94 of 103 people found the following review helpful
on September 14, 2008
I read this book in french. It is the first part of a trilogy. This is not your "usual" thriller. The characters are very important and the author takes his time to present each one of them with the location in the first 100 pages. So the reader must not be impatient. The first book has a story in itself. The second book has the same main characters but the plot is different and the third book starts exactly where the second ends.
I thought the second was better than the first and the third was the best of the three.
The sad news is the author died of a heart attack just after giving the manuscript to his editor. So there will not be a fourth book.
This is a page turner, I could not put it down and everyone who read it (on my recommendation) loved it.
A definite MUST.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on March 2, 2012
I have always had different tastes for books, and have never gotten into something that had been given a lot of attention. I had avoided this book and the series for that matter for a long time. I finaly gave in. I enjoyed the book, although it was not to die for like some people claim. It is almost an information or detail over load. Very well written, for sure. When I was done reading I thought, or great now I have to read the other two books for the ending. I am so glad I did cause they get better and better, and the information over load pays off after all.
32 of 36 people found the following review helpful
I was late in picking up the two first books of Stieg Larsson's trilogy and when I did I decided to leave them for the beach. I can now assure you that THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO is much more than a summer page-turner.
The story flows effortlessly yet is full of unexpected turns. Looking back one can only admit that, although he did not see it coming, the outcome was to be expected. No suspension of disbelief required here, the story could easily have been taken from news-reports. Larsson was a master of understanding human nature and life's minute nuisances.
What is more, this book reminded me of the good old classics that contained a healthy dose of moral lessons within their gripping story. Good literature should entertain as much as it make you think.
The only thing I regret is not being able to read Larsson in the original Swedish (always a handicap) but as far as I can tell the translation (by Steven T. Murray, under the nom-de-plume of Reg Keeland) is fluid and very well done. No awkward phrasing or translation artifacts that would gum up the experience. The book might as well have been written in English.
It is very unfortunate that Larsson died so young. He would have had a stellar carrier as a writer in front of him. Non the less, his Millennium Trilogy is what he will be remembered by.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on December 30, 2010
I heard so many good things about this trilogy that I bought all three books, hoping to read them through over the Christmas break. I had trouble getting through book 1 and may not finish the others.
I found that I disliked most of the main characters, including Blomkvist and Salander. I just didn't find them plausible or likeable. Without giving away too much, the dungeon scene involving all of the protagonists about 2/3 of the way through the book was just plain un-believable.
The Apple product placements, socialist politics and feminist propaganda were so overt that it really distracted from what could have been a good read.
The book often gets lost in details and was about 200 pages too long.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
This was an excellent book...it's much better than the movie. It was a very interesting experience to read this book because, when I picked it up, I had forgotten that I had seen the movie a few years prior. As I read the first few chapters I kept thinking that it was familiar until bang, it hit me that I'd seen the movie (which was complicated, hard to follow because of the odd Sweedish names, dark, too much emphasis on Salander's dealing with her guardian). So, while it kind of spoiled some of the fun, I found the book so much better than the movie that it was still a very intriguing suspense. The ethical dilemma that Blomkvist faces toward the end of the book is a neat twist and so is the trick that Salander pulls. I look forward to reading the next book and see what happens to the Salander character (i.e., the girl with the dragon tattoo). That said, one of the comments on the book's jacket said that it was a "sexy thriller" -- what a moron...the sex in this book cannot be described as sexy unless you're a pervert...it's cruel, it's controlling and only very marginally fulfilling...talk about missing the point...It's a very intelligent story and I'm still amazed that I found the story of such a creepy/dysfunctional family to be entertaining... This author was so gifted...I give it 5 stars (excellent).
19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
To me, this book is the most unexpected page-turning thriller I've read in some time. I couldn't wait for the next surprise.
I was reminded of first reading the early Ian Fleming books about James Bond, feeling like I'd entered a fascinating new world that I never had never dreamed of. But Stieg Larsson's writing is much better than Fleming's and these characters are more nuanced in their unusual characteristics.
The book defies normal novel categories. There are such a major story lines about both the hero and heroine that the novel would be more than adequate just developing those ideas. The mystery of a young woman's disappearance is more than adequate to sustain the interest of anyone who likes books about amateur detectives. In the background, there are dark secrets about a not-so-desirable family that would intrigue anyone who likes to read family sagas. What's remarkable is that these threads are very neatly combined so that you get a lot of story for your time, money, and reading pleasure.
Investigative journalist Mikael Blomkvist has a problem: He's written something that he can't prove and has been sued for criminal libel. His blunder costs him his savings, his reputation, and his freedom while threatening the survival of his publication. How will he and the magazine recover?
Lisbeth Salander wants her freedom and finds it hard to win. Although she's tremendously talented, her past holds secrets that pin her down much as Gulliver was by the tiny ropes of the Lilliputians.
Henrik Vanger wants to find out what happened to his grand niece, Harriet Vanger, who disappeared while an accident was being handled near her home. Can he persuade Blomkvist to help him?
There has been a search going on for Harriet Vanger for over forty years. What have they been overlooking?
What skeletons are hiding in the pro-Nazi closets of the older generation of the Vanger family? How do these skeletons affect the present?
You'll probably never meet a more unlikely detection team than Blomkvist and Salander. The unusual chemistry and motivation behind their joint efforts directs the story into many unexpected and interesting directions.
Stieg Larsson gives as much attention to his characters and their development as most mystery novelists do to their plots. As a result, you can relate to these characters quite well . . . as though you had already read ten books in which they interacted. He also takes the time to make these characters as unique as real people are, making them more vivid and rewarding to contemplate than the two-dimensional cutouts that serve as "characters" in most mystery novels.
His plot is also very fine: He usually doesn't telegraph what's coming next. People act as unpredictably as they do in real life . . . making the plot messy . . . as real life is messy.
I was delighted to learn that although Mr. Larsson has died that there are two more books coming. I can hardly wait!
This is the first book in the Dragon Tattoo triology. The author, Stieg Larsson, unfortunately died shortly after the manuscripts were completed which is such a great loss of an excellent writer. It now appears a fourth book will soon be available, The GIrl in the Spider's Web written by David Lagercrantz (it's on Amazon now for pre-order now and will be available Sept 2015).
I read many reviews before purchasing this book and so I knew ahead that there would be a detailed family tree introduced in the story and that some reviewers found that difficult to remember or get through. I didn't have any problem with it at all, but because of the pre-warning I paid more attention to the names to help me keep everyone straight. To me this part of the book didn't appear to be slow or boring. I saw it as the author presenting all the evidence and research of potential killers.
I found Salander to be a fascinating character. She's a street-wise bisexual gal who just happens to have a genius level IQ. But she has had a rough past and is dealing with a lot of emotional baggage. The story revolves around Salander and publisher/magazine owner Michal Blomkist as they research a 40 year mysterious disappearance of a young woman. The crimes that come out prove there's a nasty serial killer that's been operating for years.
The conclusion is a real surprise and I found the book to be a page turner all the way through. The other two books you will enjoy even more as the Salander and Blomkist story continues and Salander's past is revealed.
There are two movies based on the books and they are excellent as well. One covers all three books and is in Swedish with English sub titles. The other is in English and covers book 1 and parts of book 2. I own both and recommend them as well.
This is a series of books that you will want to keep to read again.
on June 28, 2015
“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” is the first book of Stieg Larsson’s “Millennium” trilogy. The title, which literally translates to ‘Men who hate women’, permeates through to this story of Mikael Blomkvist - investigative journalist, Lisbeth Salander - researcher and computer hacker, and their attempts to resolve a 36-year old mystery.
With Blomkvist’s moving to the Vanger estate on Hedeby Island, the story moves to a remote place, involving a large number of people, and covering a wide canvas where nothing is as it appears. This was a wonderful narrative, involving mysterious people and their dark secrets, and the unearthing and interpretation of strange clues.
I also thought that the characters were drawn very well. Of course, the most fascinating character was Lisbeth Salander. Short and skinny to the point of looking anorexic, tattooed and pierced, socially awkward yet outspoken to the point of rudeness, and a genius computer hacker, this character certainly made an impression!
My great disappointment with this story was how the case was eventually resolved. The last third of the book wraps up the mystery and it really felt like a hastily created conclusion. While the final reveal was undoubtedly shocking, there was absolutely nothing leading up to the person, and the perpetrator may as well have been substituted by any of the other characters. It was an inadequate ending to a story that had, up to that point, been told with such care.
I didn't know what to expect from this book, my only experience of Swedish crime thrillers being the turgid BBC Wallander adaptation - bleak and, frankly, rather dull and introspective. There were plenty of rave reviews on Amazon, but I'm naturally suspicious of gushing praise.
Unfortunately, the first third of the book confirmed my preconceptions as it seemed to be nothing more than a rather long-winded introduction to the main characters with little going on and definitely no thrills (in fact my wife gave up at this point). However, a little persistence was well rewarded. The investigations into the mysterious disappearance of Harriet were twisty and complex and the book was hard to put down until the climax of the investigation about one hundred pages before the end of the book. I expected thereafter a dreary and uneventful finish to the book but I'm glad to say that I was wrong - there was a very satisfying conclusion of some unfinished and, at the time, seeming irrelevant business.
All-in-all, a fairly enjoyable read and, although it lacked the pace and glamour of American crime fiction, it made up for it with a complex plot populated by characters with depth bound together with a masterly touch. However, it wouldn't have suffered if some of the early `padding' and the pointless tech references were removed.
on February 28, 2012
I cannot say enough good things about this book. The storyline is interesting, the characters are very well filled out, the suspense is crackling, what more do you need? I actually watched all three movies before I read the books, which is something I don't normally do. I don't like knowing the ending when I'm reading a suspense novel; however, a friend of mine recommended the books so highly and said they have so much more in them than the movie, I decided to read them anyway and I am so happy that I did.
Even if you've watched the Swedish movies or the one American version, read the book! It gives so much more background and detail than either of the movies. Once you've read this book, you'll want to go on to the other two in the trilogy, and they are also worth reading.
My biggest regret about these books is knowing that the author died and there are no other books written by him. What a shame for the reading community.