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The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

The Millennium Series, Book 1
Narrated by: Simon Vance
Series: Millennium Series, Book 1
Length: 16 hrs and 19 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (36,975 ratings)

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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)

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Robert
  • Coventry, CT, USA
  • 12-22-08

A Classic Mystery with Wonderful Characters

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.

302 of 324 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Getting Ready for Book 4

Although I generally eschew best sellers, I'll admit that I read the Millennium Trilogy not long after the books were published in English and loved them. With the amazing character of Lisbeth Salander and the dark and twisty plots, these books are hard to put down once you pick them up. And since they are long books, reading Stieg Larsson means you have to hide out from family and friends for days at a time which is something my life just doesn't allow too often. But when I heard that a fourth book in the series will be published in August of this year, I knew I wanted to re-read the trilogy first. So, I decided to buy the audiobooks and re-visit my friend with the dragon tattoo in a way that doesn't make me give up the rest of my life.

I can't add much to the many reviews of the books this late in the game, so I will just review the audio experience for anyone like me who has read the books and wondered if it was worth 3 credits to buy the audiobooks. IMHO - YES! If you haven't read the books in at least 2 - 3 years, you probably won't remember a lot of the details even though you might remember the basic plot lines so the story still felt fresh and surprising to me the second time around. And, if you are going to spend 55+ hours listening to a narrator, you want the best and you will get it. Simon Vance is tough to beat - I loved every minute of listening to him. He gives each character a unique and believable voice and maintains the narrative flow perfectly through these long suspenseful stories.

Swedish author, David Lagercrantz, is writing the fourth book in the franchise and although he will be using the established characters, he will not be working from Larsson's notes. It's hard to believe that the fourth book will be as good, but I am sure I will read it and just hope another writer can capture some of the magic that Larsson put into the original three.

46 of 50 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars


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.

61 of 67 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Very Well Written

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.

52 of 58 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Pleasant Surprise

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.

40 of 45 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Terrifyingly engaging

Any additional comments?

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.

45 of 51 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars


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.

58 of 66 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Cynthia
  • Gulf Breeze, FL, USA
  • 03-22-09

stick with it!

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!

33 of 38 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • W.Denis
  • Savannah, GA, United States
  • 09-19-08

One of the best

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.

83 of 100 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Read Them in Order

First, I made the mistake of starting with the Girl Who Played with Fire. I was hours into it and did not like it at all. Then I read that the order was important---so, being a trooper, I went back in and bought this book.

WOW! It all made sense and I was hooked from the start. Now what I heard, and will re-hear, from the second book makes more sense and I can't wait to get started.

So, if you bought this one but not the first book, you'd better get the first. The order is very important in these books as they are very dependent.

Great listen. Couldn't stop.

Chris Reich

24 of 29 people found this review helpful