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.]
Rated of 5
by Priscilla (Houston TX)
An intelligent, well written thriller
Mikael Blomkvist and Lisbeth Salander must surely be the Odd Couple of crime fighters. Lisbeth, the girl with the dragon tattoo, is not the main character, but she is far more interesting than Mikael. She is a quirky, scary-smart investigator who knows how to raise revenge to an art form. Mikael is a moral, compassionate, hardworking financial journalist who finds himself in dire straits when he is convicted of libel and defamation of a crooked financier. Coerced into looking into a cold case murder while waiting to serve his sentence, he eventually teams up with Lisbeth.
After a slow start, bogged down in background about Swedish financial history, I thoroughly enjoyed the book and raced through to its very satisfying conclusion. I am hoping that Mikael's character gains more dimension in the next two books of the trilogy. He's likable, but not fascinating.
Rated of 5
by Becky (Junction TX)
Quirky Characters in a Fast Paced Mystery
If you like your mysteries hard to put down, you'll love "The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo". This was a "one weekend book" for me. I couldn't wait to finish it, to find out all its secrets. I didn't hate to say goodbye to any of its characters & they didn't linger with me like some books, but it was a thoroughly enjoyable ride while it lasted.
Rated of 5
by Kate (Arvada CO)
Good mystery thriller
The prologue grabbed me right away. The next several chapters are hard to stay with, but if you do, you will find a satisfying novel. There are numerous characters to keep track of but I did not have difficulty with that. I found the characters very well developed considering how many were in the book. Being the first novel of a trilogy, I am anxious to read the next two novels. Book clubs would have numerous areas of discussion with this book.
Rated of 5
by 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.
Rated of 5
by 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.
Rated of 5
by 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.
U.S. ebook sales up in 2012, but rate of growth is slowing(May 16 2013) In 2012, trade book sales (i.e. non academic book sales) rose 6.9%, to $15.049 billion, and e-book sales continued to grow, although the rate of growth...