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The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Book 1 (Millennium Trilogy) Hardcover – November 13, 2012

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Product Details

  • Series: Millennium Trilogy
  • Hardcover: 152 pages
  • Publisher: Vertigo (November 13, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401235573
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401235574
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 0.6 x 10.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #294,387 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews Review

Q&A with Denisa Mina

Q: Denise, you've had tremendous success writing crime novels for over a decade. What about the comic book industry or medium keeps you coming back?

A: I'm lucky enough to get to do what I call a "joy project" once or twice a year. Writing novels is hard work and can feel a bit of a grind sometimes so usually I write a play or a comic or a documentary and I was just thinking about how I'd love to do some more comics when this came up. It's such a different form of storytelling from prose, it really refreshes me.

Q: What is different between writing a crime graphic novel, such as The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, versus crime novels?

A: Well, comics are such a stripped back from of narrative, there's nowhere to hide shoddy plotting or confusion. No character can go off and have a realization when you haven't plotted properly, no character can suddenly change their mind, everything has to be on the page and shown in action. That's very different. In this instance The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo wasn't my story either so I already knew what was going to happen, which I don't usually when I'm writing a novel. It's much easier!

Q: What type of obstacles, if any, did you face in adapting such a popular and iconic book in modern literary fiction?

A: I think you have to forget how much people love these books and just get on with trying to make it work for you and your editor. They are the fresh pair of eyes that can tell you when something is tedious or doesn't work. That sounds arrogant but you'd be paralyzed otherwise.

Q: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo has more than a few scenes of graphic violence, especially toward women. Has it been difficult writing these types of scenes for the graphic page as opposed to the printed one?

A: I think it's easier actually. I tried to use panels that show the attack from the woman's point of view and use the visual language or graphic scenes—the bum shots, the twisted face into camera, the full body shots—only during the attack on the male character. It was a way of disorientating the reader and making them uncomfortable because visuals of sex are so familiar [...] that they often appear in visuals of sexual attacks. From the victim's point of view there's nothing sexual about that sort of thing.

Q: Lisbeth Salander is one of the most complicated and fascinating fictional characters in the last decade. What do you feel is the most essential aspect to her?

A: She has a hundred different defense mechanisms: disguise, aggression, hacking, etc., and she has finally found a way to make them work for her in the world.

Q: Do you find yourself adapting your writing differently to each artists on The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Andrea Mutti and Leonardo Manco, and to their their creative strengths?

A: Not really. I can only describe the images in my head but they always do visuals that surprise and delight me. I'm not really that visual, I tend to think in words.

Q: You've worked on a monthly comic book (John Constantine: Hellblazer), as well as a few graphic novels. What is the difference between the two?

A: Well, a monthly has to have a narrative arc that spans twenty-two pages and then adds up to form another distinct arc for six episodes for the trade paperback. The graphic novels are a scoosh compared to that, believe me. Also the monthly comics have to be written to a very strict episodic schedule and graphic novels, not so much.

Q: So far, you've worked on a few projects for Vertigo, including John Constantine: Hellblazer, as well as the Vertigo Crime original graphic novel A Sickness in the Family. Could you ever envision yourself working on something for the mainstream DC Universe?

A: I'd give anything a go, with the proviso that if I make a hash of it they don't use it. Comic editors can be pretty straightforward and I think they'd tell you!

Q: What do you hope that part one of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo communicates that the novel or film did not?

A: In the book Salander's mother has been beaten half to death by her father and is brain damaged because of it. This didn't really come over in the films (in the American version her mother isn't in it). I think this is hugely significant and she cannot let herself be a victim, which is what makes her a hero.

The two pages Leo Manco has done for this are the best pages of graphic art I think I've ever read. I can't even imagine how that could be done in any other medium, either.

A Look Inside The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

From Booklist

No successful franchise is complete without its comic book, and here Larsson’s staggeringly successful novel, which spawned both Swedish and American film adaptations, comes full circle with a full-color graphic novel. The choice of Mina as scripter is key, however, to keeping this from being just one more piece of merch. The respected Scottish crime writer (The End of the Wasp Season, 2011) does an admirable job of distilling Larsson’s wordy prose to its essence while still putting her own stamp on the story with a slightly warmer Salander. The art, by Manco (Hellblazer) and Mutti (The Executor, DMZ), works well, conveying the various layers of story line effectively (if not entirely elegantly: some of the figuring has a weird photorealism that may not appeal to all tastes). The problems, if there are any, aren’t really the fault of the creators. But with two filmed, phenomenal Salanders in many readers’ minds, this latest version can only be seen in comparison—and, frankly, she’s one step away from becoming a visual cliché. Any readers who felt uncomfortable about Larsson’s brand of feminism in the novels won’t have anything to cheer about here. Mina adds full-page panels with harrowing statistics about violence against women, but, like so many comics, this one trades in male readers’ interest in the female form—and seeing Bjurman’s vicious rape of Salander interleaved with much happier couplings may not be the best way to make the point. Does this work on its own merits? Yes. Readers who don’t know the story, if there are any, will be intrigued by Blomkvist’s investigation on Hedeby Island. And those who have consumed both the novel and films will be intrigued by what’s been left out or tweaked here. But the question remains: How many versions of the same story do we really need? HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: With a $500,000 media budget, DC’s crime imprint is betting that the public wants more. Each book in the Millennium Trilogy will be told in two volumes. --Keir Graff

More About the Author

Denise Mina was born in Glasgow in 1966. Because of her father's job as an engineer, the family followed the north sea oil boom of the seventies around Europe, moving twenty one times in eighteen years from Paris to the Hague, London, Scotland and Bergen. She left school at sixteen and did a number of poorly paid jobs: working in a meat factory, bar maid, kitchen porter and cook. Eventually she settle in auxiliary nursing for geriatric and terminal care patients.
At twenty one she passed exams, got into study Law at Glasgow University and went on to research a PhD thesis at Strathclyde University on the ascription of mental illness to female offenders, teaching criminology and criminal law in the mean time.
Misusing her grant she stayed at home and wrote a novel, 'Garnethill' when she was supposed to be studying instead.
'Garnethill' won the Crime Writers' Association John Creasy Dagger for the best first crime novel and was the start of a trilogy completed by 'Exile' and 'Resolution'.
A fourth novel followed, a stand alone, named 'Sanctum' in the UK and 'Deception' in the US.

In 2005 'The Field of Blood' was published, the first of a series of five books following the career and life of journalist Paddy Meehan from the newsrooms of the early 1980s, through the momentous events of the nineteen nineties. The second in the series was published in 2006, 'The Dead Hour' and the third will follow in 2007.
She also writes comics and wrote 'Hellblazer', the John Constantine series for Vertigo, for a year, published soon as graphic novels called 'Empathy is the Enemy' and 'The Red Right Hand'. She has also written a one-off graphic novel about spree killing and property prices called 'A Sickness in the Family' (DC Comics forthcoming).
In 2006 she wrote her first play, "Ida Tamson" an adaptation of a short story which was serialised in the Evening Times over five nights. The play was part of the Oran Mor 'A Play, a Pie and a Pint' series, starred Elaine C. Smith and was, frankly, rather super.
As well as all of this she writes short stories published various collections, stories for BBC Radio 4, contributes to TV and radio as a big red face at the corner of the sofa who interjects occasionally, is writing a film adaptation of Ida Tamson and has a number of other projects on the go.

Related Media

Customer Reviews

I absolutely loved the Millennium Trilogy, and the graphic novels really add a lot to it.
The movies tore through plot details very quickly, and not too coherently, leaving many (myself not included) a bit disorientated.
Inspector Gadget
Manco and Mutti's art is beautiful,and Denise Mina's adaptation is great: she makes all the boring bits from the book interesting.
Sarah Reidy

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer TOP 500 REVIEWER on November 16, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (Graphic Novel) / B009DNVXX8

I'm a big fan of the Millennium Trilogy, having read the novels several times, listened to the audiobook narrated by Simon Vance, and own the original movies with Michael Nyqvist and Noomi Rapace. (I have not, for the record, seen the American remakes.) I selected this graphic novel at NetGalley with a great deal of excitement, fully expecting to enjoy it, but... well, I won't say I'm disappointed exactly, but I'm not enthralled.

This installment of the series takes us from the opening (with Vanger receiving the yearly flower) to maybe about a third of the way through the novel (where Lisbeth revenges herself on Bjurman). I want to recognize upfront that adapting this much material into a ~150 page graphic novel could not have been easy, and I think the adaptation author did about as good a job as could be hoped for.

The story and characters have been altered pretty radically, though, in order to convey emotion and urgency "on screen" through facial expressions and dialogue rather than narration. Erika Berger talks candidly about sex with Mikael Blomkvist and Christer Malm's sexuality at board meetings, Dragan Armanskij openly flirts with Lisbeth at work, Henrik Vanger cries on receiving the yearly flower, Lisbeth dances and laughs and flirts with Mimi in public, and so forth. Everyone feels like they're wearing their heart on their sleeve and that change doesn't really work well with the tenor of the story, I think.

The dialogue, too, has been changed pretty radically to support the format of the adaptation. Cecilia Vanger contributes more proactively to the investigation, and the old friend who sets Blomkvist off after Wennerström in the beginning has an entirely different story to tell.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jill on June 26, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I won this book through Goodreads Firstreads.

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Vol. 1 is a graphic novel adaptation of Stieg Larsson's bestselling book by the same title. It follows a murder mystery from decades past with the socially inept computer genuis Lisbeth at center stage. This volume covers half of that novel, with a second volume to be released in the future.


+I have to say, this book is beautiful, from cover to cover. The character that sticks out as consistently awesome looking is the cover girl, Lisbeth. She looks amazing in every frame. This fact makes up for a lot of other little flaws in this volume, because Lisbeth is my fictional girl crush.

-That being said, the rewriting of her character was, well, bad. She was given cheesy quips and remarks that "real" Lisbeth would have kicked her ass for even thinking about saying. She was softened up, and I don't like that at all. TGWTDT is one of the few books with a strong heroine out there that gets the hype it deserves, but it doesn't reflect in this rendition.

-+The plot is a bit scattered and choppy. It's not necessarily a bad thing, because I felt way about the novel at times too. But because of a lack of actual chapters, it was a bit hard to keep up. Doable, but a bit flustering if not paying super close attention. This book should NOT be read in place of the novel. It acts as an illustrated guide, and the summarized plot is basically effective. However, it is like reading the Sparknotes without reading the book. You will be missing out. PLEASE read the novel first, and read this after.

I recommend it for fans of graphic novels and fans of Lisbeth. People who are going to compare tiny details to the book should pass this up, it won't be for you. Thank you to Goodreads for my copy- I will definitely be picking up the other volumes in the future.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By M Doten on November 15, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Manco and Mutti's Lisbeth Salander is a fascinating creation. She's drawn in a way that's much more stylized than we've seen her on film--she's more raw and more vulnerable here--and the work the writer and artists have done here opens up the story in new directions.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Robert E. Skinner on March 12, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've seen both versions of the movie and have read the books, but this fine graphic novel provides an entirely new dimension to the experience. I just wish that they hadn't made the decision to divide each of the three stories into two separate volumes. I don't think that the publisher played fair with the reader on that point.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Penelope Kahler Swan on January 3, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
When the Girl is being depicted one's interest picks up but mostly, there are so many drawings per page and the text is so difficult to read one grows tired of trying to follow the story and quits reading.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By D. S. HARDEN VINE VOICE on November 18, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I stumbled onto this last week and ordered it immediately. As a fan of the motion picture, I was very curious to see/compare this to the film. As a work, it does stand on its own and conveys the feelings and emotions from the characters effectively (if anything, we see MORE emotions depicted in this graphic novel, than the movie!) All this work really did, is just leave me starving for the next volume. (How long do we have to wait, eh?)

Ms Denise Mina, et. al - Fine work, congrats! (I await vol. 2!)

Folks, it's priced right - get a copy and see for yourself!
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15 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Atticus Quinn on November 14, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I am a very big fan of Stieg Larsson's original series, as well as the films. I was very excited to read the graphic novel adaptation, even though it seemed a bit pointless. To me, releasing The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo in such a form threatened to deter people from reading the actual novel and simply picking up the comic version. Indeed, skimming through the reviews thus far, many have either only seen the films, or are completely new and this is their introduction to the series.
What a shame.
Throughout reading the graphic novel, I wondered multiple times to myself, "How was this allowed to publish?" And the primary reason I wondered this was due to the very poor quality of writing. Denise Mina's characterization of Lisbeth Salander is entirely, well, out of character. Mina's Salander has a far more comfortable social life. She makes witty quips, smiles, even goes dancing at a club. Anyone who has read the books (or even if you've only seen the films, Swedish or American) will understand how far off this portrayal is.
Another egregious flaw is the actual adaptation. Of course, all adaptations, especially when converting mediums, will require some amount of condensing. This is particularly true with Larsson's books, as they are lengthy and very densely plotted. I thought the way the American film handle this condensing of plot was superb. Things that work in novels won't consistently translate onto the screen well. So I understand and fully embrace the necessity of condensing plot and story in adaptations. But in Mina's so called adaptation, I would say that what she has done is, not condense, but paraphrase. This adaptation reads like The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo SparkNotes.
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