Reader reviews and comments on The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, plus links to write your own review.

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The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

by Stieg Larsson

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Sep 2008, 480 pages
    Paperback:
    Jun 2009, 480 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Kim Kovacs

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There are currently 48 reader reviews for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
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Page Brandon (07/13/10)

how much suspension
Since thrillers are not my genre of choice, I wonder how many of them require "willing suspension of disbelief" to the extent that Larsson does. One of the most tortured of the victims had a lovely marriage, is a devoted mother, and can function in the environment where all of the horror happened. She is wealthy, charming and ready to take on huge responsibilities. How does this magical transformation take place? In a psychiatrist's office daily for endless years during which time she needs drugs to sleep? We aren't told. She is too "whole" for the tortures she endured. Salander is the science fiction character whose brilliance and maneuvers require more of that "suspension." Are we really to believe that at this stage in her life she can have gratifying sex with a man? It is not enough to shock the reader with graphic details of the acts; the responsibility is to make us see what the torturers have done, how they have emotionally crippled and maimed the victims. Then a victim's recovery is more believable and appreciated. Then the emphasis is where it needs to be.
krista (07/10/10)

Am I the Only Person in the World that Hated this?
OK...so I only got 3/4 through. This was just so poorly written---or translated? misogynist, and frankly, boring.
Power Reviewer Elizabeth (06/30/10)

Chilling
The story takes place in Sweden. It has love, mystery, murder, scandal, jealousy, family history, financial ruin, corruption, deceit, and two main female characters....one with a tattoo and one that has disappeared. :)

The story begins with a trial of a journalist, Mikael Blomkvist, and his indictment and moves to a girl with a tattoo, Lisbeth Salander, who does investigation for a security firm and the girl, Harriet Vanger, who had disappeared 30 years ago.

Mikael was hired by the Vanger family to do an investigation into the disappearance of Harriet and why the body was never found. The investigation is being done under the premise that Mikael is doing a piece on the history of the Vanger Family. Lisbeth and Mikael do get to meet, and it gets even more interesting...lots of things become discovered through Lisbeth's skills as a researcher.

It was a little slow at first, but once the book got into the lives of people and became more personal, you can't put it down....excellent writing. You will love the book as the story unfolds...just give it a few pages.
Liezle (12/19/09)

Super Salander
First of all, I'm glad they changed the title. The original one just told spoils the story with one phrase.

The prologue was intriguing but by the time I got to the fist chapters, I was ready to give up on the book. It was just too boringly written. The narrative makes me think I'm reading the Business edition of a newspaper. It has too many unnecessary details.

Then I got to meet Salander... From then on, I was hooked! I just love this goth, introvert hacker who was so independent and unemotionally refreshing. Sometimes I want to smack her in the head for her unusual reactions but in the end, she proved that she knows what she's doing and I was wrong to doubt her.

My favorite part was with her first guardian. My eyes got misty in the hospital scene where the author described that she was like a lost dog. It shows the genuine vulnerability of the character.

I noticed that I get bored when the narrative switches to Blomkvist. His character was not so extraordinary. I don't think his character was very developed and I didn't buy the relationship between him and Salander.

In general though, this was an engaging novel with suspense and thrills up to the last page.
Power Reviewer Lynn (07/30/09)

Can't wait for the sequel
I am a big fan of crime fiction so I was really intrigued about all the interesting press about this book. I was not disappointed at all. I could not put this book down -- even took it to work one day because I could not wait until the evening to pick it up again. I am so glad there are 2 more books in the future, but so sad that this talented author died so young. Reading about a new location was so fascinating. The story was so different than any other crime novel I have read before. So clever, so interesting. The dialogue was brilliant.
Ann-Britt Keillor (07/16/09)

Breathtaking!
I have read all three of Stieg Larssons trilogy, one in English and the other two in Swedish. I found them impossible to put down and I certainly hope that we get to see the movies here. I had not realized when I finished the first, that there were any more coming and was so disappointed not to learn more of Salander. I went on the internet and was excited to read that there were two more to come. Thanks to my brother I then received both of them in Swedish. I think the English title focuses more on Salander and less on the man's hatred of women and it is Salander that really becomes the focus of all three books. Certainly wish that there was a fourth but my imagination can conclude the series otherwise.
Dorothy (01/22/09)

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!
Carol (01/22/09)

Top Notch First Novel
Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was not quite what I expected. An
international thriller by a new voice, a long awaited translation that had been
a sensation in Europe led me to believe I was picking up one of those fast
paced, quickly written stories. I never expected the depth of plot, well,
actually several stories, layered quite neatly, one upon the other which finally
came together with excellence. Yes, it's a thriller, but also a locked room
mystery, a study in greed, corruption, the world of finance, violence against
women and throws in a love story for good measure.



It's long; I think it could have been cut down but in the end that didn't bother
me. The setting is Sweden, but locale is not developed as well as I might have
liked. Some reviewers thought the characters not well drawn and didn't care
about them. For me, the characters are what captivated me and kept me reading to
the very end. Journalist Mikael Blomkvist, (Larsson did work for Tidningarnas
Telegrambyra, the largest Swedish news agency) is arrested for libel of a
businessman, Wennerstrom, having written a story about him that can't be proven.
He is sentenced to jail and though the sentence is short, his career as co-owner
of the newspaper Millennium becomes a shambles. Enter, Henrik Vanger, an
elderly, wealthy businessman seeking closure to the long ago disappearance of
his niece, Harriet. Vanger is the patriarch of a well-known and large Swedish
family Vanger proposes to hire Blomkvist to write his biography and to solve the
mystery of Harriet's disappearance. He details that day in 1966 when most of the
Vanger family was gathered for their annual dinner and board meeting on Hedeby
Island. Off island there was a Children's Day Parade planned by the sports club
of Hedestad. Harriet had gone to Hedestad to see the parade with some school
friends, came back to Hedeby just after 2 in the afternoon. At 2:15 a farmer
collided with an oil truck and caused a horrific explosion cutting off any means
of anyone coming or going from the island. Moments before the crash, Harriet had
told Henrik she needed to talk to him but he was busy and told her he'd catch up
with her later.



The accident happened, all heck broke loose, and that was the last time Vanger
saw Harriet. With all the confusion of the bridge accident he didn't even
realize she was missing until the next morning. There were many people on the
island that day and Vanger spent the ensuing years trying to figure out which of
them had killed Harriet, as he was certain she was murdered, probably for
something she knew and had tried to tell him. No body was ever found; she could
not have run away as the bridge was the only way out. The author describes this
as a locked-room mystery in island format. Blomkvist is hesitant to take on this
assignment but is lured by the payment offered, Wennerstrom 's head on a
platter. 



Larsson includes a family tree and thank heavens he does as it would be
difficult to keep all the Vangers straight without it. There are a multitude of
suspects and other great characters with varying roles to keep the story
interesting and entertaining. One character, Lizbeth Salander, odd girl out is a
fascinating study throughout the story. She plays a central part in her role as
a sort of investigative assistant to Blomkvist. Fittingly her birthday is
Walpurgis Night, an old pagan festival. The Blomkvist character reads novels
throughout the story, one of which is Val McDermid's Mermaids Singing. He
pronounces it grisly.



Be forewarned that Larsson also presents a grisly and violent tale. For a first
time effort I'd call this one first rate. Four star rather than five for some
plot flaws in the wrap-up. Still, I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a sequel!

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