It's about Mikael Blomkvist, a crusading journalist recently at the wrong end of a libel case, hired to get to the bottom of Harriet's disappearance...and about Lisbeth Salander, a 24-year-old pierced and tattooed genius hacker possessed of the hard-earned wisdom of someone twice her age who assists Blomkvist with the investigation. This unlikely team discovers a vein of nearly unfathomable iniquity running through the Vanger family, astonishing corruption in the highest echelons of Swedish industrialism and an unexpected connection between themselves.
Contagiously exciting, it's about society at its most hidden, and about the intimate lives of a brilliantly realized cast of characters, all of them forced to face the darker aspects of their world and of their own lives.
Translated by Reg Keeland.
©2008 Stieg Larsson; (P)2008 Random House, Inc.
Martin Wenner did a marvelous job narrating. I believe equal or better than Simon Vance, (whom I heard on "Played with Fire". I also watched the movie and was sorry to see it rushed the ending. After listening to the "unabridged version" of "Played with Fire" I wished I purchased the "unabridged" version of "Dragon Tatto". I would agree with some of the comments that it starts off slow. As far as characters are concerned....there are far fewer in this book than the second book. I read them both in order and watched the movie in between the two.
This is a mystery about twisted human beings, whose secrets are uncovered and avenged by other twisted human beings. However, you would never guess it was a mystery about people judging by the first 100 or so pages. A large chunk of the beginning of the book has to do with a financial scandal. Get past that and you'll meet some really interesting characters. While the ending ties back to the financial scandal, it's not enough of a connection to justify so much time and detail up front.
Lots of characters to keep you properly thinking. An absolutely superb reader who makes lots of characters come alive. Highly adventurous.
It takes too long to kick into gear but it is far superior to most of the other leading mystery authors out there, bar none. It is R rated but intelligent and engaging.
This plot was so well devised that I wish i had bought the unabridged version. Many said the long version was slow in the beginning, but I really did not want the abridged version to end; 8 hours was not near enough!
I was surprised that none of the reviewers pointed out that this book contains very graphic depictions of rape and sexual torture. What made it all the more incredible is that we're dragged through these disgusting scenes for no apparent reason. The passages neither further the plot or factor into the overall story in any way. It seems as though they're just tossed in to give the story more of a thriller's "edge". Stay away unless you have a strong stomach for kinky rape etc. After reading this one I look forward to a rating system for books similar to movies and video games.
YES YES YES. I tried to read this book initially & just couldn't get into it. I think the large number of characters & Swedish names of people & places made it confusing for me to sink into the story line. My mom read the book & highly recommended it so I thought I'd give the audiobook a try. I'm so glad I did. It was much easier to get into & the narrator is engaging.
TL;DR A good mystery, sufficient character development, good backdrop/setting immersion.
To expand on my TL;DR (which I put at the top for easier access)
Overall, the story is interesting. You definitely want to know whodunnit. Not an obvious or too predictable story-line, takes a few twists. Also, the relationship between the main characters is nice to watch grow.
Character development is alright - I'd say right in the middle. There are a slew of other characters from other books I can think of with whom the reader has a deeper relationship, and there are quite a few with shallower relationships. You get to know the characters on a good friend level.
The backdrop/setting was pretty good. You get a nice feel for the island and the attitude of the family. The descriptions of the environment let you feel what it's like there, without boring you.
Suspensful, shocking, and exciting.
The building of the relationship between the two main characters.
He added another depth of emotion and excitement.
It would have been nice, yes, but not possible due to personal schedule.
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