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The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium Series) Hardcover – Deckle Edge, September 16, 2008
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"Children of Blood and Bone"
Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut. Pre-order today
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Amazon Best of the Month, September 2008: Once you start The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, there's no turning back. This debut thriller--the first in a trilogy from the late Stieg Larsson--is a serious page-turner rivaling the best of Charlie Huston and Michael Connelly. Mikael Blomkvist, a once-respected financial journalist, watches his professional life rapidly crumble around him. Prospects appear bleak until an unexpected (and unsettling) offer to resurrect his name is extended by an old-school titan of Swedish industry. The catch--and there's always a catch--is that Blomkvist must first spend a year researching a mysterious disappearance that has remained unsolved for nearly four decades. With few other options, he accepts and enlists the help of investigator Lisbeth Salander, a misunderstood genius with a cache of authority issues. Little is as it seems in Larsson's novel, but there is at least one constant: you really don't want to mess with the girl with the dragon tattoo. --Dave Callanan
From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. 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 by muckraking Swedish journalist Larsson. At once a strikingly original thriller and a vivisection of Sweden's dirty not-so-little secrets (as suggested by its original title, Men Who Hate Women), this first of a trilogy introduces a provocatively odd couple: disgraced financial journalist Mikael Blomkvist, freshly sentenced to jail for libeling a shady businessman, and the multipierced and tattooed Lisbeth Salander, a feral but vulnerable superhacker. Hired by octogenarian industrialist Henrik Vanger, who wants to find out what happened to his beloved great-niece before he dies, the duo gradually uncover a festering morass of familial corruption—at the same time, Larsson skillfully bares some of the similar horrors that have left Salander such a marked woman. Larsson died in 2004, shortly after handing in the manuscripts for what will be his legacy. 100,000 first printing. (Sept.)
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s job. There were multiple characters and he did a great job of doing the different voices. This book starts out at a painfully slow pace and I almost abandoned it all together. The story picks up towards the middle when the Girl With The Dragon Tattoo actually joins the action. It is a good story with lots of fun plot twists, but it is unnecessarily drawn out. It felt like the author had a large word count to accomplish, so he put in all kinds of filler. All in all, it was a good story that I'm glad I read.
You have heard of this book from watching one or both of the movies that have sprung from it, but do yourself a favor: take the time to read through this one. It is a fantastic story involving a complex mystery and engaging real-world characters. The overarching theme though is the spotlight that the author, Stieg Larsson, places on Swedish culture's egregious acceptance of violence against women. Lisbeth Salander is the tattooed girl referred to in the book's title. She is an orphan, a ward of the state, a hacker with a photographic memory who works for a private investigation firm, and a young woman who refuses to be a victim. She is an amazing character, a real woman with strengths and flaws but who can be held up to us all as an example to admire and to aspire to in regard to her drive, intelligence, and agency. It is written well, despite being translated into English from Swedish, and because the hacking described within is not exaggerated and could actually work, it is worthy of consideration for the cyber security canon. You should have read this by now.
I found the book was no in part dull and drag and there was no need to skimming through the pages. All the description is just fit which made the characters/novel more realistic. The plot was not hard to follow with the family tree diagram I printed out from the internet.
All in all, I am very satisfy with both the movie (watched several times) and the book (finished reading in a few days) so I urge myself to give this very first review with love and passion.
On the positive side, the book is very readable, the plot realistic enough, the writing style robust and engaging. If you want a crime novel that doesn't make you feel an idiot after you've read it, this one fits the bill pretty well.
The book is not perfect though. The characters, so realistic and believable for the most of the narration go haywire toward the end. The main protagonist, an Aspberger syndrome afflicted girl with history of abuse and uncanny investigative skills turns into a super-hacker easily penetrating any computer system, manipulating major financials transactions and camouflaging as other people with the ease that should make James Bond cringe with envy. One of the two antagonists, who starts as a fairly believable financier, who has some skeletons in the closet, and is not particularly picky about means, turns into a quintessence of evil, doing deals with anyone from the Russian Mafia to the Colombian drug cartels, trading enriched uranium etc. All of this definitely spoils an otherwise good book.
The other issue with the book is a constant treatment with the Author's view on the social justice. We are constantly reminded that the financial markets are merely parasites on the Swedish economy, that the big Companies are no more than a bunch of fraudsters. Same with the Author's view on what justice means. Apparently, it is perfectly acceptable to hack into other people's computers - even more so when they are bad guys. Using emails and documents obtained by these means is apparently perfectly fine as well - it's used for a good goal after all. One might argue that these views are those of the book characters and not of the Author, but they are way too explicit in the book to be ignored.
Overall, the book is not bad - nice read for a crime novel but with its own shortcomings. Based on the developments toward the end, I have a feeling the two sequel books will not be as good but this remains to be seen.