Molly (Longmont CO)
Action & Morality in Northern Europe
I was fascinated, horrified and entertained by this book. The level of detail on many fronts, especially about technology, intrigued me, and the plot is packed with twists and surprises. One of many questions raised by the book concerns morality. There are different levels of its presence and absence. I found myself excusing what, in the US at least, is considered immoral behavior (spoiler alert) such as incest, adultery, and theft, in light of some horrendously repugnant, misogynistic conduct. Stieg Larsson, who died right before this book was first published, was dedicated to exposing and combating neofascism and right wing extremism in Europe, and that could explain some of the moral relativity issues in his story. Oh, yes, and the title character
she is a curious and compelling individual, not totally fleshed out, who begins to develop at the end of the story. I regret that there wont be a sequel.
[Note from BookBrowse: In fact ,there will be a sequel - two of them. Just before he died the author delivered all three books in the Millenium sequence to his publisher. The books are already published in some parts of Northern Europe, and will be available in the USA over the next year or so.]
Dorothy (Ormond Beach FL)
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
I have just finished reading The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and enjoyed it immensely. I did find the beginning a little slow.
Steig Larsson's death is a significant loss. He was too young and too talented!
Marganna - Edmonds, WA (Edmonds WA)
Didn't Pass the Test
I love a long book rich in characters, challenging plot and layered with ideas, so I had great hope for this book. I was very enthusiastic for 1/2 of it thinking, AT LAST, a good book! However, it began to go downhill for me and continued on that path until the end.
Stieg Larsson's writing style and language skills are good and he started off with strong character and plot development. The story line seemed believable at first but as the various plots played out, I became less and less interested and engaged.
With the various threads to follow I thought it would knit together an exceptional good tale. The potential was there at first. However at the end I felt like the author was stretching to write just a long book with elements of mystery, intrigue, horror, love, sex/violence (anyone could guess the cat component!) Even the list of Vanger family members provided me with substance and I like that technique from an author. However, I did not develop a "relationship" with even the most central ones.
After a book passes the language/writing style/believability qualifications, I ask myself the following "test" questions: 1) do I care what happens to these people? I did not; 2) if I lost the book would I find another one so I could finish the story? No; 3) would I recommend this to a friend? No; and finally 4) would I read another book by this author? No. I will give this book to a friend, but it only rated a 3 at best with me.
Maryanne (Spanaway WA)
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
After several false starts, I eventually managed to get past the very slow beginning. (I trusted there had to be a reason why this book is a best-seller all over Europe.) Once I'd reached the halfway point, it was almost impossible to put this book down. I'll be waiting impatiently for the two subsequent novels.
Judy (Sunland CA)
This financial thriller set in Sweden has already achieved bestseller status in Europe and is the first of a trilogy delivered just before his death by a man who spent his life fighting racial and religious intolerance and exposing neofascism in Europe. The writing style rests firmly in the Ludlum, Grisham, Baldacci tradition but introduces a refreshing new voice.
Having never been to Sweden, I was initially challenged by unfamiliar names of cities, streets, magazines and other elements of modern Swedish life. But the story is exciting and smart and ultra contemporary, comprising a closed-room murder mystery, a dastardly financial villain, psychopathic descendants of Nazis and the girl in the title. She is in fact an extra mystery all in herself and as good as any Neal Stephenson heroine.
I got a bit of the feeling of a first novel but except for a few clunky sections, Larsson kept me turning the pages. I enjoyed his decidedly European take on love and sex. I suspect a bit of hype in the title, since the main character was a financial journalist and I was left feeling unsatisfied by the fate of the dragon tattooed girl. Hopefully we will see her again in the sequels.
Neil Wasserman (Tavares FL)
An Outstanding Book
The reader of this outstanding book will be intrigued by its plot, character studies and thrilling mysteries. However, there is much more to be gained from it. The late author was an expert Nazi hunter who understood better than most how sadism and economic greed motivated the followers of Adolph Hitler. One caveat: this book contains explicit sexual violence.
Brenda (Farmington MN)
A bonus book with 3 stories in one, one theme ends and leads to the next only to be brought back to the original. The first 10 pages left some doubt about the ability to stay with the book. Then, it picked up speed and never stopped; even the ending was a surprise.
The references to misogyny were subtle and a good reminder of what an unchecked society can allow. This condition is alive and well throughout the world.