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Publisher's Summary

A spellbinding amalgam of murder mystery, family saga, love story, and financial intrigue....

It's about the disappearance 40 years ago of Harriet Vanger, a young scion of one of the wealthiest families in Sweden...and about her octogenarian uncle, determined to know the truth about what he believes was her murder.

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.

Listen to the rest of The Millennium Trilogy.
©2008 Stieg Larsson (P)2008 Books on Tape

Critic Reviews

"Cases rarely come much colder than the decades-old disappearance of teen heiress Harriet Vanger from her family's remote island retreat north of Stockholm, nor do fiction debuts hotter than this European bestseller . . . At once a strikingly original thriller and a vivisection of Sweden's dirty not-so-little secrets, this first of a trilogy introduces a provocatively odd couple." (Publishers Weekly)
"Combine the chilly Swedish backdrop and moody psychodrama of a Bergman movie with the grisly pyrotechnics of a serial-killer thriller, then add an angry punk heroine and a down-on-his-luck investigative journalist, and you have the ingredients of Stieg Larsson's first novel." (The New York Times)
"The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is a striking novel. Just when I was thinking there wasn't anything new on the horizon, along comes Stieg Larsson with this wonderfully unique story. I was completely absorbed." (Michael Connelly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    21,091
  • 4 Stars
    7,745
  • 3 Stars
    2,041
  • 2 Stars
    658
  • 1 Stars
    557

Performance

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    13,290
  • 4 Stars
    3,564
  • 3 Stars
    815
  • 2 Stars
    191
  • 1 Stars
    174

Story

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    12,886
  • 4 Stars
    3,689
  • 3 Stars
    940
  • 2 Stars
    317
  • 1 Stars
    276
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  • Overall

I am amazed and astonished

Amazing book, amazing narrator. A great way to spend 15 hours of your life. Just be willing to let the story happen as it does. Definitely an adult book; could be disturbing to some individuals: but oh, what a ride.

35 of 44 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Joseph
  • Austin, TX, United States
  • 10-04-09

Good, smart, original mystery.

Quick explanation for those jumping into this cold: The author was a writer and activist in Sweden who envisioned and wrote a series of novels in his spare time. He published three of what was supposed to be a ten part series, then died, with the outlines of several more novels in his notes.

This is important because some things happen in this novel which set up events in later novels. I found this out listening to the second novel, when some of the seemingly gratuitous events in the first novel came into play.

This is a smart novel with interesting characters and unusual mysteries, set in Sweden. The settings alone make it interesting. The central mysteries themselves are not well executed in this book, but there are underlying themes involving gender, mental illness, governmental abuse and freedoms, that make it a smarter novel than the mystery alone does. Overall, it reads like a good first novel, complete with rookie mistakes, by a writer with something to say.

The narration is excellent, though some of the names blended together in my American ear, and some of the novel dragged or got confusing when the author described something he expected his Scandanivian audience to know. It pulls it all together by the end to create a richer story than the average thriller serial novel.

Some of it may disturb sensitive American ears, though. Just to warn you. Don't listen with your kids. Some scenes are a bit sexually blunt.

12 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

What a great read

I had no expectations for this book, but it won the best of 2008 so I thought I'd give it a try. I was genuinely pleased with this book. The story line was good and well developed. I especially grew to love Lisbeth Salander. I can't wait to see what happens to Lisbeth and Mikael in book 2.

12 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Barbara
  • HORSHAM, PA, United States
  • 07-10-10

Spoiler Alert

Thought this was a very entertaining book and the reader is engaging. You will not find yourself losing track of what's gone before. However, there are two scenes (1 rape and 1 animal mutiliation) that are disturbing if you are not prepared for them emotionally. Be forewarned. But do not let that dissuade you from taking up this book.

15 of 19 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Ting
  • Shamong, NJ, USA
  • 11-17-08

What a story

First, I must say that I am not as critical of many things as I am of a good story. Books to me are meant to draw you in and create for you a world that you can really envision and see unfold in your mind's eye. This book just does that! I was a little hesitant about listening to a foreign work but was please that I made this choice. Well researched and written. The author does a good job of character development and stroy telling. The mystery is enthralling and I found myself listening to the book outside of my normal listening time (while I'm commuting to work). If a book can do that to me then it must be something worth listening to. Bravo.

15 of 19 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • RuthAnn
  • Knoxville, TN, United States
  • 10-02-08

doesn't get much better than this...

I loved this book! Except for a brief bit of background at the beginning of the book I never found it to be boring during it's 15 hours. Hated to have it end. This and The Thirteenth Tale are two of the best books I've enjoyed in a long time.

31 of 40 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

I don't understand the hype. At all.

I finally listened to the book and it was tedious. The 'mystery' was boring and the solution to it was ridiculous. This was basically a book written about a too-well-kept secret. Except, after the secret was revealed, the book just kept going. I had apparently misunderstood the entire plot. Or perhaps there were too many? And a surprising number of them involved sadism, casual sex and adults with unresolved issues.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Simon Vance was Amazing

What I loved: The mystery/thriller part of this book was fascinating, engaging, and quite a ride. I had a hard time figuring out who did it and why. When I found out, it was a great journey to the end, which is far away at that point in the book.

What I liked: Most of the characters were really well thought out. Each one flushed out just enough by the author that you could understand their motivations and personalities. You weren't sitting there at any point going "no way he/she would have done that". Some of the characters are quite shocking though, so be prepared for that.

What I thought was "sorta ok": The financial part of the story was not all that thrilling, at least from my point of view. It was kind of like 2 books in one, like it was hard to decide which one the author really wanted to write. I could have done without "LS" rape scene, it was a little too graphic for me but it was a significant reason she does a lot of things.

What I didn't like: Nothing really. Thought the beginning dragged a bit (first 5 chapters or so) but you quickly forget that as the story starts rolling.

Why I gave it a 4: This was a really well rounded story with intriguing plots, storylines, and characters. There were definite "edge of your seat moments" followed by "let me devour the information presented moments". Had the beginning been a bit more catchy and the financial storyline been a little less detailed, it would have gotten a 5.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

*shrug*

Meandering to the point with little to say and even less to enjoy. You wait for hours for something exciting to happen, then when it does you feel like nothing happened. I felt apathetic towards all the characters to the point that I found myself resenting them for their lackluster existence. The good parts were over quickly and I was overall unsatisfied. I love Simon Vance, I devoured the entire Dune series, but I just don't see what the fuss is about in this case.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Don't believe the hype...

I bought this book because of all the positive reviews and recommendations but it turned out to be one of the most terrible books that I have read. It is difficult to connect with any of the characters, it expects you to empathize with journalists and millionaires, and it has explicit and violent rape scenes. The only interesting aspect is the murder-mystery, but that is not enough to justify reading this book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful