointed.
23 . Excellent Book
Posted November 29, 2010 by RkeReader , RoanokeThis is one of the best suspense books I have read in a while. The first chapter or so seemed a little slow but then you figure out where it is going and why it seemed that way. Excellent read, can't wait to read the next book in the series!
24 . Brilliant!
Posted November 06, 2010 by Abby , Vancouver, BCYes, the book was slow at the beginning, but that all changes around page 30. Once you get into the book, then you understand the first 30 pages was background information crucial to the story line. There was a reason why this book deserved to be on the top seller's list for as many weeks as it has...it was simply brilliant!
25 . Great Start
Posted October 31, 2010 by kw , LaGrange, GAThe story, as a whole, is excellent. Any one part of it is necessary for the total good, but there were several scenes I skipped over because of the disgusting detail. The family secrets, as sick as they were, had to be there in order to make those characters the worst of mankind. The ending scene was necessary even though it was an emotional downer. Looking forward to the other two books Mr. Larsson wrote; he was certainly called home in his prime.
26 . slow to get started. toomany words I needed to look up. very disappointed
Posted October 28, 2010 by susann , FarmvilleSo many foreign cities, many I'd never heard off, much less pronounce. after 12 pages I grew so frustrated I quite reading. It;s he only book of 56 on my reader that I've never finished. Money wasted! sure glad I didn't buy all 3.
27 . Slow & boring in the beginning.
Posted October 20, 2010 by Dorothea Hoffa , NorristownConfusing with description of everyone in the beginning until things start to come together more than half-way through the book.
28 . Scentilating !
Posted October 20, 2010 by Lisa , WaubayCompelled me to turn page after page! On the edge of my chair until the very last page!
29 . Wonderful change of pace
Posted October 09, 2010 by Dean , HalseyI loved this book with its twisted storyline and multitude of characters.
I am usually a fast reader but this boook forced me to slow down and I found it a welcome treat. Very graphic descriptions so it may not be for everyone.
The next 2 books are better than the first :)
30 . Yawn
Posted September 29, 2010 by jess , San DiegoI have tried 3 times to read this book but it is SLOW! This most recent time I even read it about 1/3 of the way through, thinking it would pick up, but alas... boring!
September 14, 2008
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Excerpt from The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium Trilogy: #1) by Stieg Larsson
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.
"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."
"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 Goteborg, 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 15cm by 28cm.
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.