I digested this book slowly over a number of weeks; I couldn't put it down, but I didn't want the story to end. This was one of the most interesting, original, imaginative works of fiction I have read in years. Before I was finished I had order my own "to keep" copy of the hardback. Yes, the author delved into the dark side of life, but that dark side of the characters was necessary to drive the plot. I would recommend this book to anyone who can keep an open mind, enjoys great character development and appreciates a realistic ending.
This is a complex and beautifully narrated mystery that is unique in quality of story and characterization. This is the first book of the Millenium Trilogy by the late author Stieg Larsson. This novel has won a number of awards and the trilogy has been compared to War and Peace for its epic scope and depth of characterization. It is a bit hard to keep track of the Swedish characters, so here is a list of them which the listener might wish to print out for reference. This list is carefully constructed to avoid giving any elements of the mystery away.
Mikael Blomkvist, journalist, publisher of Millennium magazine, and amateur sleuth.
Lisbeth Salander, antisocial but highly talented computer hacker (the girl with the dragon tattoo),
Henrik Vanger, aged CEO of Vanger Corporation.
Hans-Erik Wennerstrom, corrupt Swedish industrialist and Blomkvist's nemesis.
Harriet Vanger, great-niece of Henrik.
Martin Vanger, brother of Harriet and President of the Vanger Corporation.
Nils Bjurman, the lawyer to whom Lisbeth's must report because she is an emancipated minor,
Cecilia Vanger, Harald's banished daughter.
There are many other characters of importance, but keeping track of these is critical to enjoying the book. And if one is not used to Swedish names, keeping track is not trivial. However, rest assured the exercise is worth it. This is a mystery of such high quality that the listener will quickly be pulled into the story and find it nearly impossible to stop listening. When it is over, you will go into a brief depression because the characters become part of you, and their interesting behavior is so well described that it becomes a persistent and compelling memory.
When I first began,I was not sure I would like this book. The initial part of it is essential though a bit slow. Afterward, I was completely absorbed and entertained. Don't pass on this one. The ratings are completely justified.
This is a very good book.
It is complex and there are a lot of characters. Combined with the fact that the names and cities are Swedish, made it a little harder for me to follow.
I finally started taking notes, and recommend you do the same.
The story kept me guessing and anxious throughout, and is definitely a "Can't put down" book at times.
The reader does a fabulous job!
I will definitely purchase the next 2 in the series when available.
I couldn't stop listening to this book - I had to finish it. It's not edge of your seat kind of thriller - it's more of a suspenseful thinking kind of thriller - if that makes sense at all. It has enough twists to make your head spin and it was kind of confusing at the start since there were so many characters involved, but it was very well written and the characters' lives and the way they cross paths is just very good story telling. The narrator was very good, too.
I always listen to a book on tape when I'm cleaning my house and I can tell how well I like the book by how clean my house is at the end (the more I want to listen the longer I clean). After this book my baseboards are scrubbed, the carpets cleaned, my kitchen cuboards washed down and the place is spotless. An interesting book with a lot of twists and turns.
I agree the beginning of the listen was painful. The author takes a long time to introduce all the characters and pick up the pace, but stick with it because you'll be rewarded with a spelling binding story. Unfortunately, you have to get through the first dull part until you meet the most interesting character, Lisbeth Salander. She is the girl with the tatoo and pack of secrets that will keep you guessing. The story takes off at that point. She is one of the richest characters you can imagine.
The story is potpouri of intrige. Take crime, abuse, revenge, jouranlistic ethics, finance, computer hancking, sex, lies, and even video tape and this is it! Soon you'll forget those first slow moments. It is set is Sweden so you get a peak at another culture on top of an unforgetable drama.
This is not for the romantic. It is far from an escape novel. This book is a brain stretcher that will haunt you long after you put it down.
P.S. The narrator is a genius!
Retired former magazine editor who is working harder than ever as Mr. Dad to his 12-year-old daughter.
When I read all the glowing reviews for this novel, I expected that it was a result of readers jumping on the bandwagon and praising a book only because others had. Then I listened to it and climbed aboard. I, like Mikael Blomkvist, had trouble keeping up with all the members of the Vanger family. I also had some difficulty recognizing and recalling names and places that were Swedish words and/or pronunciations. I got by those challenges and was throughly engrossed by Larsson's story. The characters were simply marvelous and Larsson had a way of making unusual events seem believable. The mystery itself is not that hard to figure it out. The fun is trying to determine how it will unravel. I am hopeful that Audible gets the sequels to this story very soon. The 16+ hours shot by. I wanted more. An excellent listen.
A page turner to the end. Like an accident you can't turn away from. Horrible violence. Graphic abuse. Written by someone who knows these characters and their world through and through. I know it is part of a series and I will give the next two books a pass. One harrowing read is enough for me.
Occasionally, a book comes along that requires constant listening. The story is great, the characters believable and Simon Vance is a very good reader. First of a trilogy, I can't wait for the next. A visit to the author's website is well worthwhile.