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 31-40 of the 83 most recent reviews
31 . Brutal
Posted September 29, 2010 by Mike , BostonHearing the buzz and seeing every other passenger on the train with a copy, I decided to buy this book. In the end, I have very mixed feelings about it. The story is gripping with some interesting plot twists. In addition to plot twists, there are also several very graphic scenes depicting twisted and abusing people at their absolute worst. The author, through his portrayals of women as brutalized victims, is undoubtedly drawing attention to violence and abuse towards them. In contrast, it seemed strange that the “normal” women in the story have no sexual inhibitions at all. In fact, they tend to be strangely attracted to the journalist/author protagonist and jump in bed with him in a very James Bond fashion. The book is riddled with passages of him having nonchalant “healthy” sex. I am not drawing any parallels between sexual predators and people who just want guilt free sex, but the message of the evils of sexual violence is somewhat lost in the counter message of the righteousness of sexual promiscuity.
32 . Great book!
Posted September 25, 2010 by Susan , Kitchener OntarioI thought this was a great book! I appreciated that it very different than the other books that I've read. The second one in the trilogy is a lot better, though, so I'd recommend that one. I'm just about to read the final one and am lookng forward to a good read!
33 . Intriguing
Posted September 22, 2010 by AL , Pittsburgh, PAI was curious from the beginning, it captivated well. The story had a few twists and turns, but Steig's attention to detail made it worth while. I loved the fact that the protagonist was small and difficult, an unlikely heroine. I had it solved before the end, but that didn't make the ending any less satisfying. It helped alot that I bought the bundle pack, so had the next one waiting.
Wonderful series, sorry there can't be more.
34 . Ending was well written, but expected
Posted September 20, 2010 by JeanB , Charles Town, WVThe author weaves an interesting tale, with complex central characters. The plot is made painful with extensive refenences to family members, children of family members, etc. The only reason plot tricks were unexpected was because I simply couldn't keep track of who was the son/daughter/sister/brother/husband/wife of who.
I am looking forward to reading the second and third installments, central heroine remains intriquing.
35 . Enjoyed tremendously
Posted September 19, 2010 by kac , St PaulIt was a bit slow at the start, but every bit necessary to te story. Some great twists and turns. Can't wait to dig into the next book.
36 . loved it but dissapointed
Posted September 18, 2010 by christine , seldenThe book was riviting, couldnt put it down. Thought it had to be the best book I've ever read, until the very end, very disappointed at that. Thats why I took one star away, was perfect until the end.
37 . Great Book!
Posted September 18, 2010 by Evelyn , O Fallon, IllinoisI bought the series, just read this one, and thought it was just great!
A lot of twists and turns, great mystery!
38 . A perfect combination of characters, mistery and Scandinavian culture
Posted September 18, 2010 by Juan Jose Zunino , Rio de JaneiroThe funny thing about this novel is, when you disecate it, all the pieces have already been seen in other novels or films.
Those are the pieces:
A weird girld;
A very good investigative reporter;
A mistery to be solved;
The nazi "way of life";
What surprised me most is that Stieg Larson pictured perfectly those characters in Sweeden as Sweedish people. You can feel this through the pages. Things happens in a different way there, astounding.
So, if you like puzzels, excellent character presentation in a different environment, go get you copy.
39 . Addicting
Posted September 18, 2010 by Lisa S. , CambridgeThis book took me just a bit to get into as I got my brain wrapped around all the characters and plot lines. Once I got there though, I didn't want to put the book down. Wonderful story line!
40 . Good for the casual reader
Posted September 18, 2010 by Jim Lipnos , New Albany, OHFor avid readers, this book is good, not great. I've heard more casual readers say that they loved it, may have to do with the hype. The character development is very long and it takes nearly half the book to get to the true story, climaxes rather quickly and has a long wrap up. All is not lost though, because it saves the second book from going through the same steps. It was a good read and the second book is better. Lisbeth's character is very interesting and the parts involving her are by far the best. I would recommend the book, but don't get too excited about the hype.
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.